"Focus" is sleek, chic and ultimately slight, a fizzy romance of con games and double crosses between thieves who should know that warm human emotions have no place in their line of work. While the film is headlined by Will Smith (2013's "After Earth"), it is luminous screen partner Margot Robbie (2013's "The Wolf of Wall Street") who snatches the film from under her older, more experienced co-star. Their constant tug-of-war as they struggle to keep the upper hand while falling for each other gives the narrative its spark, even if the picture as a whole doesn't ultimately lead to the depth or consequence one expects. It's a solid film by February release standards, but also no surprise that it didn't receive a more prestigious birth in the summer or fall.
Nicky (Will Smith) and Jess (Margot Robbie) meet in a hotel lounge, flirt for a bit, and then retire to his room. Before they go much further, Jess reveals an ulterior motive to which Nicky is already privy. It turns out they are both con artists, and the more seasoned Nicky, who runs an underground business specializing in the art of pickpocketing and swindling, sees in Jess a young woman wet behind the ears but quick to learn. She becomes his intern, protégé, and possibly something more, but once they make their latest score he callously sets her loose. When their paths cross again three years later in Buenos Aires, Nicky's feelings for Jess come flooding back. She is now in a relationship with his latest client, Raphael (Adrian Martinez), and makes it clear that her current beau is easily jealous and knows nothing of her criminal past. Staying away from one another will become mighty difficult, however, and not just because they are kind of, sort of in love; they also may very well still be playing each other.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review