(Saw this one recently on DVD)
d. Joe Carnahan.
You probably already know that contract killers and mob men are a ruthless bunch. But did you know there are all kinds of contract killers? That's right! There are small-time bail bonsdmen, exotic Latin men who kill for the romance of it all, crazy inbred hillbillies who think life is one big video game, and, of course, there are sexy lady contract-killing duos, one of whom is a slightly less sexy, and also a lesbian.
Sometimes, all of these crazy characters aren't enough for one movie, so as a writer, you decide to remind everyone about one other kind of hit man, the Mission Impossible 2 kind of hitman who ruthlessly kills whoever he wants so that he can make an indistinguishably perfect mask of their faces and trick friends and passersby into thinking he's not really a nasty hitman.
You know. That kind.
If you're thinking, "Wow, I had no ideas there were so many types of contract killers!" and, "I'd really like to see what happens when you get all those wacky folks together!" for God's sake, go rent Smokin' Aces IMMEDIATELY. Or, on second thought, just go ahead and buy a copy. You'll have tons of fun watching and rewatching the film's chainsaw-Gatlin gun-sniper rifle-laser pointer-nunchuck fight scenes and its cavalcade of questionable facial hair.
If, on the other hand, you're the type of viewer who is totally dependent on even pacing, strong character motivation, and a degree of restraint when it comes to sex, language, and violence, I'm going to go ahead and steer you in another direction. Have you seen Howard's End?
Should you fall somewhere in between these two extremes, take comfort: your skepticism is warranted. Smokin' Aces doesn't make tons of sense, it's not particularly plausible, and it takes itself a little too seriously. But if you posess even a passing interest in violence, action, or contract killing, you should probably let this movie kick you in the face for 3 hours or so. I can guarantee you'll come out of it looking better than the other guy.