• R, 1 hr. 43 min.
  • Drama, Romance
  • Directed By:
    Wayne Kramer
    In Theaters:
    Nov 26, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 27, 2004
  • Lions Gate Films


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The Cooler Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

There are interesting ideas in The Cooler ... but writer/director Wayne Kramer has not worked out these ideas.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 19, 2003
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

A pointless, money-depleting waste of time to be avoided at all costs.

Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Original Score: D

May 3, 2005
Joshua Tyler

One of those movies that looks better on paper than it does in actual execution.

Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 5, 2003
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Fell apart because the senseless rags-to-riches story and the weak formulaic characterization of cliché Las Vegas figures never added up to much.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: C

November 24, 2003
Carlo Cavagna

Straight-to-video, B-movie material that benefits from A-level performances, particularly from Maria Bello.

| Original Score: C+

November 25, 2003
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

It's frustrating to watch good performances drown in a sea of movie cliches

Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall | Original Score: 2.5/5

November 30, 2003
David N. Butterworth
Movie Boeuf

Worth seeing... for William H. Macy's (naked) butt, I guess.

Full Review Source: Movie Boeuf | Original Score: 2/4

December 19, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Had The Cooler stuck to its dark guns and not turned into a treacly, love-conquers-all fairy tale, this movie might have gone somewhere.

December 19, 2003
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In reconstructing Macy's equal-opportunity loser persona as a romantic winner, The Cooler forgets what made its star so winning in the first place.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/5

January 16, 2004
Jay Antani
Los Angeles Alternative

The Cooler is too earnest a morality tale, saddled with derivative characters, to heat up much sympathy or interest.

| Original Score: 2/5

September 30, 2004
Wendy Ide
Times [UK]

Macy wears his habitual hangdog expression like a cheap, crumpled suit that's been slept in a few too many times

Full Review Source: Times [UK]

June 16, 2004
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

Anytime Kramer runs out of ideas, he gratuitously deals out one shockingly violent scene after another, spoiling a pair of winning performances by Bello and Baldwin.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

February 9, 2004
Marcy Dermansky

'Ocean's Eleven' this is not.

Full Review Source: About.com | Original Score: 1/5

November 25, 2003
Jason Gorber
Film Scouts

Avoid this film. It will eat your soul and vomit black bile in your face.

Full Review Source: Film Scouts | Original Score: F

June 21, 2007
Timothy Knight

Despite strong performances by leads William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and Alec Baldwin, this romantic drama about a perennial loser beating the odds in Las Vegas is predictable and unconvincing.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

December 2, 2003
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather

Contrived and artificial, glibly using its central conceit as a thematic device and nothing else.

| Original Score: C

November 25, 2003
Jim Shelby
Palo Alto Weekly

| Original Score: 2/4

December 25, 2003
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Wayne Kramer's misogynistic The Cooler is not for the Mamet faint-of-heart.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1/4

November 15, 2003
Dustin Putman

Becomes too cute for its own good, relying so heavily on symbolism to get its points across that it becomes more ridiculous than lyrical.

Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com | Original Score: 2/4

November 23, 2003
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal

Not unenjoyable, but not particularly memorable Casino/Hard Eight/Leaving Las Vegas hybrid.

Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 20, 2003
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic
June 10, 2008
Jesse Hassenger
January 9, 2004
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008
David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

August 1, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
December 19, 2003

Boston Phoenix
December 20, 2003

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
February 9, 2006
Page 1 of 9
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