Movies Like The Color of Money


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The Color of Money Reviews

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Super Reviewer

August 30, 2013
If you liked The Hustler, you'll like this movie, it's pretty much the same movie. I found both of them boring. Sure they're hustlers and there's some drama in it, but watching people play pool for over an hour of the film isn't my cup of tea.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

October 6, 2012
Tend to forget this was a sequel to the film 'The Hustler', probably because it feels like a Cruise vehicle for his young obnoxious over acting and toothy grin.

To be brutally honest I've never seen a film with such a huge amount of sulking, pouting and tantrums as in this film haha. Cruise along with Newman spend most of the film either screaming at each other or storming off in a huff! makes you wonder really.

Personally I don't think there is much here that isn't overly original, the plot is virtually 'The Karate Kid' but with pool or 9-ball. Its funny how almost every film Cruise has done he's some kind of 'top gun' in whatever the film is about. In this we have to put with the most dreadful performances of cringeworthy over acting as Cruise dances and struts around pool tables defeating all challengers showboating as he does so. The perfect role for Mr Cruise then.

The other two main cast members are second fiddle to Mr Cruise's antics but do their best. Newman seems subdued and bored to me, he looks the part still of course, the wardrobe for his character is great, the perfect lounge lizard pool shark type. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is actually really good as Cruise's girlfriend and probably gives the best performance of the three. Her quiet role is the backbone or foundations for the whole plot as she keeps both male ego's in check, somewhat.

Being a Scorsese film it looks sweet as a nut, everything looks damn realistic from the bitterly cold looking locations to the smoky seedy all male pool halls. Despite that the film stretches for that epic Oscar level but really falls short, visually its great but Cruise lets it down for me as does the basic plot. Also gotta say that I hated all the negativity from the characters in this film, sure its the plot but it just left me feeling annoyed and fed up with watching them.

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2012
Eddie Felson: Money won is twice as sweet as money earned. 

"The Hustler isn't what he used to be, but he has the next best thing: a kid who is."

Might as well get it out of the way early; The Color of Money isn't as good as The Hustler. I didn't expect it to be, so who cares. This takes up Fast Eddie Felson's story 25 years after the events of The Hustler. If any man could make a sequel to a masterpiece 25 years later, it would be Martin Scorsese and he does it admirably. It isn't his best, but it is still a really good movie. All that you really need to know is Paul Newman is back in the role of Fast Eddie and that is all that really matters. This isn't a slap in the face to The Hustler. It's just a good continuation.  

Eddie Felson was banned from playing pool professionally, so for the last 25 years, he has been selling liquor. He's in a bar when he sees Vincent, a cocky but immensely talented young pool player. Eddie takes him under his wing and on the road, where he teaches him how to hustle. The story doesn't really go how you think it would. Scorsese takes detours along the way, but by the end, it gets where you thought it would. I liked a few of the unexpected things in the story and I disliked a few, but overall I liked where Scorsese took us with this continuation. Could it have been better? Yeah, but as it is, it isn't too bad. 

Now is where I admit that this is lesser Scorsese. This is no Raging Bull, but I'll take lesser Scorsese over just about anybody's best. This is a project I'm sure Scorsese loved and one that he probably wanted to do more for himself then for an audience. He throws in his signature character driven plot and all the little things that make watching his films so great. The cast is good, the cinematography is good, the soundtrack is good, and the direction is good. The only thing that pulls the movie down at all is that it is living in the shadows of an all-time classic. You can't watch the movie and not end up comparing it, at least a little, to The Hustler. 

I really enjoyed The Color of Money. It isn't a masterpiece, but it does feature terrific performances from Paul Newman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, plus an okay one from Tom Cruise. Watch this for what it is and don't criticize it too heavily based off of The Hustler. That's a comparison not many would win. 
paul o.
paul o.

Super Reviewer

May 19, 2012
That ending made up for the whole movie!

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2011
I'll just admit right from the start that I am pretty much incapable of being too harsh on Martin Scorsese or the films he makes. No matter what, there's always something going on that merits them being given at least a mild recommendation.

That said, what this film is is probably Scorsese at his most commercial and mainstream. Is it a sell out picture? Not quite, but it sort of does stick out, probably as the least of all his work, mostly because of the fact that it is a long overdue follow up to an all time classic, and it severely pales in comparison to its predecessor.

