Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 31 min.
Our Advisories (1-10): Violence 5; Language 6; Sex/Nudity 3.
Our star rating (1-5): 1
For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain…
This escapist foray into the world of Internet gambling stars Justin Timberlake as Richie Furst, a grad student at Princeton University. His scholarship does not pay all his expenses, so he serves as a middleman between students and a gambling site. When the dean orders him to quit his gambling job, he takes out all of his savings and bets it all in the hope of winning enough money to finish college. He loses, but notices that the game was rigged. He hops on a plane for Costa Rica where he expects to confront Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the gambling tycoon who owns the site.
Block is impressed that he both did not go to the authority and that he has smarts, so he offers Richie a job as his runner. Richie enjoys the high living and beautiful girls that go with the job, especially Rebecca (Gemma Arterton). She seems to have been one of Ivan’s girls, but he does not object to Richie’s bedding her. There follows Richie’s discovery of Ivan’s many corrupt connections with government and police officials, as well as the arrival of FBI Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie), who tries to strong arm Richie into betraying Ivan. Richie also runs afoul of Ivan and the police, so he must figure how to stay alive and escape either a Costa Rican or an American jail. This is supposed to be one of those super clever plots, but I found very little believability in Richie’s solution. I was hoping for something better from director Brad Furman, who gave us the enjoyable The Lincoln Lawyer, so I do not recommend this for discussion—and as far as viewing it, wait for it to arrive on cable.