*** out of ****
Ever since 1973's The Sting, it is almost impossible to make a good movie about con men, because you just know that the story is one big ruse and nothing in the film, from plot points to characters' emotions, is to be trusted. Focus, however, doesn't cheat too much, as everything isn't a con. The central love story in this caper comedy/drama is genuine, so it is olay to care about the characters, even if some of the elements in the big score propelling the plot are a tad far fetched.
Will Smith is Nicky, a slick, veteran con artist. He's got all the moves and tricks down pat, but his concentration is thrown off when small time pick-pocket, Jess (Margot Robbie), enters the picture. The worst thing Nicky can do is fall for Jess, and boy, does he fall hard. These feelings Nicky has causes a dangerous scheme in Buenos Aires to go askew.
Portions of Focus were filmed in New Orleans, and apparently, according to the movie, there are more pick-pockets than tourists in the French Quarter. So, hang on to your wallets!
Recently, I reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey, and one of my major criticisms was there wasn't any chemistry between the two leads. Thankfully, Focus is the opposite. Will Smith and Margot Robbie have a great rapport. Many of their back and forths are hilarious, plus the fact that they are both very good looking make this all fun to watch.