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Boiler Room (2000)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 66 | Rotten: 33

Its ending is disappointingly tidy, but Boiler Room boasts just enough sharp writing and brisk pacing to make getting there worthwhile.

77

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 5

Its ending is disappointingly tidy, but Boiler Room boasts just enough sharp writing and brisk pacing to make getting there worthwhile.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 46,251

My Rating

Movie Info

In this drama that explores greed and corruption in American business, Giovanni Ribisi plays Seth Davis, an intelligent and ambitious college dropout who runs a casino in his apartment. Eager to show his father that he can succeed, Seth lands a job with a small stock brokerage firm. He is given a space in the company's "boiler room," where he makes cold calls to prospective clients. As it turns out, Seth has a genuine talent for cold calling, which gains him the approval of his superiors, the

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Ben Younger

Jul 11, 2000

New Line Home Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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Cast

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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (33) | DVD (21)

Turns of dialogue ring compellingly true, and the well chosen cast (especially Ribisi) carry the inflections of the drama with some style.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To put the movie in sales terms, after a good opening pitch, Younger fails to close the deal. The audience can't buy in.

March 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Ben Younger experienced the sales pitch of a boiler room recruiter in real life. His fascination with the thrill-junkie life of these stock jocks is reflected in the script's sharp, arrogant dialogue.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

During the movie I was wound up with tension and involvement.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Younger draws a lot from David Mamet in his depictions of this seller's hothouse, but he does it with a twist: The salesmen here are fully conscious of being Mamet-y; their bible is Alec Baldwin's big, win-at-all-costs speech from...Glengarry Glen Ross.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fast and funny look at a world where 'greed is good' has become the only reality in town.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stars a host of actors that have offered so much better in past and future films...

February 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Good but mature movie. Not for kids.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Almost liked this one about greedy, young stockbrokers working for an illegal firm, but hated the ending so much it derailed the movie.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

...bad films are common enough that it's probably worth making distinctions between the unwatchable and the guilty pleasure.

October 29, 2007 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A skillful and convincing rise-and-fall story.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A confident movie that tackles a worthwhile topic with insight and conviction.

January 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

I'm sold.

January 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Ribisi does a fine job opposite a typically goofy Jaime Kennedy, a typically sociopathic Scott Cann, and a surprisingly likeable Vin Diesel.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Affleck's first scene is obviously a copy of Alec Baldwin's Oscar worthy cameo from GlenGarry, the only problem being the glaring omission of any acting talent in Affleck's limited repertoire.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Vin Diesel steals nearly every scene he is in as Chris, one of the top earners in the firm and the only one who still has a heart.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

An engaging actors' showcase wrapped around a warm and fuzzy morality play. Entertaining and fast-paced but ultimately not wound quite tightly enough to be the thriller it would like to be.

July 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Boiler Room is a new kind of triumph: never has a film been so successfully derivative.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

Ribisi is magnificent as a wide-eyed innocent who transitions into a slick veteran pitchman.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Ben Younger, who not only wrote and directed this film, but plays a minor part as one of the traders, has crafted an intense thriller about this often risky business.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Although Boiler Room occasionally feels more like a 60 Minutes expose than a movie, it adds up to a highly watchable, entertaining (though extremely profane) cautionary tale.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Boiler Room grips you early, with its fascinating insights and Younger's appropriation of hip hop music and his snappy, jump-cut-y visual style, and it hardly ever let go.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Perhaps in an attempt to ape David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross," Younger's script is proudly profane and goes out of its way to make almost all the major characters thoroughly unpleasant. But Mamet's work had real bite and fire...

June 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Boiler Room's greatest strength is its energy level. Every scene clips along at the pace and energy level of the world in which it's set.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Boiler Room

Good screenplay and good actings.
February 12, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Illegal stock trading, Gekko style, reheated with a young cast. Noteworthy performances by Ribisi, Long, Affleck and Rifkin carry a rough script and direction that favors lots of jump cuts.
May 24, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

fun B-movie material
September 18, 2010
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

"There is no question whether or not you'll become a millionaire here. The only question is how many times over."

Quite frankly, I expected this to be absolute crap. I'm not much of a fan any of the cast, I'm not familiar with the director, and the premise sounded like a bad television movie. But Boiler Room turned out to be a fairly entertaining Gen-X spin on flashy, corrupt stockbrokers.

The main character Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) is a smart guy, but college isn't really for him. He drops out to run a successful illegal casino from his apartment. But when an old friend offers him an opportunity to work for a lesser known, maverick trading company, Seth jumps at the chance to make a lot of money legitimately, and possibly repair his strained relationship with his father, as a result. But, while Seth's natural talent for selling makes him a rising star at the firm, he slowly finds out that his new employer may not be quite so legitimate, after all.

The story is pretty ridiculous, and it's portrayal of stock trading is more entertaining than realistic. But hey, it's a movie, not a documentary. The supposed party-lives of the hotshot young brokers are a little over the top (shooting dice, really?), and the relationship between Seth and Abby (Nia Long) is undercooked and seems to not have much significance within the plot, but his interactions with his stern, disapproving father (Ron Rifkin) are much more resonant.

Boiler Room name-checks Glengarry Glen Ross and Wall Street, but it's not quite up to the challenge of being a more recent version of those movies. It is a decent rise-and-fall kind of flick, though, and when it plays fast and loose with its subject matter, it all sort of works.
August 9, 2010
lewiskendell

Super Reviewer

    1. Jim Young: Jim Young: Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn't fucking have any.
    – Submitted by Howie S (3 years ago)
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