• R, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Stephen Frears
    In Theaters:
    Dec 7, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 4, 2013
  • Weinstein Co.


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Lay the Favorite Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2013
Silly script...pointless.

Super Reviewer

August 25, 2012
Lay The Favorite was just an OK movie for me. I really love Bruce, Vince, and Josh. That is the only real reason I wanted to watch it. I usually let the actors I love lead me to the movies I watch. Unfortunately I wish it would have been in a film with a better script and directing. Plus the leading actress, Rebecca Hall, annoyed me to fullest. I am pretty sure it was her voice and her acting and her facial expressions. She just annoyed me all the way pretty much. She made it hard to pay attention to what was going on. All her quirks were just too much for me to look past. Bruce, Josh, and Vince are better than what this film offered. I don't see myself ever watching this again.
Everett J

Super Reviewer

March 10, 2013
"Lay the Favourite" is one of those fluff movies that in 5 years, you'll watch pieces of on USA network. It's mildly entertaining, has good stars, but overall just isn't very good. About a girl who comes to vegas to be a cocktail waitress and she gets involved with a bookie, Dink(Bruce Willis). They work together, and she eventually wants more, but he is married to Tulip(Cathrine Zeta Jones), and then from there the movie goes to into like 3 different directions. Starts out decent, but then just spirals downward. The performances aren't very good as Willis and Jones either overact or look like they don't care. Vince Vaughn has a small role, and really I think he should have been in it a lot more and the movie could have been better. OK for a one time watch if nothing else is on and you don't care if the movie is good or not.

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2013
How far can a long shot take you?

Good movie! If I hadn't seen Rebecca Hall in any other movie I guess I wouldn't have been amazed by the transformation or her performance in general in this movie. You really buy her ... let's call it naive nature, she puts on display here. Bruce Willis is pretty passive, which works in a way, but not throughout. Joshua and Catherine are not used in the best way possible, but the main focus is on Rebecca so that can be forgiven. Story-wise, there is not that much exciting or new happening, the jokes are not always working, but the movie has a low budget charm to it It's a nice little movie, that has more potential than it shows on screen.

Beth, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, falls in with Dink, a sports gambler who swoons for her as she proves to be something of a gambling prodigy, earning the initial ire of Dink's wife, Tulip.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2012
I liked the unpredictability of Lay the Favourite and I also liked the performances. I think people were disappointed that it wasn't over the top like the advertising might have suggested but I quite liked the story. It's bit of an anti-climax but I found it to be entertaining enough throughout. Rebecca Hall certainly stole the show though and not only for the 'pants dancing' scene. It's nothing special but pleasant all the same.
Bradley W

Super Reviewer

December 9, 2012
Come on Bruce, your better than this.

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2012
The movie opens with a title card which reads: "As luck would have it, this is based on a true story". It's hard to see where luck comes into play as there's nothing about this bland story which makes it stand out.
It seems contradictory that in America, the home of capitalism, bookmaking is illegal. I live in a country where the practice is not only legal but is a major contributor to the economy. The top bookmaker, Paddy Power, ranks alongside Guinness as one of the great Irish success stories and they have branches on practically every main street. For this reason I found it hard to see it as something dangerous and thrilling like it's portrayed here.
Everything seems to happen too easily for Hall's character, creating little in the way of dramatic conflict. The movie's final third is meant to evoke the sort of paranoia of the finale of "Goodfellas" but we never get any genuine sense of threat. It's all as middle of the road as it gets, the film isn't humorous enough to be a comedy or serious enough for a drama.
Most of the cast phone in their performances and you can't really blame them as the script is so dull. Hall however is compelling to watch. Her Daisy Dukes clad good-time girl is light years away from the sort of uptight waif roles she's been typecast in. There's also plenty of her on display which I certainly won't complain about.
There have been many great films about gambling, and movies like "The Gambler" and "California Split" have used the subject for existential explorations. Frears wastes the concept with this flimsy tale that's simply not worth taking a punt on.

Super Reviewer

July 22, 2013
How can you have Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a movie, and not a bad director like Stephen Frears, and still make something which simply SUCKS! Based on Beth Raymer's memoir of the same title, the film follows a young, free-spirited woman as she journeys through the legal and illegal world of sports gambling.

Beth Raymer (Hall) decides to leave behind her life as a stripper in Florida and moves to Las Vegas to become a cocktail waitress in a glitzy casino - her dream job. But, it is easier said than done and she starts working instead for Dink (Willis), a kind and idiosyncratic sports gambler. Dink starts admiring her when she shows him how good she is with numbers, but that is a cause for the ire of Dink's wife, Tulip (Zeta-Jones).

It is a movie, based on a true story, and is supposed to be a heartfelt comedy of finding friendship in the least likely places... after watching it I will tell you that is just a boring movie using a book which was boring itself! Don't waste time on this one.
August 5, 2013
I thought the cast was solid going in but the Lay the Favorite failed miserably largely because the protagonist, Rebecca Hall, cannot even remotely act. I don't know how she gets any roles. Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn, etc. all provide solid support but Hall was just ridiculous. The plot also got boring and fast. It didn't have a good flow and seemed to have no real direction for much of the film. Overall there really isn't much point in watching beyond a slightly humorous scene here and there.
April 30, 2013
It is pretty hard to believe that this is based on a true story, but Beth definitely had an exciting life. The cast was great in this and the story was very entertaining.
April 16, 2013
I watched Lay the Favorite a couple of weeks ago and was completely unphased and unmoved by it. As it was the latest film from highly-respected director, Stephen Frears -- whose work I have admired in the past (The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things) -- I was determined to allow the film to remain in my mind/head while I mulled parts of it over. But ... I have since forgotten nearly everything in/about it! It meant nothing to me as I watched it ... and it means even less to me two weeks later which is unheard of for me. Not a single element of this film has stuck with me ... nothing ... although that might be perhaps because there is nothing here to start with. Perhaps it isn't me. In spite of a cast including Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vince Vaughn, Joshua Jackson, Rebecca Hall, Corbin Bernsen and Laura Prepon (whom I don't even remember half of being in the movie) there is nothing here to take note of or remember. I don't even remember what movie I'm reviewing at the moment.
January 16, 2014
Amazing cast, Amazing world of betting but the film flounders it all with a very weak screenplay. Film looses it steam mid way. The worst part is the third act. Only watchable for the talented cast
October 28, 2013
I like Rebecca Hall :)
October 25, 2013
great cast had to see Rebecca and Laura hang out
November 15, 2012
What the hell was that about?! Im shocked...
September 22, 2013
It took at least half an hour for this movie to make any sense, it did not set up the main character to be liked at all and was basically just a waste of a lot of good actors.
September 7, 2013
This movie seemed like D list actors should have played the part., very bad for willis
August 10, 2013
An inert movie. Super book by Raymer, totally botched as a film despite a good cast. Badly edited, totally lifeless, a waste of time and talent. Do read the book.
July 26, 2013
Could have been a good movie. Bad script, and bad directing.
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