In CONFIDENCE, Ed Burns plays Jake Vig, a con man who leads a gang of grifters that has inadvertently ripped off the wrong man: an eccentric, scary crime boss named “King,” played by Dustin Hoffman. King gives Jake a chance to set things right, rather than kill or torture him, because he likes his cocky attitude and/or may be attracted to him sexually.
To recoup his cash, and possibly to see Jake and his gang eliminated, King assigns Jake to sting his cross-town rival in crime, Morgan Price (Robert Forster), for $5 million. Toward the end of the operation, after securing the money, the plan runs awry, and Jake is forced to abandon the operation and send his partners packing. One of the partners, Lily (Rachel Weisz), decides that she still wants the money promised her, regardless that the plan has failed. She tells the powerful Price where to find his money. Jake is captured and forced at gunpoint to tell one of the boss’ henchmen how he pulled off the operation.
As Jake recounts the nearly successful sting, the audience is given a glimpse of the ugly underbelly of organized crime and the small-time hustlers who are trying to get their cut and move up. There are several twists and turns to the movie so that viewers don’t know who is working for whom nor whom to believe. One interesting recurring theme that should have been developed further has to do with the game of Chess. The sting is structured so that there are contingencies to change the plan depending on the marks’ response to the game. People may walk away from the theater saying that they would never have guessed the ending twist, but after mulling it over, most probably will find it both unbelievable and unsatisfying.
The structure of CONFIDENCE resembles THE USUAL SUSPECTS with Kevin Spacey, but the final result is neither nearly as creative in its writing nor as polished in its production. The dark and seedy characters, setting and subject matters combine to give this movie an “excessive” acceptability rating and, therefore, unfit for family viewing.
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(PaPa, FR, HoHo, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, A, DD, MM) Pagan, amoral worldview with comment that you "can't trick Karma" and many references to good luck and bad luck charms and incidences, for example: If a bird enters your home death is imminent, as well as character hints of homosexual tendencies and sisters who are nightclub dancers practice faux-incestuous/lesbian routine together; about 90 mostly strong obscenities and five profanities; extreme violence includes man seen with bullet hole in forehead, blood spurts in reenactment of Lizzy Borden's axe murder (done with shadows on wall), bloody bar fight with pool sticks and broken bottles ends with gunshot and puddle of blood under dead man's head, man is pistol whipped, man shot in chest with lots of blood but later shown to be a faked murder; silhouetted sexual prelude (nudity not shown) and simulated incest/homosexuality; woman's breasts seen in porno tape, scantily clad club dancers, women in cleavage baring necklines, nude woman in black velvet painting on wall in club; alcohol use in nightclubs and bars; smoking and two huge packages of cocaine are being passed around; and, superstition, murder, lying, stealing, grifting, manipulating emotions to con people, and people who have had a few too many drinks take advantage of a "mark" for a con game.