• R, 1 hr. 33 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Lori Petty
    In Theaters:
    Jun 20, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Aug 18, 2009
  • Phase 4 Films

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The Poker House Reviews

Page 1 of 8
YodaMasterJedi
YodaMasterJedi

Super Reviewer

April 26, 2013
two stars
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

February 9, 2010
Lust, drugs and violence... no place for a kid.

Good movie! Jennifer Lawrence gives a wonderful performance as the eldest daughter, Agnes who takes care of her two younger siblings. The Poker House is narrated by Agnes as she tries to deal with being 14 and living in a house where there is gambling, drugs, alcohol, and pimps. The story definitely pulls on the heart strings at times, but it does not overwhelm with sadness that it makes it hard to enjoy. It adds just the right amount of humor that three young girls can produce while being silly together. I honestly was shocked by how well the movie was produced and the character portrayal.

Actress-turned-filmmaker Lori Petty makes her feature directorial debut with this period drama starring Selma Blair, Bokeem Woodbine, and David Alan Grier. Set in 1976, THE POKER HOUSE explores a typical day in the life of a decidedly atypical teen named Agnes. Some folks have the luxury of living each day to the fullest, but for Agnes every day is a grueling struggle for survival: Her mother is strung out on drugs, her home has been overrun by degenerates, and her only father figure is a pimp. For Agnes and her two younger sisters, this particular day will be marked by both tragedy and triumph, but which will resonate most in the days and weeks to follow?
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

June 21, 2011
This is one movie that had GREAT potential, but became a victim of the editing chopping block maybe? There was so much here that seemed to be left out, not well explained, not well potrayed. What was here, however, was amazingly good. The young actresses were just wonderful, and the idea/style of the movie was compelling. Unfortunately, there just seemed to be so much missing to tie it all together....what a shame..
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

May 13, 2010
Watching the three girls is pure hell... but it gives you such a great feeling of hope. Of everything they have been through they are coping with their reality and making things better for themselves. Great job by Jennifer for her character. All I can really say is, "Kudos!" to Lori for giving us her story. Bold and beautiful...
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2010
CAST: Jennifer Laurence, Selma Blair, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Moretz, Sophia Bairley, David Allen Grier

DIRECTED BY: Lori Petty

SUMMARY: The film is a riveting portrait of poor, small town life in Iowa, circa 1976; reviving the spirit of Marvin Gaye, seedy bars, and the ever present allure of illicit activities and substances. Agnes, the oldest of three sisters lives with her drug addicted mother in the 'Poker House' - a brothel, drug Mecca and gambling oasis for local squatters.

MY THOUGHTS: Just very sad. I mean the pure hell those three girls go through. GREAT performances from Selma Blair, Jennifer Lawrence, Chloe Moretz, and Sophia Bairley. This true story is told in Agnes point of view and with commentary by her through out the film. The poetry is deep and gut wrenching. I loved the ending, if you can call it that. It felt like more of a beginning. A great film. Not one, of my Flixster friends have seen it. Hopefully some of you do.. Definitely a story worth hearing.
Mark A

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2010
The Poker House is a powerful film based on the true story of writer-director Lori Petty and featured a terrific performance by Jennifer Lawrence as Agnes, the 14 year-old daughter of a drug and drink addled woman (played by Selma Blair) who sells her body to buy more liquor. There is no food in the cupboards, and Agnes is left to run interference for her two younger sisters, while juggling two jobs and starring for her school's basketball team. As if all of this is not enough for a young girl to have to deal with, Agnes draws the attention of her mother's pimp, and is seduced by his charm. This is a dark film and is hard to stomach at times, but the acting by all is superb and there are some lighter moments that occasionally dispel the gloom. The wonder here is that anyone could endure such a horrible start in life and still wind up a functioning human being. One sees from this, that Jennifer Lawrence is no light weight. The girl has some acting chops!
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

December 20, 2012
Lori Petty's autobiographical directorial debut is a moving one, told in a very intimate way. The film revolves around the tumultuous 'home' life of three sisters, who are forced to confront drugs, prostitution, pimps, alcoholism, and degenerate gambling on a daily basis.

The story is told uniquely in that it follows each of the sisters interchangeably, from different narrative standpoints, and with different tones and styles. This works on some levels, as we see how each sister deals with her own situation, yet the film does occasionally feel disjointed from its other parts.

The acting is quite strong all around, with an especially moving performance by Jennifer Lawrence. It is her character's struggle, underscored by her amazing portrayal, that really elevates the film to a solid dramatic piece.

