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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.78%
Worth A Look: 11.02%
Pretty Bad: 12.71%
Total Crap: 18.64%

10 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Reindeer Games
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"The Screwball Comedy That Got Away"
3 stars

Reindeer Games (** ½) – Reindeer Games is about one step away from being a screwball comedy. It contains scenes of mistaken identity, bumbling crooks and a love story ripe with comic possibilities. But this is not a comedy. It’s supposed to be a thriller, except it provides more laughs than thrills.

For a minute, imagine this plot as a pitch for a comedy. Ben Affleck plays an auto thief finishing out the last days of his prison sentence. His inmate friend is also scheduled for release as well and can’t wait to get out because his pen pal is super-hot Charlize Theron who apparently just likes to write guys in prison. After Ben is mistaken for ratting out a fellow prisoner, an unfortunate occurrence allows Ben to be the only one to leave on time. Against his better judgment, he decides to take the place of his letter-receiving friend and claim Charlize for himself. Starts out pretty good for a just-released convict, until Charlize’s big bad brother Gary Sinise, thinking Ben is the real pen pal, wants him to help realize the inner workings of an Indian casino. Except Ben doesn’t know anything and must improvise to survive these baddies – who have never performed a robbery before. They are truck drivers. This leads to many many many scenes where Ben pretends to be the pen pal, then admits he’s not, then pretends, then admits – all the time while Sinise threatens to kill him, then listens, then threatens, then listens – all leading up to the big robbery where the crooks attack dressed as Santa Claus’. Then, as most of the cast list lay dead in the snow, the movie goes Frank Capra on us spreading some Christmas cheer to those in need. But remember, this is a thriller. And a slickly made one at that. But it’s hard to take it too seriously and maybe that works in its favor for near the end, you just start getting into the ridiculousness of it all and begin enjoying the carnage. Frankenheimer who reinvented a dying action scene (the car chase) with two of the best in years in Ronin, doesn’t accomplish much with the few action/suspense sequences he has here. They seem shortchanged and underplanned like a rushed production was in the works. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger is becoming the king of the plot twists – not because they’re very good – just because they’re there. He won awards for his script for Arlington Road (one of last year’s best endings), and then was hired as the writer for Scream 3 after quickly spitting out and selling Reindeer Games. Kudos to the ad people for not going Double Jeopardy on us and revealing every little turn in the trailers – and there are more than a few, even if the final one is almost as ridiculous as The Sixth Sense.

Everyone seems to be having fun making this movie. Theron handles a tricky role very well. Sinise is relishing his none-too-bright villain. Dennis Farina has some fun and later on gets to wear the same nose makeup he did in Get Shorty and Affleck gets to have wild sex with Charlize and set people on fire and run them over. What could be more fun? Well, perhaps a better movie. Oh what Billy Wilder could have made of this material.

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originally posted: 02/29/00 05:00:25
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User Comments

