Two swindlers who con their way through life, Juan (Gaston Pauls) and Marcos (Ricardo Darin), meet up and concoct a bigger scam, trying to sell a fake set of valuable stamps known as the Nine Queens, from wartime Germany. Their escalating game involves escalating lies, cons and swindles, and a risky attempt to con a wealthy stamp collector. But something is not ever right about any of this...

A fine example of contemporary Argentinian cinema.

In present-day Buenos Aires, Juan, Gaston Pauls, needs money to help his father, who is in prison. While carrying out a minor swindle in a convenience store, Juan is spotted by Marcos, Ricardo Darin, a devilish-looking and very sophisticated con-man who's on the prowl for a new partner. They team up, and Juan proves to be a resourceful pupil when he wins a bet that he can get a woman he's never met before to give him her handbag. The chance for a big-time swindle occurs when the men are contacted by Marcos' sister, who works at the Hilton hotel; a former partner of Marcos is trying to con a wealthy Spaniard into buying a sheet of apparently priceless stamps, the Nine Queens.

We don't often see a film from Argentina in our cinemas, so Nine Queens is very welcome. There's something of a renaissance of cinema in that country at the moment, despite its severe financial problems, and this is a fine example of contemporary Argentinian cinema. It was a huge success at home and no wonder - young writer/director Fabian Bielinsky has come up with a wonderfully clever, tricky screenplay which, though it might not quite convince when you think about it in retrospect, certainly keeps you guessing as it unfolds. Terrific performances, too.


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1 hour 54 min