davidehrlich’s review published on Letterboxd:
Don’t call it a comeback (he’s been here for years), but Steven Soderbergh’s self-imposed exile from film directing is officially over, and his inevitable return to the big screen confirms what most of us have known all along: The guy is a lot better at making movies than he is at not making movies.
Hollywood’s most restless iconoclast, Soderbergh couldn’t take a vacation if his life depended on it; his “retirement” was shorter than the break that many major directors routinely take between projects, and during that time he directed two staggeringly great seasons of “The Knick,” executive produced both “Red Oaks” and “The Girlfriend Experience,” and shot one of the defining cinematic experiences of this or any other century, “Magic Mike XXL” (just kidding, he also edited it). He really likes to work, and he’ll go wherever he can work in peace.
In that light, the fact that Soderbergh is moving back to the multiplexes may ultimately say less about him than it does the resurgent viability of mid-budget movies (or the promise of the new financing model that he and his partners are pioneering). Either way, it’s not much of a surprise that he couldn’t stay away from the silver screen, and it’s even less of a surprise that his return is such a lark. Soderbergh doesn’t see himself as an absent hero triumphantly returning to Rome at the hour of its greatest need, he sees himself as Ferris Bueller stealthily slipping back into bed after a busy day of playing hooky. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter — it’s just a relief that he came home.