Is it better than Ocean’s 12?

Answer: Yes. Just. Despite having a massive plot hole in it* (that leads to a big spoiler), it is ruthlessly efficient with its plot and realises that we don’t want romance so dispenses with the gurls. Its still not great but if you don’t mind smarmy with your soundtrack and like looking at some pretty slick visuals you can enjoy Ocean’s 13.

Is Ellen Barkin any good in it?

Y’see I have long held a fascination with Ellen Barkin’s career, what with it being (in my estimation) one of the shortest trips from Next Big Thing to Dumper. She rose in the ascendancy with a steamy turn in Sea Of Love, playing opposite Al Pacino – possibly why she was picked for the role of his assistant in 013. As romance is not on the cards with Ocean’s 13 there is no steaminess, but she is nicely efficient to start. But post Sea Of Love she got the lead in the Blake Edward’s Sex Comedy Switch . Now if you are an aspiring actor or actress, the phrase BLAKE EDWARD’S SEX COMEDY should be enough to make you run a mile. Unfortunately Ellen didn’t, playing the lead role of a reincarnated male chauvinist pig. Unfortunately this is mainly expressed by her constantly playing with her own breasts, and a couple of stand-out awful drunk scenes. The IMDB keywords for switch may give you some idea of what is involved:
* Upskirt
* Brassiere
* Male Nudity
* Panties
* Pot Smoking
* Lesbian Scene
* Abortion
* Role Reversal
* Afterlife
* Sex Change
* Hell Heaven
* Lesbian
* Machismo
* Murder
* God
* Reincarnation
* Justice
* Poetic Justice
* Redemption
* Tragedy
* Makeup

It pretty much stinks up her resume and since then, not many major pictures have come a calling (look at her IMDB page). So does her role as the female lead in Ocean’s 13 help? Considering this is a series which has had star turns from Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts. Well, as I say, in her early scenes as security expert Abigail Sponder are nicely efficient. It is unfortunately when she gets seduced by Matt Damon things take a turn for the worst (a la Switch). The plot requires her to play drunk and sexually aroused. Which she does by reprising her Switch character, slurring, stumbling and generally being a bit of an embarrassment. She does not play with her breasts, but they are on display in a bizarre formation. Unfortunately no photo exists for this on the web, but imagine they had both been magnetized with north poles facing and you get some sort of idea. They are so odd that Matt Damon’s stick on nose looks perfectly normally next to them.

Conclusion, Ellen has not reclaimed her career.

*The plot of Ocean’s 13 involves Al Pacino losing lots of money from all the punters on the casino floor. HOWEVER, if his security computer realises anything odd is happening on the pit floor, it will cancel all bets. The solution is to turn said computer off for three minutes. Three minutes in which everyone should win about £30,000,000 dollars. Then there is a fake earthquake with gets everyone out. WITHOUT CASHING OUT! The plot does not work!