21: Stellar Cast Makes Vegas-Gambling Movie A Winner

21 (The Movie) is loosely based on Ben Mezrich’s bestseller, “Bringing Down the House.” Director Robert Luketic brings together an attractive cast that includes established Hollywood actors and some fresh new faces. Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and Laurence Fishburne deliver stellar performances that will leave you demanding a sequel.Jim Sturgess stars as Ben Campbell, a shy and intelligent MIT student with a lifelong ambition of attending Harvard Medical School. He has one problem though, his scholarship application was rejected and his $8 an hour job won’t cover his $300,000 tuition fee. What is a poor whiz kid college student to do? He is approached by Professor Micky Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey, and is introduced to the underground scene of counting cards. What is the plan? Take Las Vegas casinos by storm and bring home millions of dollars.

I am not too familiar with Sturgess’ acting career other than his role as George Boleyn in “The Other Boleyn Girl.” Regardless, it is apparent from the movie that Sturgess has the ability to connect with his character and really shined playing the role of Ben Campbell. I enjoyed his wit throughout the film and thought he remained humble. I am definitely looking forward to future movies starring Sturgess.

I am not the biggest fan of Kevin Spacey, who plays Professor Micky Rosa, but actually enjoyed his contributions to the film. Spacey has been around since the 1980s, but a recent role you might recall is the infamous Lex Luthor of Superman Returns. Spacey’s character, Micky, is a college professor and retired card counting expert. He decides to teach six exceptionally talented and smart group of college students the game of counting cards in order to earn millions. I loved Spacey’s dry humor and my favorite quote of the movie involves Rosa and Kianna, played by Liza Lapira.

Kianna: “Dude, I lost track 20 cards ago.”
Rosa: “Don’t call me dude!”

I adore Kate Bosworth and her ability to portray any character on the big screen. You might remember her as Lois Lane in the 2007 blockbuster “Superman Returns.” She has also starred in “Blue Crush” and “The Rules of Attractions.” Bosworth plays Jill Taylor, a cute and quirky student that has a knack for counting cards. She ultimately convinces Ben to join the team and the pair seems to be unstoppable.

I am not a big Blackjack fan, but I loved this movie. It is not just aimed at card playing fans but anyone that enjoys watching a drama with a solid plot and comedic scenes. The first part of the movie starts out strong with a few slow scenes, but quickly escalates to flashing lights and intense drama-filled gambling scenes. There are some obvious weak spots in the film and perhaps some scenes had no contribution to the main story line, but overall it was a great film.

I rate this movie a 5 out of 5. Fold em’ or go all in!

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