Matchstick Men is a 2003 black comedy crime film directed by Ridley Scott, and based on Eric Garcia’s 2002 novel of the same name. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman.
The film premiered on September 2, 2003 at the 60th Venice International Film Festival and was released in the United States on September 12, 2003.
It received generally positive reviews and grossed $65 million against its $62 million budget.
Roy Waller is a con artist residing in Los Angeles with severe tourette’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alongside his partner and protégé Frank Mercer, Roy operates a fake lottery, selling overpriced water filtration systems to unsuspecting customers. After Roy experiences a violent panic attack, Frank suggests he see a psychiatrist, Dr. Harris Klein.
Klein provides Roy with medication, and in therapy has Roy recall his past relationship with Heather, his ex-wife who was pregnant during the time of the divorce.
At Roy’s behest, Klein informs Roy that he called Heather and found out that Roy
has a 14-year-old daughter, Angela. Roy and Angela meet, and her youthful energy rejuvenates him.
Roy thus agrees to work with Frank on a long-con: their target is Chuck Frechette, an arrogant businessman whom the pair plans to con with the Pigeon drop.
One night, Angela unexpectedly arrives at Roy’s house, saying that she has had
a fight with her mother, and decides to stay for the weekend before returning to school.
She explores his belongings and causes him to rethink his life, which he mentions during therapy with Klein. Angela returns home late one night, leading to an argument between the two.
During dinner, Roy admits that he is a con artist and reluctantly agrees to teach Angela a con.
The two of them go to a local laundromat and con an older woman into believing she has won the lottery, and she shares half of her expected winnings with Angela; however, Roy then forces Angela to return the money.