Ensemble Movie Babylon

Times Staff Writer

We're not sure what to think about a movie like "Smokin' Aces." We like the idea of it — Jason Bateman, Andy Garcia, Ben Affleck, Alicia Keyes, Common, Ray Liotta all playing assassins out to kill a magician and mob informant played by Jeremy Piven — but we've learned the hard way that ensemble movies are hard to pull off. Back in our middle school days, when we used to rent movies based on the box cover we were always drawn to the ones with a bevy of stars that more often than not included Kevin Kline. Sometimes they were great — "A Fish Called Wanda" or "I Love You to Death," but most of the time they were major disappointments. After all, it's not easy to keep a sprawling cast of stars in check.

So as we continue to contemplate whether we'll drop the $10 bucks on "Smokin' Aces" (yeah, we're still not invited to screenings), we present you ten quintessential ensemble movies and moviemakers — the good, the bad and the shamelessly self-indulgent.

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