STEVEN Soderbergh knows a thing or two about heist movies.

The director was behind the slick, high stakes hijinks of the Ocean’s trilogy starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

So the 54-year-old must have felt in familiar territory when he made Logan Lucky, the feature which saw him return to filmmaking despite publicly shunning the industry just a few short years ago in favour of TV. It felt such a shame when Soderbergh abandoned film with the latter part of his career producing some of his best work.

Clever, boundary pushing pieces like epidemic thriller Contagion, Side Effects, about experimental medication, and Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra.

But if anything Soderbergh seems too comfortable with Logan Lucky, described as Ocean’s Eleven in the Deep South. Despite being visually inventive and having great, idiosyncratic, almost Coen brothers-esque characters, the director rests on his laurels with a lukewarm plot.

The film is about down-on-his-luck Jimmy’s (Channing Tatum) plan to steal millions from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in West Virginia by intercepting a pipeline used to send money to a vault.

He is assisted by his fiercely loyal but odd brother Clyde (Star Wars’ Adam Driver), sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) whose temperament matches his speciality – explosives.

The only snag is that Joe Bang is in prison and so the movie becomes part jailbreak, part heist. The problem with Logan Lucky though is that Jimmy’s motive never seems that strong – he loses his job and his ex (Katie Holmes) is going to move out of State. Becoming a major criminal does not seem the natural response to getting family life back on track and resetting the Logan clan’s famously bad luck.

And yet the plan goes so smoothly that you lose a bit of interest. It is the cast not the film’s acclaimed director who end up saving the picture. Craig is particularly great as bleached haired Joe with the actor relishing this intriguing role way outside the realms of the 007 tuxedo.

RATING: 6/10