Small-time grifter Roy (Nicolas Cage) grapples with obsessive compulsive idiosyncrasies that begin to threaten his criminal productivity. He seeks the help of a psychoanalyst just to keep him in working order. While Roy is looking for a quick fix, his therapy begets more than he bargained for: the revelation that he has a teenage daughter, whose existence he suspected but never dared confirm.
From big action movies like Black Hawk Down and Gladiator director Ridley Scott moves into more intimate territory with Matchstick Men.
Nicolas Cage plays obsessive-compulsive Roy Waller who\'s so pernickety about cleanliness that he can\'t even smoke a cigarette without surgeon \'s gloves. Twitching with tics, popping pills to stay relatively on the ball he\'s an expert small-time conman who\'s a mentor to his partner Frank, Sam Rockwell. But when things start to get out of control with Roy, Frank recommends a psychiatrist and out of those sessions emerges the fact that Roy thinks he may have a 14 year old daughter from a marriage that went bust long ago. Urged to come to terms with his past Roy makes contact with Angela - a normal skate-board riding teen who finds her daddy fascinating. Too fascinating by half.
Matchstick Men is based on a book by Eric Garcia, but the excellent screenplay by Nicholas and Ted Griffin - the latter was responsible for the adaptation of Soderbergh\'s Ocean\'s Eleven - and intelligent direction from Scott makes a terrific basis for a very good film.
All the technical ingredients are fabulous. Add Nicolas Cage\'s performance - it\'s not easy to make Roy\'s affliction painful rather than laughable on screen - and the convincing efforts of young Alison Lohman, such a fine young performer as we saw in White Oleander, and you have a tremendously satisfying experience at the cinema.