Total Film - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] some scene-stealing from producer Spacey that's a lesson in larceny all by itself."
USA Today - 03/28/2008
"It has some strong performances, most notably by Jim Sturgess, Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey..."
Rolling Stone - 04/03/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "[I]t's a kick to watch Spacey and a gifted young cast use smarts to deal audiences a winning hand."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/04/2008
"[A] clever and novel card-sharp thriller....21 has enough good twists to keep jolting ahead." -- Grade: B
Empire - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "Luketic places the film in capable hands with his two leads. Bosworth is sweetly determined....Spacey is clearly enjoying himself immensely..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2008
"[A] film that offers viewers the thrill of breaking the bank at Las Vegas....Blown up on the big screen, 21 succeeds....Clearly a fascinating story."
Inspired by a true story, 21 mixes Las Vegas casino wheeling and dealing with college-kid angst: think OCEAN'S ELEVEN via THE PAPER CHASE. Kevin Spacey is crafty MIT professor Micky Rosa, who trains brainiac students to count cards and then flies them out to Vegas to raid the blackjack tables between classes. At first they rake in a bundle, but then catch the unwanted attention of tough-guy security chief, Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne) who wants to prove himself before he's replaced by face recognition software. Super math genius Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) originally joins the ring in order to come up with the $300,000 he needs for tuition money, but he's also gaga over the ring's resident babe, Jill (Kate Bosworth). When he finds out Professor Rosa hasn't been dealing entirely from a straight deck, Ben's high-end shopping spree dreams turn sour (though card counting is not illegal) and the battle of wits is on, no second chances given. Spacey is in his preternaturally calm, morally compromised element, stealing scenes left and right; Fishburne brings the hangdog depth; and everything bubbles over the 24-karat rocks, courtesy of director Robert Luketic (LEGALLY BLONDE). 21 is based on the bestseller BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE by Ben Mezrich.
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
Inspired by the true story of MIT students who mastered the art of card counting and took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. Looking for a way to pay for tuition, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) finds himself quietly recruited by MIT's most gifted students in a daring plot to break Vegas. With the help of a brilliant statistics professor (Kevin Spacey) and armed with fake IDs, intelligence and a complicated system of counting cards, Ben and his friends succeed in breaking the impenetrable casinos. Now, his challenge is keeping the numbers straight and staying one step ahead of the casinos before it all spirals out of control.
Theatrical Release |