‘Focus’ an effective sting with no heart

March 1, 2015 10:24 PM

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The bottom line for movies about con games is they need to stay one step ahead of us without making us feel like idiots as each twist is revealed. On that measure, “Focus” works just fine. Its schemes are clever, high stakes and not entirely impossible, and most viewers will ride along happily without seeing the turns ahead (although there are some nicely planted sign posts).

That’s not to say “Focus” is plausible. At the movies, believability is not about realism but about context, and the world of “Focus” is one in which super-clever con men prey upon the rest of the ignorant world, billionaires and schmoes alike, and law enforcement is nonexistent. Since Will Smith us...

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