Logan Lucky

There are two kinds of heist movies: those where everything goes wrong, and those where everything goes right. At the start of Logan Lucky, with Channing Tatum playing a down-on-his-luck West Virginian who gets fired from his construction job because of the bum leg he got in Iraq, you're not quite sure which kind of heist movie you're in for.

Soon, however, we're introduced to Adam Driver as Tatum's one-armed bartender brother. Driver's dopey, Forrest Gump-ish accent – along with the brothers' early takedown of a pompous race car owner (Seth MacFarlane, sporting Avery Schreiber locks and a British accent) – immediately sets an easygoing tone, one that affirms that this is a heist movie where everything goes right. Far from an examination of criminal greed, this kind of movie is all about clever plot mechanics: How will they pull off this impossible-seeming caper? Well, we'll show you!

In short, with Logan Lucky you're in for a breezy time.

Soderbergh ends his whopping four-year "retirement" from directing features with a return to the genre that's proven most lucrative for him, though Logan Lucky, a half-mocking, half-genuine tribute to Southern culture, is a far cry from the slick Ocean's 11 franchise. (The crime this time involves siphoning cash from the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race.) The screenplay is credited to a mysterious first time writer named "Rebecca Blunt", almost certainly a pseudonym for Soderbergh, his wife Jules Asner, or a member of their inner circle. The cast of familiar faces goes on and on. It will surely be Daniel Craig, cast against type as a good ol' boy who needs to be sprung from jail for a day(!) to help with the heist, who everyone will remember. But the film is delightfully democratic with its sprawling cast: everyone, including day players with just a line or two, gets his or her moment to shine, something useful for the old acting reel. I've always been a strong advocate for this, and I'm happy to see Soderbergh and "Blunt" be so generous with their actors.

As for the film itself? It's fun to watch. It's got some sweet moments. A twist at the end baffled me completely. (Even looking it up afterward, I don't understand how it's supposed to work.) This isn't high art – to be honest, despite his stellar reputation, I haven't seen anything truly original or exciting from Soderbergh since 1999's The Limey – but it's a good enough time. It will play great on cable.