Focus

A wide release and a broad one, Focus takes some pride in its tidy arrangement of con-man movie clichés. It’s a luxe, lax caper of upscale criminality, with Will Smith as a gold-hearted swindler and Margot Robbie as the beauteous and credulous apprentice who inevitably threatens to filch his (alleged) deeper feelings. But the movie’s most breathtakingly romantic moment might actually be the scene with B.D. Wong as a big-stakes gambler whom Smith’s character meets in the Superdome box seats, just for the sheer wantonness of the ride they take each other on. Eventually the action — a smooth choreography of covert interpersonal pilferage and little sociology lectures — makes its way to glittering Buenos Aires, where the stars gently twist each other’s plots and play a match game of fetching close-ups. (Some support comes from a gruff operator in the form of Gerald McRaney.) Courtesy of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writer-director team behind I Love You Phillip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love, this is pleasure of the empty, maybe quasi-guilty sort, like that to be had from crushing on the characterless models in a junk-mail clothing catalog. You know its only destiny is the recycling bin, but when that moment comes maybe you’re the tiniest bit sad to see it go.