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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.96%
Worth A Look48.15%
Average: 25.93%
Pretty Bad: 1.48%
Total Crap: 1.48%

13 reviews, 57 user ratings

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Boiler Room
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by Chris Parry

"This generation's Wall Street is a pale imitation."
3 stars

Boiler Room is like a fourteen year old schoolyard bully being dragged out on a visit to grandma. It wants so bad to be tough and macho and alpha male and Gordon Gecko in a more modern suit, but it can't help the fact that it's stuck in a world of lacework and flowers and furniture that's too clean. In short, Boiler Room is a tough guy flick dressed up in cliche and bad romance and simple solutions to intricate problems.

Giovanni Rbisi is Seth, a too-smart kid running a casino for college kids out of his house. Late one night some local share hustlers wander in and tell him he's wasting his time and could make a fortune selling shares with them. So Seth goes for a look, and before you know it, poor unknowing Seth is falling prey to the kind of sales pitch we've all heard when we turned up for one of those jobs advertised in the newspaper that say, "Make a million in six months, no selling required!"

Seth gets sucked in to the Boiler Room, a place for share-selling hacks who telemarket their wares with no regard to whether there's a profit for the end user or not.

"Your parents will hate what you do... well fuck mom and dad!" says Ben Affleck, in a speech that has so many 'fucks' in it that it fuckin' sounds like it was fuckin' written by a fuckin' teenager, fucker.

And that's the problem here. Wall Street, which this film dearly wants to be, was written by a writer. This film was written by the director. And the director eneded up with the kind of ending that just smacks of 'studio re-cut'. How do I know? Because I read the damn script, and the ending to what I read was way different to what I just watched. In fact, the original ending was included in the DVD! Original ending - a little dark. New ending? Hmm, let's just call it the result of test screening focus groups.

Rbisi is pretty damn awful, but he's better than he usually is. Some might liken this to masturbating with a cheese grater instead of a chainsaw, but let's be thankful for small mercies. The one scene that comes over real cringe inducing is his big "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?!" showdown with his dad, which has all the realism of a female stripper with an Adams Apple, and about as much appeal for the alpha male's this flick seeks to bring into the theater.

Supporting Mr Rbisi is a cavalcade of formerly teenage bit players, from Scott "I'm 5'5" but don't mess with me cos I'm cut" Caan, to Jamie "not aging well" Kennedy, to Nicky "not Vinnie D'Onofrio" Katt, to the ever wooden Tom Everett Scott. Best of the bunch is Vin Diesel, not because he's overpoweringly great, but just because he doth not suck.

Vin's got a great presence in everything he's in, and even though he's delivering lines of pure fluff here, you don't mind because he's Vin, thus he's cool. With lines of such substance as "why don't you go back to little Italy" and "they should put all you people on an island," the pre-17 crowd will be chortling like hyenas, but if you've got the slightest bit of intellect about you, a lot of this garbola will pass you by without so much as a twitter.

I'm not saying Boiler Room is unwatchable. Far from it, it's a decent enough flick that will get you through a bored tuesday night during the baseball off-season, but a lot of people seem to lump praise on it for having a few big man's man speeches and a couple of flashy cars. There's nobody here that anyone could feel any sympathy for, let alone any kind of empathy for, and the one guy in the whole flick who rally does a good job in promoting some audience feeling for him, is the one guy who gets screwed so badly throughout that the director felt the need to give a "but we looked after the whipping boy" ending.

All in all, maybe I expect more from a movie. Maybe I expected more from this one because the setting is pretty unique and the opportunity for some kick ass dialogue was rife throughout. But what I expected never came, and in the final wash, I was unmoved by anything I saw, including the site of Giovanni Rbisi's forehead vein bursting through his skin as he tried to pull off 'the angst of unrequited paternal love'. Wall Street has legs. It still works its magic. But Boiler Room will be quickly forgotten. It just doesn't have the stuff.

