Confidence

Edward Burns, who always looks like he's admiring himself in a mirror, stars as a supersmooth New York con man who burns an accountant for $150,000 but then learns that the dough belongs to an eccentric crime boss (Dustin Hoffman, in his manic Wag the Dog mode). The conflict between the two stars isn't nearly as interesting as the one between TV writer Doug Jung, whose shopworn screenplay leans heavily on expository voice-over, and director James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), an accomplished stylist who does his best to keep things moving with horizontal wipes, characters who fade away within the frame, and other ostentatious effects. The cast includes Rachel Weisz as a sexy pickpocket and Andy Garcia as a rumpled fed, but Paul Giamatti steals the picture as a sardonic grifter with a phobic terror of dirty toilet seats. 98 min.

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