11/28/09 Jeff Wilder Gets the job done. That's all it does. 3 stars
10/23/09 Rachel I really did not enjoy this movie and actually never finished watching it! 2 stars
3/14/09 Qeratk Hi! yYQQsZoI 1 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I enjoyed the twists to this, but they just seemed to keep coming. 3 stars
2/10/07 Heather I want to see believeable actors and the majority in this film just aren't. Cardboard! 2 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini Charlize Theron Looked hot! 4 stars
10/23/05 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would've been all the poorer for joining in these reindeer games! 2 stars
10/23/05 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would\'ve been all the poorer for joining in THESE reindeer games! 2 stars
8/27/05 ES Why does Gary Sinise keep doing this garbage, he's better than that 1 stars
3/13/05 Mr. Mooring Affleck is the WORST actor ever. 1 stars
1/17/05 Jeff Anderson Surprise, I actually liked this film. R.I.P. J. Frankenheimer (1930-2002), you'll be missed 5 stars
11/18/04 Jay Lo Affleck is wooden but Theron carries the film. 2 stars
1/08/04 A F Holy Crap did that suck and I'm from MN 1 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Funny and action-packed. Gary Sinise should have recieved "The Best Villian for 2000" award 4 stars
6/06/03 Francis Implausible is right. Who writes this stuff? 3 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby Energetic, but after a while you just don't give a hoot. 2 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Good twists and turns, but completely odious characters 4 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would've been all the poorer for joining in THESE reindeer games! 2 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Almost Impossible To Enjoy...Almost Unwatchable. 1 stars
12/09/01 Joe Zappa "Reindeer Games" is awesome as Hell!!!!!! 4 stars
8/19/01 Dr. Thompson Ben Affleck bites like a chigger 1 stars
7/21/01 Slicer This is just plain old bullshit, kids. Implausible to the core. 1 stars
6/13/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Each film Affleck's in gets progressively worse. I'm gonna smack him, I swear. 1 stars
4/17/01 I love movies r u kiddin'? this movie rocked! 5 stars
4/10/01 Spetters Not good in any way, but strangely entertaining. 3 stars
3/13/01 Paperplate UFO I can't keep a straight face when Afflek tries to look tough. Pure comedy. 1 stars
2/21/01 R.W. Welch Has no real stand-out aspects, just manages to hold your attention. 3 stars
12/10/00 BrittenysPears I'll save you the rental fee. Affleck lives and gives all the money away THIS SUCKED 1 stars
11/27/00 Fred Good movie, especially Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron. 4 stars
11/14/00 Terrie Smith A few good moments here and there but nothing exceptional. 3 stars
10/17/00 Dave Thsi movie had it all!!! Even a naked 10 year old farm boy - wait that was Charlize.. 2 stars
10/02/00 Robin Ben is on the rise!!!!! Go boy! 5 stars
9/18/00 Paul I know this is an "Affleck friendly" site but this movie sux. Theron's acting sucks ass 1 stars
8/24/00 Add A nice throw away popcorn action thiller, doesn't challenge u but has a decent ending 3 stars
8/21/00 Monday Morning Ending twist was way too far fetched. Pretty entertaining overall but leave brain at home. 4 stars
8/21/00 The Bomb 69 good movie, liked the plot twist, the ending with the money was unrealistic though 4 stars
5/31/00 Trina M. Barnard slow start, but picks up. Love the twist 4 stars
4/09/00 Stacy This movie was good! Ben Affleck is so hot. 4 stars
4/04/00 The Ronin Damn Good Movie 5 stars
3/21/00 Laura i enjoyed the twists 4 stars
3/18/00 Lame-Oh not bad, but Fight Club was better 3 stars
3/14/00 Mortis Full of twist, visually excellent, pacing was great, Ben's great, he's actings improvbe big 4 stars
3/13/00 Aurora Great fun! Ben Affleck does a great job! 5 stars
3/12/00 Malbert Cool ending&Ben Affleck keep this movie from being completely horrible 2 stars
3/08/00 Fork Story? Hmm? The characters all thrown together were entertaining. And somehow fun to me. 4 stars
3/04/00 jake Charlize is quite possabily the world's WORST actress!!!! GAWD she sucked donkey balls!!!! 1 stars
3/01/00 PhilmPhreak More holes than a pound of swiss. 3 stars
3/01/00 Ben Ryan Think Ben Affleck was in his element here. Overall good plot, geez, too much fucking snow! 5 stars
3/01/00 NC Lightweight affable Affleck meets over-the-top psycho Sinise via dull babe Theron. Yawn. 1 stars
2/28/00 "Cracka 577" it sucked fat ass 1 stars
2/27/00 TimmyToday This was trying to be a comedy 1 stars
2/27/00 Michelle Excellent movie with an excellent cast! I don't usually like actions, but this one was A+ 5 stars
2/26/00 Kathy Fast paced and entertaining - nice ass 4 stars
2/19/00 Andi C. Good plot..entertaining 3 stars
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  25-Feb-2000 (R)


  05-Oct-2000 (MA)

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