The Gambler

THE GAMBLERThe Gambler 2014

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

Also directed: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larsen, Jessica Lange, John Goodman

I saw The Gambler at a fancy AMC theater in Topeka, Kansas, with my brother, dad, and two of my uncles after Christmas lunch. The movie watching experience was humorous to me because this side of my family likes films starring actors like Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis. I know they chose to go see this film because they thought it was about the kind of gambler that always wins in a Hollywood-esque fashion. About a quarter through the film, it became very clear it was the opposite of this kind of film. A film about addiction, gambling specifically, destroying Jim’s (Mark Wahlberg) life. Personally, I knew I would enjoy this film when I saw that Brie Larson was on the playbill. She brings a sense of being grounded to all of her roles and all of her films. The film was shot beautifully in LA locations with the most LA of actors (Wahlberg, Lange, Goodman). Yet, trying to talk about the deep, underlying issues of our capitalist and materialist culture. Having Wahlberg play a literature professor who believed he was telling truths of the world was enjoyable in moments, but mostly unbelievable. Charming, but unbelievable. That’s how I would classify the film as a whole. I appreciated it most of all for not being the typical action-packed flick I was expecting it to be.

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