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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 40.54%
Average: 2.7%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 25 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Eminently cool."
4 stars

As Jack Manfred, the suave, jagged-faced casino dealer at the center of "Croupier," actor Clive Owen proves to be powerfully unflappable -- a working-stiff James Bond, whose understated intensity draws you into the movie and refuses to let you leave.

Jack is an aspiring novelist, and he narrates the film in the third person, as though "Croupier" were his novel. In fact, he takes the job at the London casino primarily because he wants to find material for a novel, and he soon finds the line between himself and the fictional (but autobiographical) Jake increasingly blurred.

Jack, for example, would never break the casino's strict policies against fraternizing with fellow croupiers, or with gamblers in a non-casino setting. Jake, however, eventually does both, carrying on with the plain-looking Bella (Kate Hardie) and the apparently-rich patron Jani (Alex Kingston) -- all to the distress of his girlfriend, Marion (Gina McKee), who is upset by his strange working hours and unsettling devotion to what was supposed to be a temporary job.

It's not temporary, though: Jack is as addicted to watching people gamble as some people are to gambling. The extraordinary odds, the faces on the losers, the way they keep coming back for more -- all of it is fascinating to Jack, whose keen eye for observing human nature sees this world as just the thing for his novel.

The plot thickens when Jani approaches Jack with a proposition to help her get out of a major gambling debt by letting some of her friends rob the casino. To say any more than that would be to spoil things, but I will say that there are twists and surprises in store in this very moody, engaging film. Nothing on the order of "Sixth Sense," and nothing completely ridiculous; just some nice, eyebrow-raising developments that keep you interested in what is an engrossing movie to begin with.

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originally posted: 07/03/03 17:20:21
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User Comments

7/12/05 Tom Benton Expertly-directed, with an intelligent, interesting script; Owen is terrific. 5 stars
11/02/04 Shams Huque Clive Owen for Bond! 5 stars
6/12/03 Dead Ringers FX Rule! This guy is the next James Bond!!!!! 4 stars
4/20/03 Dillon Clive baby, stay w/stuff like this, pls. don't go 'Hollywood' on us! Great stuff here! 5 stars
10/10/02 Kia This movie rocks. Cliive and my homey Alex Kingston are awesome. 5 stars
8/07/02 I Can't Swim Clive owns the screen; great movie, great characters, great voice-over too! 5 stars
3/08/02 Tim v. L. your betts please??? gives me a new look at my job. 5 stars
10/13/01 Bevan R. Clark I've never been so transfixed by a roulette wheel in all my life 4 stars
7/31/01 Elvisfan Clive is perfectly cast in this moody and satisfying flick..good job 5 stars
7/30/01 The Bomb 69 interesting look at the life of casinoes and gambling, I was confused on a few parts tho 5 stars
5/07/01 Belinda Why isnt there more stuff like this around? 4 stars
4/26/01 Aiken Drum I can't quite give it 5 stars, its mighty close but. An enjoyable watch. 4 stars
4/24/01 Pierce Lanson Stunning surprising and sensational. Best movie of '01 5 stars
4/11/01 J.Arcane So that's 3 decent films Hodges has directed in the space of about 30 years. 4 stars
3/27/01 Monday Morning Fresh approach, good story, thoughtfully done. Much better than the usual shite. 4 stars
3/14/01 Bionic Booger First film in awhile where women get treated like shit and don't get a comback.I like. 5 stars
1/07/01 kyle most satisfying film of 2000 5 stars
9/17/00 JB This film is number good damn one this year and many ways :-) 5 stars
8/17/00 Chris Blyth Very exciting, introspective, not at all cliche 5 stars
8/09/00 Martha McGowan Liked it a lot, but am confused about one incident 4 stars
7/23/00 contractor810 best and most underrated film of the year 5 stars
7/20/00 skye chapman liked it...alot. unexpected and original 4.5 4 stars
7/10/00 Andrea excellent, stylish, moody film 4 stars
7/10/00 D.C. Carnahan Interesting, but not all that. 3 stars
7/03/00 Roger Kint a masterpiece. Worth seeing again just for the soundtrack, and I don't mean music. Hit me 5 stars
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  21-Apr-2000 (R)
  DVD: 09-Mar-2004


  05-Apr-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Mike Hodges

Written by
  Paul Mayersberg

  Clive Owen
  Kate Hardie
  Alex Kingston
  Gina McKee
  Nicholas Ball
  Kate Fenwick

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