It's not because they rose up through the Hollywood ranks together, starting with Handsome Preschool. Rather, it's because of the bonhomie on display in the ever-enjoyable Ocean's movies—star-studded heist flicks that grew bigger with every sequel, all three directed by Steven Soderbergh and populated by goodhearted career criminals having way more fun than your average law-abiding citizen.
Ocean's Eleven, introducing Clooney as ringleader Danny Ocean; Pitt as his always-snacking, right-hand guy Rusty; Matt Damon as a talented pickpocket who's yet to tap into his full potential for thievery; and many more hit theaters over 20 years ago, cinematic proof that you can not have too much of a good thing when the finished product is pulled off as handily as the first offering in the trilogy.
On first watch, 2004's Ocean's Twelve wasn't as good as the original thanks to an even more outlandish plot not as much time spent on the fellas bonding, but over the years we've come to appreciate the slick wink-wink of it all, including the whole meta pregnant Julia Roberts moment that was written in to accommodate the movie star's real life expectant status.
Plus, the largely Amsterdam-set film is simply gorgeous to watch.
Even more screen legends joined the fun for 2007's Ocean's Thirteen, and anytime you roll the dice and add Al Pacino to the mix, interesting stuff is bound to happen.
In honor of E!'s Fourth of July marathon of Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, starting Monday, July 4, at 8 a.m., we're revisiting little-known facts about the wildly popular films.
So without further adieu, a little less conversation, and here are 20 things to know about the Ocean's franchise:
But the infectious chemistry among thieves wasn't left up to chance.
Weintraub explained, "When we went to Las Vegas to start shooting, we made a conscious effort on a production level to have the 11 guys hang out together. It wasn't hard to do because they all liked each other and as soon as they started spending time together away from the set, real friendships developed.
"You can't buy that. When you have actors who can't wait to go to work and work with one another other and be with each other, that's exciting. In all my years in show business, I don't think I've ever had as much fun as I've had on this movie."
And what better time than now, amid the winter of our ongoing discontent, to binge a trio of carefree romps set in Las Vegas and Europe?
Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen are all currently streaming on HBO Max.
(Originally published Dec. 10, 2019, at 3 a.m. PT)