Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.


Review by Chris Maitland

Going in, I had very little knowledge about the true story of the people that 21 was based upon.  After watching it, however, the mere fact that IS based on a true story is simply mind-blowing.  I have heard people say that it is not true to the book, and is a complete stretch from what actually occurred; but true or not, 21 is one hell of a ride.

First off, I can say with complete confidence that Jim Sturgess is going to be a star. He portrayal as lead character Ben Campbell is astonishing. This is the first film I have seen him in, but in the future I will definitely be checking out his other work. Watching his character transform from soft-spoken math genius to a high-rolling blackjack card-counting machine is just great.  He makes the film work so well.  Additionally, as one would expect, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne brought their top-notch acting to the film. The actors drive the film to the next level along with the engaging storyline and stunning Las Vegas setting.

This film also really brought a new light on the game of blackjack.  Given how much the game of poker has been showcased recently, in movies, on television, etc., it’s almost like the classic game of chance has been thrust into the background.  You should definitely leave the theater with a newfound interest for the game of blackjack, because what these kids were able to get away with (money-wise) is nothing short of remarkable.

Overall if you want a solid, well-acted (with the exception of Kate Bosworth, who has done much better), engaging drama, than this is it. I had a great time watching this film and I think you will as well.  A must-see for all the people that read the book, or even with an interest in the game of blackjack.

4/5 Stars      

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