1998 | Film Noir | 94 minutes | English
Set in London, Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere. Jack’s father gets him a job as a croupier in a casino. Jack grew up in South Africa learning the casino business from his father so he is readily hired. And he’s good. However this causes friction with his live-in girlfriend, Marion, who prefers Jack focus on his writing. One gambler, Jani de Villiers, seduces Jack after hours and convinces him to take part in a planned casino holdup. Jack will be well compensated for his role in the holdup and he accepts. The holdup is botched but Jack gathered enough material during this time to complete his novel. It becomes a success. Jack has money but the casino continues to be his life: He continues to work as a croupier and living in his basement flat.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 96%
- Metacritic Score: 75
National Board of Review: Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
Edgar Allan Poe Awards: Nominated, Best Picture
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The movie knows its way around casinos and particularly observes how the dealers, with their strange and surreal jobs, tend to date one another instead of outsiders. The movie also notices what complete indifference the dealers have for their gamblers: Whether they win or lose.
Even while wearing the poker face that is an occupational necessity for his juicy title role, Clive Owens conveys a sharp, cynical intelligence that rolls off the screen in waves whenever he widens his glittering blue eyes. More than just a smoothly plotted casino-based thriller with a surprise ending, CROUPIER is a breezy meditation on life as a game of chance.
Cool and hypnotic, the British sleeper, CROUPIER, is a reminder that movies don’t have to wave their arms and scream to hold our interest. Stillness can be as riveting as frantic activity.
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