The Cooler - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cooler Reviews

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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
June 10, 2008
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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David Denby
New Yorker
August 1, 2004
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
January 16, 2004
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 | Original Score: 2/5
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
January 16, 2004
A B-movie in the best sense: Unpretentious. Raffish. Just trashy enough to be six kinds of fun without making you hate yourself in the morning.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 16, 2004
Kramer has gotten strong performances from his cast (Baldwin is particularly good as the strangely likable, but still horrible, casino owner).
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 16, 2004
A movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 15, 2004
It's pretty winning for a long way, reminding us that everything in life is a kind of gamble, and if you don't play, you'll never win.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 19, 2003
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
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.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
A surprising, ingenious film.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 19, 2003
While it does occasionally shortchange its characters, it provides plenty of moments for the actors to shine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
December 19, 2003
Baldwin bites into his role as if it were a 3 a.m. cheeseburger after a night of blackjack and booze.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
December 19, 2003
A winning drama that's only slightly too pleased with its own playful conceits, The Cooler features strong performances and flows with the grace and assurance of a Sinatra song.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 19, 2003
A safe bet.
| Original Score: B
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 19, 2003
If you're really in the market for seasonal inspiration, The Cooler could be your best bet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 19, 2003
The Cooler mixes character and milieu with a hustler's ease.
| Original Score: B
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
December 19, 2003
A carefully assembled supporting cast gives The Cooler the grit that sells the magic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 19, 2003
The Cooler is old-fashioned in the way the Shangri-La is old-fashioned, and I mean that as a compliment. This is a movie without gimmicks, hooks or flashy slickness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 19, 2003
The Cooler is as much of a con as Vegas itself; that's the source of its charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
December 18, 2003
It may be the best movie ever made about Vegas.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 18, 2003
All cast members are superb.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 18, 2003
Baldwin grabs this part by the throat and never lets go, recapturing some of his memorable Glengarry Glen Ross persona.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 18, 2003
Small-scale moviemaking about small-scale lives. But it's big in all the right ways.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 18, 2003
Macy's layered characterization energizes a project that could have drowned in clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
December 18, 2003
If you'd thought Macy had explored every nook and cranny of loserville in such movies as Fargo and Magnolia, think again: He makes Bernie into someone brand new.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 10, 2003
Deserves to be seen for one of the most lyrically convincing sex scenes of the year, from the neck up as well as from the neck down, performed by Mr. Macy and Ms. Bello with genuinely engaging affection and amusement on a person-to-person level.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 4, 2003
Directed with a couple of brass knuckles by Wayne Kramer, The Cooler turns into a disappointing fable in the end, but for most of its 101 minutes, it's a grim companion piece to Leaving Las Vegas.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 29, 2003
William H. Macy and Maria Bello shine in a terrific -- and surprisingly sexy -- tale of a Vegas loser whose luck begins to turn.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 28, 2003
The Cooler isn't a great movie -- like a nervous gambler, it's scared to go for broke -- but it has a good run for awhile.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 26, 2003
The best thing Baldwin has done in years, and a triumph of low-budget storytelling by a director to watch.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 26, 2003
I ended up mostly liking The Cooler.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Entertainment Weekly
November 26, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: B
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 25, 2003
This picture is rescued from cliche by the quality of the acting, and Mr. Kramer wisely gives the actors room to work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
November 25, 2003
In a notably confident feature debut, Kramer demonstrates a surefire skill in eliciting genuine emotional impact amid make-believe.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 25, 2003
The romance that ensues between Macy and Bello (both of whom are terrific) is exactly the kind of mature, sexy adult relationship that people complain doesn't exist in movies anymore.
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Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
November 25, 2003
[The] film never amounts to more than a cute idea stretched to poker-chip thinness.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 25, 2003
Kramer has fashioned an impressive cinematic calling card.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 25, 2003
It's a pleasure to watch Macy, with customary craft and intelligence, create from the ground up an unlikely, yet plausible romantic lead.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 24, 2003
It's a very good movie.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 20, 2003
From James Whitaker's seductive camerawork to Mark Isham's lush score, The Cooler places all the smart bets and hits the jackpot.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
March 6, 2003
It's got the kick, style and flavor of a straight-up story, before movies were watered down with the opinions of marketers, lawyers and committee heads.