I catch a fair amount of flak (from friends and enemies alike) that I’m not fun — in all aspects, but especially in my movie choices.

And maybe there’s something to that. After all, my four favorite 2018 movies (“First Reformed,” “Hereditary,” “The Rider” and “Lean on Pete”) are each not especially delightful films. And the supposed entertainment this summer has so far left me disappointed (“Avengers: Infinity War”), annoyed (“Deadpool 2”) and bored (“Solo”).

But “Ocean’s 8,” thank goodness, reminded me of a very important fact: There’s nothing wrong with me. The fault lies in the fun itself.

This is what a light, breezy, fun summer movie looks like. This is how you make one.

Get a carefree screenplay. Pair it with a bunch of movie stars and a competent director. Add a Kim Kardashian cameo. Shake it. Stir it. Let it sit ...

Voila. You’ve got “Ocean’s 8,” 110 frothy minutes of diversion (and with a side of air-conditioning!).

If the female-fronted spinoff of the Steven Soderbergh series falls short of 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” it’s infinitely better than “Ocean’s Twelve” and at least as good as “Ocean’s Thirteen.” (Side note: The second-best “Ocean’s” movie is actually “Logan Lucky.”)

“Ocean’s 8” follows the franchise formula to a tee: A crew of lovable thieves comes together to pull off a seemingly impossible heist. The job runs into a few bumps, resulting in some light suspense. And in the end, there’s some sort of twist that reveals we weren’t seeing the whole picture.

The eight thieves in this heist are run by one Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney). Clooney’s not in this movie, but a few of his former co-stars make an appearance.

Debbie is fresh out of prison after a five-year stint, and she’s spent all that time planning the perfect heist and scheming at ways to get back at the man who put her behind bars.

Debbie reconnects with Lou (Cate Blanchett), her partner-in-crime. Blanchett is the Brad Pitt to Bullock’s Clooney, and their pairing works like gangbusters, with Bullock basically acting like Bullock (i.e., charming) and Blanchett acting (and dressing) like Mick Jagger.

From here on, “Ocean’s 8” follows the heist-comedy schematics.

1. Make the plan. Which is to steal a $150 million diamond necklace off the neck of celebrity Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala.

2. Assemble the team. Which includes a jewelry maker (Mindy Kaling), a fence (Sarah Paulson), a pickpocket (Awkwafina), a hacker (Rihanna) and a fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter). The eighth member of Debbie’s team is kind of a spoiler.

Debbie has a casually awesome reason for picking an all-female crew of thieves: “A him gets noticed. A her gets ignored. This time, we want to be ignored.”

3. Pull off the heist. “Ocean’s 8” breezes through its to-do list, booned by a clever script (from director Gary Ross and his co-writer Olivia Milch) but mostly by the chemistry between the women.

Sure, it would have been better if Soderbergh directed it (he’s just producing this time out). But Ross (who also directed “Seabiscuit” and “The Hunger Games”) does a fine job. He’s a journeyman filmmaker, and if his movie lacks the visual pizazz and breakneck momentum of Soderbergh’s better entries, he at least gets the job done.

And anyways, the cast comes together so effortlessly that the movie’s filmmaking deficiencies rarely come to the foreground. The performances are, to a woman, fabulous. (Especially Hathaway, whose neurotic starlet steals the movie.)

At the height of the heist, our cool and competent criminals glide through the Met Gala to the tune of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” outsmarting and outclassing every celebrity cameo in the room and walking away with a fortune.

It’s stylish, invigorating and, yes, fun.


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