Orphaned at a young age, the brothers Bloom start performing tricks as children. Stephen (Mark Rufalo) comes up with the scenarios and Bloom (Adrien Brody), creates trust. As adults they become successful conmen. But Bloom grows tired of being only an actor in Stephen's ploys and quits. A few months later, Stephen looks up Bloom and persuades him to participate in one final deception. They will swindle Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz), a rich heiress who lives alone in a big mansion, out of some serious money by posing as antiques dealers.
Bloom deliberately bumps into Penelope's car with his bicycle. During their check-up in the hospital, Bloom becomes enchanted with her. Penelope shows him around her mansion, and she decides to join the brothers, when Bloom tells her about their plan to sail to Europe. Melville, hired by Stephen, tells Penelope that the Bloom brothers are antiques smugglers and he wants to hire them. Penelope is excited about the whole idea and persuades them to accept, not knowing this is part of the scheme. Stephen admonishes Bloom the ploy will fail if he falls for Penelope. Melville manages to con Penelope out of a big chunk of money and flees as planned. Penelope still wants to go ahead as an antiques smuggler and steals the book Melville told her about and the team goes to complete the con in a safe location. Bloom, now in love with her, discloses to Penelope they are con artists and the whole thing has been a scheme. She leaves heartbroken when she realizes they keep on conning her.
A few months later, Penelope looks up Bloom. She wants to be with him and become a con artist, but suggests to find a way out of this lifestyle. Bloom wants Stephen to set up one last scheme in which they fake their own death. The team goes to sell the stolen book to Diamond Dog (Maximilian Schell), Stephen's old mentor and present day enemy. They are ambushed by his gang on their way to the exchange. Stephen gets kidnapped and held for ransom. Bloom thinks this may be just another trick of Stephen. Penelope wires the money to the mobsters anyway. Bloom goes to make the exchange, and discovers Stephen all tied up. Bloom asks Stephen if this is a con. Diamond Dog however confirms this is the real thing. When a hit man attacks, Stephen takes the bullet, shielding Bloom, but assures Bloom he's fine. Stephen tells Bloom to leave and take Penelope with him, and that they will see each other later.
After Bloom and Penelope have driven away, Bloom discovers that the color of Stephen's bloodstain on his shirt has changed to brown, indicating it's real blood. Realizing Stephen has died, Bloom breaks down, while Penelope comforts him. Then, Bloom recalls what Stephen said before about the perfect con: everyone involved gets everything they want.
Best part of story, including ending:
The feel of the movie is very unusual, especially in the beginning.
Best scene in story:
The scene where Bloom gets taken with Penelope in the hospital and becomes more and more enchanted with her, the longer he is around her. Very endearing to see.
Opinion about the main character:
The Bloom brothers are not really bad guys. They make their living in an unusual way, on the other side of the law, but they do have a heart.