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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15%
Average: 15%
Pretty Bad: 15%
Total Crap: 5%

2 reviews, 28 user ratings

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High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"Amateur Scorsese."
2 stars

Mostly broken into flashbacks starting from pre-pubescence, recounted in a dank motel room to a stranger, Stu “the Kid” Ungar is forced to confront the past that brought him to a rise and repeated falls with gambling, among other problems.

Undeniably influenced by Martin Scorsese and GoodFellas and Casino, the movie plays into the obsessions and tawdry side of Vegas (though it begins elsewhere), but never manages to gain an identity of its own. Director A.W. Vidmer can competently direct a motion picture that feels like a movie, even if it has a third or fourth generation quality feel to it. That does not mean, however, that Stuey sails smoothly; the storytelling drones on, details are hit-or-miss, clear-or-haze, the pace meanders, and the net gain at the movie’s end — whether or not it’s based on a true story — is minimal. Apart from the biographical treatment, there is little to learn or observe that has not been better mastered and filmed on previous occasion. For the most part, when Michael Imperioli takes over as the adult Stu, the stakes are raised to a higher end of a low scale, but lack the effect of this year’s Owning Mahowny.

[See it if you must.]

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/28/03 23:38:53
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2003 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/19/15 Dr Brian Sullivan b Been there and owe my life to GA! 4 stars
8/28/08 Alison I really enjoyed this movie and the acting! Heartbreaking ending had me in tears... 5 stars
4/28/06 Joel Matthew My Number 1 5 stars
12/02/05 Johnny 'Godfather' pay attention to the story, you realize how great this movie is. sorry its not ROUDNERS 5 stars
10/29/05 tank abbott this movie was a great insight into a toubled but great man . R.I.P 5 stars
8/22/05 Louie Good movie, but is it all true? 4 stars
7/26/05 E-man Rounders was fantasi, This was reality! a verry good movie! 5 stars
5/05/05 joe great movie for poker fans 4 stars
5/03/05 Drew Brass This movie was terrible, and anyone who says otherwise hasn't seen Rounders. 1 stars
3/27/05 malcolm mainly for poker fans, which i am. most others probably won't like it. 4 stars
2/18/05 BLAKE MADDEN Bad acting, awfu script, bad music. We want Stu Ungar, not Stu Soprano 1 stars
2/09/05 Brian Scott The amazing part of this flick is that for an indie there was not one amateur performance 4 stars
2/02/05 Marc Jacobs scared me so, I WATCHED MYSELF LIKE STU 5 stars
12/22/04 Rene Crowell A moving story well done 4 stars
6/01/04 Jon Unexpected big-budget feel to this independent - New Line was right to pick it up! 5 stars
1/12/04 john the best 5 stars
1/12/04 Sam the Sham Must See........ 5 stars
10/14/03 Janet Meek A must see 5 stars
8/22/03 Rob Joseph Better than CASINO!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/31/03 Robin Loeppke I've seen this film several times and have enjoyed it more each time I've seen it. 5 stars
7/29/03 Beth Compelling characters and story captivated audience throughout the film. 5 stars
7/26/03 Sue Wolford total entertainment from start to finish 5 stars
7/26/03 Graceann Hess Fantastic 5 stars
7/26/03 Phillip Bernstein Imperioli was AMAZING 5 stars
7/25/03 Mark Provocative, thoughtful... loved it! 5 stars
7/25/03 Bob Hess Imperioli's performance is remarkable 5 stars
7/25/03 Katy Hess an awesomely BIG film for an indie... 5 stars
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  20-Jul-2003 (R)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005



Directed by
  A.W. Vidmer

Written by
  A.W. Vidmer

  Michael Imperioli
  Renee Faia
  Michael Nouri
  Joe La Due
  Steve Schirripa
  Pat Morita

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