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Gala

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Some movies are more about parallel play than actual playground interaction, and despite a screenful of terrifically skillful talents, "Ocean's 8" never quite gets its ensemble act together. It's smooth, and far from inept. But it isn't much fun. That's all you want from a certain kind of heist picture, isn't it? Fun? Sandra Bullock takes the linchpin role of Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny, played by George Clooney in the three "Ocean's" movies of widely varying quality directed by Steven Soderbergh. Released from prison after being set up by her equally devious art-dealer lover (Richard Armitage), Debbie reunites with her partner in crime, Lou (Cate Blanchett), for a score somewhat larger than their bingo-money scams of old. The quarry: a Cartier diamond necklace worth $150 million. The jewels, on loan but closely guarded, dominate a swank wardrobe designed by has-been clothier (Helena Bonham Carter), who's in on the scheme, for an imperious movie star (Anne Hathaway) attending the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art fundraising gala in New York City. A jeweler (Mindy Kaling), a pickpocket (Awkwafina), a fence of stolen goods (Sarah Paulson) and the inevitable, all-important computer hacker (Rihanna) complete the circle. 1:50. 2 stars. -- M.P.

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