Here's the thing though, I don't think that Scorsese even tried or was interested in trying to make this equal The Hustler. He just wanted to do it for fun, and because, even in 1986, he had easily earned the right to make whatever he wanted.

As a sequel, it's not great, but, as far as sequels go, it's probably the best in terms of working decently as a stand alone film (if you wish to see it as such). Take away the film's connection to The Hustler and it would be a decent, but less remarkable work, but because it does have the connection, it does work because Eddie Felson is a character who made such an impact that any attempt to see where the character ended up is welcome.

The film opens with Eddie Felson long retired from pool, working as a liquor salesman. He's not interested in returning to pool, but changes his mind when he comes across a brash, young, cool and cocky hustler named Vincent and his manipulative girlfriend/manager Carmen. Eddie decides to make Vincent truly reach his potential, and, while some of the story beats are familiar, how the film reaches it's conclusion isn't totally unoriginal.

The film does employ some of Scorsese's trademark touch (mostly with style, cinematography, and focus on character), albeit in a rather subdued and restrained manner. It's not without energy, but you'd really never know that Marty directed it had his name not been on the credits. This is the first time that a Scorsese soundtrack actually got on my nerves, and the film is a bit torturous in that it's anticlimactic and a perpetual tease, but then again, that keeps things somewhat fresh and unpredictable.

The acting is where the film earns most of its recommendation. Newman returns to one of his best characters and for his efforts finally won his first and only non honorary Oscar. He didn't necessarily deserve it for this role, so the win was more of a consolation/career sort of thing, but the performance is pretty solid nonetheless. Cruise is in typical Crusie mode as Vincent, so even though he's unremarkable, it's still a passable and adequate performance. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is quite good as Carmen thoguh, and her character is one of the more interesting ones. John Turturro briefly shows up, and it would have been great had he been used more, but he does good with what he's given. Forest Whitaker also shows up for an extended cameo, and it's actually probably the strongest scene of the film.

This film just feels like the damndest thing for me because it's Scorsese going more commercial yet still not playing by the rules. He isn't getting lazy, but he's not doing anything truly special either. Still though, a lot of things are done better as a result of his involvement, even if this still results in being one of his lesser works, if not the least (given the ones I've seen, that is). I think the best way to describe this film, and one of the biggest reasosns to see it, given how I've rambled on, is to do it in one word: fascinating.
Mark W

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2011
It's a salivating inducing prospect for any film fan to have old hands Martin Scorsese and Paul Newman and new hand Tom Cruise combine, to follow on the story of pool shark 'Fast Eddie' Felson from Robert Rossen's classic 1961 film "The Hustler". Attempting a sequel to that great film may seem like blashpemy but if anyone can pull it off, these three can.
Aged pool hustler 'Fast Eddie' Felson (Newman) discovers a younger version of himself in small-time hotshot Vincent Lauria (Cruise), who's bubbling with talent and attitude and decides to mould him into a hustler just like he used to be. But Vincent's mouthy lack of restraint begins to spoil a perfect partnership and Eddie considers another shot at the big time himself.
Scorsese crafts a film that compounds most peoples expectations and first off, it seems like a waste of time and talent. However, on repeat veiwings this stands alone as a very fine loose sequel and a great film in it's own right. Newman as ever is absolutely superb (finally grabbing that elusive Oscar Award) as the embittered and disillusioned hustler, now working a living from seedy pool hall to seedy pool hall. Scorsese brings his usual professional approach to what is an unusual choice of film for him. His cracking of the pool balls, tobacco filled halls and fast talking cons are spot on and helped by some rich and inventive camerawork by Michael Ballhaus. Despite these veterans impressively plying their trade though, they are almost upstaged by the cocksure vibrancy of Cruise. His performance is alive, energetic, and overall what he's supposed to irritating little shit. It's a fabulous turn from him and love him or loathe him, it's a reminder of how good an actor he can be. Shake this up with a few supporting turns from the likes of John Turturro and Forest Whitaker and the ingredients are all there. What it just about lacks though, is the finished article. The film heads along the path of an inevitable showdown between teacher and student and then frustratingly doesn't deliver. Maybe this is the correct choice from Scorsese, maybe he wanted to avoid the cliched ending but you can't help but feel a little disappointed in not seeing it happen.
The anti-climactic ending threatens to undo the whole film but the talent involved shines through, in what is a richly textured drama with sharp dialogue and two magnificent lead performances.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2010
Crappy 80s soundtrack aside, this is an excellent movie. It's a belated sequel to say the least, but it is well worth the wait. Fast Eddie Felson is back in a way that no one could have expected. While it is a continuation of his story, it also manages to stand alone. However, it is not as powerful a story if you haven't seen The Hustler. Paul Newman deserves every bit of praise for his performance, it was in every way flawless.

