New York Times - 02/08/2003
"...A tribute to the gritty character actor mojo represented not only by Mr. Walken but also by Chazz Palminteri and Rod Steiger in one of his last film roles..."
Box Office - 04/01/2003
"...As a patchwork of some very fine scenes with some terrific acting by some of Hollywood's talented veterans, the movie succeeds..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/28/2003
"...POOLHALL JUNKIES has big moments of inspiration....It has movie-fan moments..."
Quoting from a score of tough-guy classics like THE HUSTLER, MEAN STREETS, and ON THE WATERFRONT, Mars Callahan writes, directs, and stars in this saga of pool and redemption. Johnny (Callahan) is a natural ace player held back from the pro circuit by his greedy mentor Joe (Chazz Palminteri), who wants to keep him hustling in smoky pool halls. At the encouragement of his law student girlfriend (Alison Eastwood), Johnny tries to go straight. Of course he has a kid brother (Michael Rosenbaum) who idealizes him in all the wrong ways; when he winds up in big trouble, only Johnny can bail him out by going back to the life he left behind. Christopher Walken shows up and steals the show as a strange lawyer who bankrolls Johnny against Joe in the big game climax. Rick Schroder plays the pro Johnny must beat to save the day; Rod Steiger is the hall's grizzled proprietor.
POOLHALL JUNKIES is a lot of fun. Callahan's infectious love of the game shines through in every spectacular shot and Walken is at his bizzaro best. Fans of the films Callahan emulates should appreciate his heartfelt homage to cinematic coolness.
Theatrical Release Date: February 28, 2003 (NY/LA)