Nine Queens

Rated 5.0

Two small-time con-men (Ricard Darin, Gaston Pauls) team up to run a major scam involving ultra-rare postage stamps—the “nine queens” of the title. Some smart producer should buy the rights to Fabian Bielinsky’s Argentine thriller and remake it in English with Nicolas Cage and Matt Damon—but then the spellbinding original might never reach the audience it deserves. Bielinsky’s script is slick and fiendishly clever, with seemingly a twist a minute. Darin and Pauls play a cynical cat-and-mouse game with their “marks” (including Leticia Bredice as Darin’s bitter, uptight sister) and with us in the audience, and Bielinsky, directing his first feature, moves the action with an electrifying energy that makes similar American movies (The Sting, The Usual Suspects) look almost sluggish by comparison.