Honesty Among Thieves?

Loosely based on the classic Ocean’s 11 series, Ocean’s 8 opened June 8th in theaters. The movie’s trailer drew the attention of viewers with not only the plot, but also with the stellar cast. The cast includes Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, Dakota Fanning, Rihanna, and James Cordon. The film follows “ex-con” Debbie Ocean (Bullock) as she is released from prison. For the entirety of her 5-year sentence, Ocean planned the biggest heist of her career. Ocean, upon leaving prison, explains her elaborate plan to her partner Lou (Blanchett.) At first, Ocean’s partner condones her for her actions, telling her that it would take 20 people. Ocean responds by saying she needs 7.  The incredibly thorough plan includes stealing the necklace off of a celebrity. Ocean brings on a hacker (Rihanna), a designer (Carter), a forger (Paulson), a pick-pocket (Awkwafina), and a diamond expert (Kaling). Together, this team puts together a high-class theft in three weeks. As the movie unfolds we see the prep and execution of the theft. The designer goes undercover as to get the necklace out of a vault and onto the celebrity that it is to be stolen from (Hathaway). Each person has a job that coincides with their gifting and the plan is played out. With twists and turns along the way, including an insurance investigator (Cordon) getting involved, the team executes their purpose, and then some. From a plot standpoint, the movie is engaging and humorous. Had it not been for the cast, the plot may have fallen through. However, each cast member brought their own personality into the film. Whether it be Kaling’s one liners, or Hathaway’s attitude, this film provides comedy and a fun plot making this a sure to be classic movie.  

The family friendliness value of this movie is debatable in relation to the type of language that is in this film. However, there can be positive things pulled from this. Female empowerment is definitely a theme in this movie. Ocean actually rejects a potential member from being on the team because he is a man. Not saying that Ocean is against men, but that she wants the team to be done by females, because they can sneak in and out more inconspicuously. However, the fact that the burglary was completely done by women, shows that women can do things and it brings forth that theme that many can discuss. The characters as whole are honest with each other with almost everything and rarely argue. With this, it can add the family friendliness value. There are a few intimate parts, but nothing too overwhelming for a movie with a PG-13 rating. As a whole, this movie displays themes that include ones suited for younger teens.

 From a Christian perspective, this movie brings up some issues. Obviously, theft is not encouraged and is not a positive value. However, the interactions between the thieves show people treating each other with kindness, aside from the fact that they are all criminals. As Christians, what can we take from this? We can pull from the positives as well as the negatives. We can learn the value of teamwork and honesty. While yes, all the women are thieves, they needed to trust each other to pull off their mission. John 8:32 tells us “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” During a crucial point in the plot, it seems that Ocean may be pulling a second crime within the first, and the trust of the crew seems to fail. However, the team soon learns the details and the truth of the situation, which helps the group to be able to work together and execute their plan. As Christians, we can follow this example of trust and honesty, so that when we are in the presence of others, we are able to share positive and truthful relationships with others. Ocean’s 8 provides great  entertainment and supports positive values. It promotes female empowerment and trust. While the costs of movies are high, this action-comedy is well worth the price.