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

The Jewish Chronicle - - ARTS&BOOKS -

21 (15)

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.


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.


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

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