Thursday, August 27, 2009


What I wrote on Twitter: "True" story of an MIT professor, Kevin Spacey, who teaches students to count cards in Vegas. Sure beats my financial aid package. 7.5 (out of 10) I always wonder about movies based on real stories. You never know how much of the story is real. But shortly after I wrote this review, I met someone who knew the professor Spacey’s character was based on. He confirmed that the scam took in a lot of money, But also that the filmmakers took a lot of license with the story. Nevertheless it’s still fun to watch a bunch of college kids rob the casinos blind while under the watchful eyes of the security cameras. And it’s always a pleasure to watch Spacey play the heavy. (For another great Spacey performance, check out "Swimming with Sharks.") Jim Sturgess of "Across the Universe" is the student who reluctantly joins Spacey's card-counting crew to pay the tuition, gets seduced by the money and ends up in over his head. Both Spacey's and Sturgess's characters are done in by their greed and arrogance. The big plot question is if and how they'll be able to get out of the mess. My personal question is why these sorts of characters never manage to quit while they’re ahead. But I guess "boy learns how to count cards, wins big and retires" wouldn't be much of a movie.


Released: 2008

Rating: PG-13

Length: 123 minutes

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth

Director: Robert Luketic

Genre(s): Drama, Adaption, Crime

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