Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 110 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

CRIME pays handsomely in a convoluted and effervescent caper, which continues the misadventures of the larcenous Ocean family from Steven Soderbergh's trilogy. It has been more than a decade since the daring Las Vegas casino heist of Ocean's 13 and the world has changed beyond recognition.

Director Gary Ross's stylish picture ditches George Clooney, Brad Pitt and their impeccably tailored brothers in arms for an all-female lead cast spearheaded by Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett. They plot an ambitious robbery in plain sight that subtly acknowledges seismic shifts in gender politics by refusing to hire a male accomplice and strain the bonds of sisterly solidarity.

The loosely coiled plot, co-written by Olivia Milch, has a loopy logic and our enjoyment stems from watching the pieces of an elaborate puzzle fall into place, often with seconds to spare. Ocean's 8 stands tall and proud on its own stiletto-clad feet without repeatedly flirting with the past.

Danny Ocean's younger sister Debbie (Bullock) emerges from a five-year stint at Nichols Women's Prison with $45 in her pocket and revenge on her mind. Her target is former lover Claude Becker (Richard Armitage), an art gallery owner who set her up for fraud and testified against her. Her plan is to frame Becker for the theft of jewels worth $150m. To achieve the impossible, Debbie assembles a crack crew from the wrong side of the law including best friend Lou (Blanchett), fence Tammy (Sarah Paulson), jeweller Amita (Mindy Kaling), pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna) and Irish fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter).

Ocean's 8 goes down smoothly and sweetly as a freshly shaken martini, set to a groovy score composed by Daniel Pemberton. Bullock doesn't need to flex her comic muscles, allowing Bonham Carter's eccentricity and Hathaway's diva to pickpocket big laughs alongside James Corden as a wily insurance fraud investigator, who has a long history with the Ocean family. Ross's direction doesn't steal the limelight from an engaging cast, who are clearly enjoying themselves and their geniality is infectious.