Logan Lucky | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Logan Lucky

Soderbergh, who directed Oceans 11, 12 and 13, knows his way around a heist comedy


Steven Soderbergh directs this heist comedy about three West Virginia siblings who try to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race. Ever-hopeful Jimmie (Channing Tatum) wants something more, and an unceremonious lay-off from a job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway pushes him toward Plan B: liberating some of the cash that speedway takes in on big race days. So he ropes in his bartender brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), and his sassy sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), plus noted bomber Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his crew — and it’s on. The film has a comfortable shaggy feel, even as it unspools a fairly tight heist. There are detours into kiddie pageants, John Denver songs, prison life, and the odious sorts of celebrities who hawk energy drinks. 

Honestly, it’s hard to lose with a cast this fun — Tatum gets blobby and a bit unkempt, downplaying his movie-star good looks and ultra-bod to portray the high school football star turned thirtysomething laborer — and there are loads of recognizable actors and assorted other famous people in cameos. And Soderbergh, who directed Oceans 11, 12 and 13, knows his way around a heist comedy. (There is a throwaway gag in the film about “Oceans 7-11,” riffing on the crime’s less glitzy milieu.) At the end of what feels like a tepid summer at the multiplex, this is a film you can feel confident dropping $10 on. Plus, there is a great Game of Thrones gag that will never be as funny as it is right now.

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