Gambling thriller comes up trumps
Maths gets exciting as a team of number geniuses take on the Las Vegas casinos to cheat their way to a fortune
THIS FASCINATING fact-inspired thriller (adapted from Ben Mezrich’s book Bringing Down the House) centres on genius maths student Ben (Jim Sturgess), who is recruited by Kevin Spacey’s devious professor Micky Rosa to join a team of gifted students who use their number skills to win fortunes at Las Vegas casinos.
Until, that is, they run into painful trouble from the truly menacing security chief Williams (Laurence Fishburne).
There are some enjoyable twists, and acute casting of the young gamblers adds to the considerable enter- tainment value of Robert Luketic’s well paced, suspenseful direction. Best of all, back-on-form Spacey makes a splendidly skewed villain.
LEATHERHEADS ( PG)
WISE-CRACKING CHICAGO newspaper journalist Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger) is assigned to investigate t oo- g ood- t o- be t r ue World War One heroturned-college football idol Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski) who is signed by fellow football hero Dodge Connolly (George Clooney) to save his failing team. Naturally both men make a play for Lexie.
Clooney, who doubles as director, stages some exciting football sequences, but, hampered by the lumpen screenplay, he mostly fails to revive the spirit of vintage 1930s screwball comedies. While there is some obvious slapstick, there is sadly little of the genre’s witty repartee.
SHINE A LIGHT (12A)
THIS CONCERT movie is guaranteed to please Rolling Stones fans, who will love the vivid coverage of the band’s recent concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, interspersed with flashbacks to past interviews, notably one showing Mick Jagger speaking in an upperclass English accent rather than his more usual mockney. Given all four of the Stones — Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood — are now eligible for bus passes, their on-stage energy is remarkable.
And, of course, since Martin Scorsese directs the documentary, Shine a Light should also light up the lives of auteuradmiring movie buffs.
In truth, the film owes much of its success to the work of its many magnificent cinematographers, first-rate sound crew and, above all, to editor David Tedeschi for his impressive melding of individual shots into a seamless whole.
Kate Bosworth tries to beat the odds in