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Croupier (1998)

Cast: Clive Owen, Clive Owen, Kate Hardie, more...
Director: Mike Hodges, Mike Hodges
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Independent, British Drama, Neo Noir, Crime, UK
Running Time: 94 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

A man finds his personal and professional loyalties divides by his new career at a casino in this crime drama. Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is a cocky, supremely confident man who wants to be a writer. Jack's long struggle to finish his first novel has landed him deep in debt, and his father (Nicholas Ball) volunteers to get him a job in a casino in London. While Jack doesn't gamble himself, he has the dexterity (and enough contempt for the game) to be a good dealer. He's soon making a tidy living as a dealer, despite the objections of his girlfriend, Marion (Gina McKee), who thinks his job is taking him away from his true calling as a writer. Against the orders of his boss, Jack has a fling with Bella (Kate Hardie), another dealer at the casino, and allows himself to be seduced by one of his customers, Jani (Alex Kingston). However, it turns out Jani wants more than sex from Jack; she and her compatriots have a plan to rob the casino and they want Jack to be their man on the inside. Croupier was directed by Mike Hodges, whose first film was the classic British thriller Get Carter. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Get Carter
Not to be confused with the crappy Stallone version, this enthralling 1971 Michel Caine thriller was Mike Hodges' first feature

House of Games
David Mamet explores the psychology of gambling in this noirish thriller

GreenCine Member Reviews

Sneaks up on you. by HNewman August 20, 2007 - 4:15 PM PDT
Yeah, again meta-film story within a story. . . so you have to follow closely. . . but Clive Owen is a very good actor. Obviously made for Brit. tv, but still better than most you'd see on US tv. A little kick in the ass at the end, but if you've got half a brain you've guessed it. . . still good though.

Too dated to be good? by Biehlanphear July 17, 2007 - 12:17 PM PDT
The story of Croupier is sharp and sometimes tense, but everything else about the film is so dated, it's hard to watch and keep a straight face. From Clive Owen's blond hair and NKOTB hat and suspenders to the smirky attitudes, this movie seems like it was made 10 years earlier than it claims. Is this a surprise from the director of Flash Gordon? The story is good, though. I think it's ripe for a remake ala Jacques Audiard's "The Beat That My Heart Skipped"

You have to make a choice in life: Be a gambler or a croupier. by Misshaped May 25, 2004 - 6:33 PM PDT
13 out of 14 members found this review helpful
The stone faced Jack Manfred lies through his teeth with a cold and calculated stare, and as a viewer I am never quite sure what to believe about him. A very interesting backstory is hinted throughout this film and the plot is fluid enough to go in any direction. Jack swears he doesn't gamble yet he manupulates chips and cards like an expert card sharp. Is he writing a book and taking the job as a croupier to be a more authentic author or is he just doing this to be part of the world of gambling? His father claims riches and success yet he mixes drinks at a poolside bar. Does Jack love his girlfriend, or the fellow dealer he works with at the casino, or the South African punter he meets in the casino?

I'm not sure we'll ever know if he's honest Jack or his alter ego Jake hiding behind his cards. It's never easy to know with an unreliable narrator, but I stopped worrying about it when I allowed myself to be enveloped by this most stylish and sexy movie.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.10)
449 Votes
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