The one real issue with the film is the lack of concrete back-story. The plot is too confined with the current moment, and not enough attention is given to the overall big picture. We are left wanting to know more, how exactly did this situation come to be, and how did the people involved evolve to this point?

While not perfect, it's definitely worth watching, with a moving story at it's center.

3.5/5 Stars
Joey S

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2012
The script is pretty mediocre and the ending leaves a few questions unanswered, but this drama packs an emotional punch and a few very powerful scenes that make it a decent watch. It's not a great movie by any means, but it's good enough, and it's worth watching if only to hear Jennifer Lawrence and Chloe Moretz sing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" at the end.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2011
It becomes apparent very early on that Jennifer Lawrence has the wear-with-all to stick around as an actress for a long time coming. Her poise and delivery at such a young, inexperienced age rivals most adult actresses that I have witnessed. Chloe Moretz also outshines all the adults in this film and though I feel many of her best moments are happy accidents coming from a child, her talent cannot be denied.
Giovanni C

Super Reviewer

August 20, 2012
The Poker House was a great movie. I thought it had some great potential for it to be nearly perfect movie. I remembered seeing this movie on Showtime in 2011, and I didn't knew Jennifer Lawrence was in it, until I checked on Netflix to see what other movies she starred in before The Hunger Games (Which is a great movie).

This has got to be her best performance that I've ever experienced seeing from her. I wish I could go back in time and search this movie myself, so I could be a fan of her work as a teenager. Well after finishing this movie, it made me love her even more.

The plot talks about a 14 year old girl living with her mother, who's a drug addict, and a pimp, who appears to be her "father figure." She struggle to get out of there, in order to live in a happy, fufilling live, and she plans to take her two sisters with her, so they can be happy too. The story, although there were a little bitty flaws within it, was pretty interesting. While it's a gritty film, some of the segments here makes you want to feel good about yourself.

The dialogue were well-written, although there were some that either needed to be improved better, or it just needed more to flow better. Unless many of you agree with me, you don't have to take my word for it. Overall, I thought it had a great dialogue and monologues that get us to think.

I recommed this to any fan of Jennifer Lawrence. Even if you're not into gritty movies, this is really a must see. It wouldn't hurt to give this a chance, just to see Lawrence's earlier role.
December 13, 2011
This film is just about as disjointed as it can get with such a compelling story line. I'm not sure what happened, but what could have been a great movie just isn't. The story line is just too choppy and there was no real character or story development. I really wanted to like this film, but I just could not. I did enjoy some of the cinematography though, but again, not even that was cohesive.
jam233
August 12, 2009
Depressing, very well acted, but I never really found the story all that interesting and found myself a bit bored on more than one occasion. It is professionally done.
Andru E.
August 17, 2014
no me gustaron algunos personajes y algunas actuaciones medio chafas
June 6, 2014
A film that seems more real than I would like. Some parts seem almost..haunting.
March 4, 2014
those little girls are amazing
December 1, 2013
Full of memorable characters and led by the charismatic and precocious Jennifer Lawrence, The Poke House is an "overcoming the odds of poverty" story a cut above the rest.
December 9, 2013
based on true story. the story is about 3 young siblings girls who left by their dad and still live with their hopeless Mom. The Mother choose to be a prostitute and run the house as gambling and prostitution place. The place not only run by the mother but also with one bad man. The movie focus on the older girl named Agnes (Jennifer Lawrence). She is a talented writer on local newspaper and basketball player for her school. beside her misery, she realize what talent she got and two younger sister who always with her. because of those reason she keep on her life until now. The movie is inspirational and heartbreaking . raw, deep and strong movie. outstanding debut performance by Jennifer Lawrence, we can see all her quality since this movie. but there is the lack of this movie, the ending seem not finished. The director like do not get how to finish the movie. The idea is persuasive but i didn`t get the idea because the poor ending.
Bengel W.
October 25, 2013
The high class free American lifestyle is yet again portrayed in the most loving light, with pop music to shift it along. Sex, prostitution, drugs and child rape all add to the enhanced family lifestyle that is upheld as the perfect home. Stunningly photographed, catching every moment of the dream, with gentle sound, catching each nuance, giving thrill. Nibbles: White Cheddar Truffle Eggs.
October 11, 2013
It had great potential, but the great amount of loose ends and unanswered questions keep it from being great.
May 22, 2013
I wasn't sure I'd like a movie because it seemed like a typical chick movie but the tomatometer convinced me to give it a try. It's a great movie and kept me glued to the screen throughout.
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