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originally posted: 11/25/01 20:11:17
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell wall street 4 generation x 4 stars
6/10/06 William Goss 118 ways to sell bullshit and be a yuppie asshole. Meh. 3 stars
5/01/06 R.W.Welch Maybe a tad overdone but at least it's off the beaten path. 4 stars
12/14/05 Indrid Cold Cheesy but good ripoff of "Glengarry" and "Wall Street", both of which it quotes openly. 4 stars
4/18/05 Vince Ribisi totally rocked in this. All in all a solid effort, worth seeing. 4 stars
3/20/05 Tay Great film 4 stars
7/30/04 M If it wasnt for Vin this movie would go down hill.... fast! 4 stars
6/23/04 eivind it's good 4 stars
6/21/04 Rock Hound convinced me to open my own casino 3 stars
5/21/04 Sales God A fresh spin on an old idea. yeah its derivitive but well acted and executed (except Affle 4 stars
4/23/04 sealy Film was great, very fast, great stuff. Could have had more of a ending. 5 stars
2/22/04 s smith Premise is skewed, but characterizations are strong, sad thinly veiled lives. 4 stars
12/25/03 breadman DON"T pitch the bitch. I don't care if Nancy Sinatra calls. 5 stars
12/25/03 Tiffani Boiler Room is cool. It's Just so cool....The testosterone flows beautifully 5 stars
10/14/03 PJ Ribisi is the shit quit bangin on this film, great work by Ben Younger 5 stars
6/16/03 Boiler room guy I wish there were more movies like this. So real and yet not overdone 5 stars
6/09/03 R.W. Welch Stock scam pic has an authentic feel to it and is adeptly acted. Sort of educational too. 4 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty involving until it piles on the contrivances. Vin Diesel is a standout. 2 stars
11/26/02 Stephen X - EXCELLENT - X 5 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 The way they inserted Wall Street into the film revealed its roots, but it was good anyway. 4 stars
9/04/02 movie guy A GREAT FILM 5 stars
7/27/02 Matt Crav Fuck Vin. Well, hes awesome, but Ribisi is great. Inspirational flick. This movie is great. 5 stars
7/10/02 Interrog8 Great film! Provides a genuine look at the late-90's stock market greed 5 stars
2/19/02 alicia morris any movie with vin in it is worth watching! 4 stars
1/30/02 jessica fowler it's my favorite movie...great acting by everyone! 5 stars
1/18/02 Chrisaidis Georgia It was really cool, not to say for Vin Diesel he is really sexy. 4 stars
11/27/01 Kathleen Greene The only thing that makes this movie viewable is VIN DIESEL. 4 stars
11/25/01 Senor Pescolido Ya know, i really wanted to like it, but it was far too clean and cliche. 3 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Vin and Ben were hot. The part where they were watching "Wall Street" was stupid. 3 stars
7/31/01 Robert Vin is the man 5 stars
7/15/01 NasTKasT My Favorite Flic of ALL Time. Very pimp movie! 5 stars
6/30/01 such a good movie, def worth watching :) 4 stars
6/17/01 Dominique Dixon Parts with Vin Deisel in it were the only ones worth looking at. Racist jokes sucked!!! 4 stars
3/23/01 Yanick Forget Very good movie, great acting. 5 stars
3/16/01 Gideon If you dont see it you are missing out on a tight ass movie! 5 stars
2/28/01 Soggy Bottom Boy All the ingredients are there: good concept, great actors; they could have done more w/it. 3 stars
2/20/01 joh rich, young white guys use the word fuck a lot. Deisel is a damn cool actor 4 stars
10/31/00 Matt Redmond You do not deserve to review movies. 5 stars
10/05/00 Jed An alright movie funny though a bit laughable. 4 stars
10/02/00 Robin Hot men in suits! Ben Affleck is a major ++++ 5 stars
9/26/00 Sully Ben Affleck is the worst actor of our generation. movie starts fine, ends terrible. 3 stars
9/02/00 jetcat repulsive display of greed and too-skinny men; compelling nonetheless 4 stars
8/02/00 Jed I may need a 2nd viewing but overall it was alright. 3 stars
7/28/00 Davis Intelligent, doesn't pull any punches. Ribisi is a perfect hero. Best Movie of the Year 5 stars
7/18/00 Monday Morning Great drama with comic balance, outstanding characters & dialogue. Ribisi bugged me, tho'. 4 stars
3/24/00 malcolm Nia Long was worth price of admission. Diesel and Affleck kicked ass. 4 stars
3/13/00 Chartsy Giovanni, you've come a long way since My Two Dads, baby! 5 stars
3/13/00 Jim NOT relevant to today's stock market: Internet, online, Wall St. Ben shot cameos in 1 day. 1 stars
3/04/00 jill Ben Affleck can suck my ass. 1 stars
2/27/00 Malbert Pretty cool, I liked it a lot 4 stars
2/25/00 Ben Ryan Worth watching just so you can see the stupidity. 2 stars
2/25/00 Allan Vogt Filthiest soundtrack ever. The secretary was worth the $9.50. Good audience interaction. 3 stars
2/23/00 Charles "Fight Club" in reverse. Loved the secretary! 3 stars
2/22/00 Alexis good acting and a plot that moved along at a brisk pace 5 stars
2/21/00 Jason Kallelis Damn good! Good acting and the plot can suck you in. 4 stars
2/20/00 frank some quality acting, but an average story line 3 stars
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  18-Feb-2000 (R)
  DVD: 04-Mar-2014

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