I have a thing for movies centered on high stakes gambling. Movies like Casino Royale or 21 make me want to go home and master poker or blackjack. So when I saw the trailer for the Gambler, my interest was immediately piqued.
This film artfully follows the story of Jim Bennet (Walberg) and all the issues that arise from his gambling addiction. He’s a college professor by day, but has his real fun after classes are over. He finds himself mixed up with men like Neville Barraka (Williams) and Frank (Goodman) which are just a couple of the awful decisions you see Walberg’s character make.
When you see this movie, you’ll spend most of your time cringing over the amounts of money Bennet is risking. The Gambler does a great job of mimicking the real highs and lows of any level of gambling. You’ll see the effects it could have on one’s family and career. Although there was great acting and I loved the way everything was shot, nothing here was groundbreaking or in any way above or outside of my expectations.
Go into the Gambler to see great gambling action, interesting performances by Mark Walberg, John Goodman and Michael Kenneth Williams and a satisfying story. It’s good, but not great and doesn’t particularly require a theatre viewing.