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2008
Haven't seen it in a long time.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2009
Scorsese, fantastic! Newman, awesome! Cruise, not so good! I try very hard not to think of this as a sequel to The Hustler, I wish it wasn?t. It was a little ordatious and arrogant of Scorsese really!
Tim S

Super Reviewer

April 14, 2009
The first half of this movie oozes cool. The set up is so great because you know Fast Eddie and you are automatically hooked. Paul Newman is brilliant giving us another chapter in the life of a legendary character. And to see Tom Cruise in all his dumb guy, cocky asshole glory is fun to watch. And of course, it's directed masterfully by Marty in full on show off mode, pulling off shots and transitions with a flair that any Casino fan such as myself can appreciate. If you are going to be excessive (this movie screams eighties excess), at least you get to watch a guy like Scorsese blow his load and not feel jipped. My problem came in the later half of the movie where I really feel the film falls apart. The ending was head scratching and there were times where the music was irritating as hell. Great showings by the dependable Turturro and Whitaker, but I wish they would have focused more on the relationship between Newman and his woman.

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2009
Young Tom Cruise all giddy with smiles and a pool stick to do ninja wif. Newman is the movie who tries to shake off the rust from years out of the pool game since 1960's The Hustler, which was an interesting transition. Cool but not exciting.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

December 6, 2006
I'm probably one of 23 people on the entire planet who didn't like The Hustler and its sequel, The Color of Money wasn't worlds better. Paul Newman was great and Tom Cruise generally makes you want to slap him with the exception of a few scenes. That Forest Whitaker scene was kind of heartbreaking and the ending was a textbook example of anticlimactic. Maybe with this one, like its predecessor, I'm missing the point. While The Color of Money isn't Martin Scorsese's best work, the direction gets 2nd billing behind Newman with the sharp and snappy dialogue getting a very close 3rd.

Super Reviewer

May 6, 2008
This is a great Cruise/Newman film.

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2007
this is an excellent film. the story was very interesting and its easy to invest in the characters. this semi-sequel wasnt quite as good as the hustler, but it did flow a little better. newmans performance was better in the original, but he was very good in this one and deserved his oscar. cruise was asked to play a character that annoys a bit too much, but the fact that he annoyed me means he played the character well. over all a great future classic.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2008
I don't dig Martin Scorsese films at all (except "Mean Streets," that was boss. "The Age of Innocence" too but that's just cuz I liked the book). The cinematography was so cloying. Instead of relying on the natural cool of Newman and the game of pool, Scorsese/Ballhaus "over-grooves" it with zooms, pans, flashy edits, and deliberate power-play angles. Story lacks the heart of its prequel, soundtrack sticks out like a sore thumb, and Tom Cruise is a spastic space monkey. And what a blueball of a freeze frame ending.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2007
Sequel to an undisputable classic. Scorsese delivers a fine cocktail, great timing, photography, and performances, especially Paul Newman's "fast" Eddie Felson the one and only hustler, this time back for some more struggle against himself.

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2007
Decent but unsurprisingly, inferior sequel to The Hustler. The fact that Paul Newman acts Tom Cruise off the screen will also fail to induce coronaries.

Super Reviewer

December 6, 2006
The sequel of The Hustler is really exciting with the pool games and Paul Newman returns as old Eddie after 25 years.
Al S

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2006
Paul Newman is fantastic in his classic role frome The Hustler. One of his performances. A superb flick. Scorsese delivers another well crafted film. Brilliantly acted, teriffcially written and wonderfully shot.
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