What Soderbergh is working with here is the charm of his actors, particularly Clooney, Roberts, Brad Pitt and Zeta-Jones, who have the key roles, and the puppy-dog earnestness of Matt Damon, who wakes up Pitt on a trans-Atlantic flight to tell him he thinks he's ready to play "a more central role." Damon's character is named Linus, a good choice of role model, since he is sincere and intense, and everyone else in the movie seems inspired by Snoopy.
When one character is excoriated as agoraphobic (what a wonderful phrase that is, "excoriated as agoraphobic"; don't you think it's almost musical?), Linus earnestly argues, "I don't think we have to be the kind of organization that labels people."
There is a scene of mad invention in which Clooney and Pitt take him along for a meeting with Robbie Coltrane, an underworld contact, and their entire conversation is nonsense -- an exchange of elegantly meaningless paradoxes. Linus doesn't understand a word, which is reasonable, but what he doesn't realize is that they don't either.