The Grand

2008

The Grand

Critics Consensus

The Grand has moments of comic ingenuity, but the jokes in this poker satire often miss.

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 43

43%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,054
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Movie Info

Incident at Loch Ness director Zak Penn takes the helm for this mockumentary that finds film and television star Woody Harrelson entering the Grand Championship of Poker in hopes of saving his late grandfather's popular hotel casino from a scheming real estate developer. As the wrecking ball swings ever closer, Harrelson continually ups the ante in order to take home the top prize at the world's most prestigious poker tournament. Co-stars Ray Romano, Werner Herzog, Cheryl Hines, David Cross, and Dennis Farina all put on their best poker face for a comedy where all bets are off and anything can happen.

Cast

Woody Harrelson
as One Eyed Jack Faro
David Cross
as Larry Schwartzman
Dennis Farina
as L.B.J. Deuce Fairbanks
Cheryl Hines
as Lainie Schwartzman
Richard Kind
as Andy Andrews
Chris Parnell
as Harold Melvin
Ray Romano
as Fred Marsh
Gabe Kaplan
as Seth Schwartzman
Werner Herzog
as The German
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News & Interviews for The Grand

Critic Reviews for The Grand

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (26)

Audience Reviews for The Grand

  • May 29, 2012
    It felt as if they were trying to achieve a "Best in Show" type movie, but it didn't get there for me. The cast was very talented and there were some funny scenes, but it was just kind of stagnant.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    Larry Schwartzman: If people played correctly, I would win every single hand, ever.  "A comedy about the fine art of losing" Having grown up and been around poker my whole life, The Grand is not only an amusing comedy to me, but a hilarious one. There should be a disclaimer on this film though stating something to the effect of, if you don't know a lot about poker, don't watch it. You should follow that disclaimer. If you know absolutely nothing about it; you've never played or watched it, you won't like this movie. End of story. You'll view this mockumentary as just a stupid, pointless, unfunny film. But if you know and love poker, you will get every joke and you'll adore this film.  Everything has its little "in" stuff. Poker has many, and this film plays on them very well. Some stuff the comedy plays on are obvious jokes about glasses or costumes. It's also a nice little parody of the World Series of Poker. There's a lot of jokes about the commentators. The little interviews are an over the top parody of the interviews you'll see on tv, and their actually quite well done. The characters are the best parodies though. My favorite character was Larry Schwartzman played by David Cross. His character is the poker player who goes nuts about other players beating him when they shouldn't have been in the hand. A lot like Phil Helmuth, who actually makes an appearance in the film, along with Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu.  So basically The Grand is a Christopher Guest like mockumentary that uses poker as its subject. It's a great setting for a mockumentary, which is the most important aspect when making one. If you're setting is off, it's just not going to work. All the good ones like Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman chose a setting that few people were actually familiar with and made a joke out of it. The only thing that The Grand lacks that those comedies had, was appealing to people who aren't familiar with the setting. You don't have to be a dog person to find Best in Show hilarious, but you kind of have to be a poker person to find The Grand hilarious. I guess that would be my one huge critique of The Grand. Not appealing to a large audience. There's a great cast in this one and some great cameos as well. Known "poker players" Jason Alexander and Ray Romano are in there. Woody Harrelson is in the lead as One Eyed Jack. He's trying to win the tournament in order to save the Rabbit's Foot Casino, which he took control of after his grandfathers death. Standouts for me were David Cross, who I already talked about and Chris Parnell, who plays a poker genius that isn't socially savvy. In the end, you should know wether your going to like this one or not from the start. If jokes about poker superstitions, egos, and playing styles doesn't immediately make you want to watch it; it is probably a film you should skip. If that strikes you as something you must watch, then you'll probably like it as I did. I know this isn't an amazing comedy, but it is one that knows how to appeal to its base, even if it doesn't know how to appeal to anyone else. Good thing I'm in that base.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2009
    Hilarious Hilarious movie!!!
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2009
    [font=Century Gothic]In "The Grand," Jack Faro(Woody Harrelson) is released from a 12-step program(one for each controlled substance), so he can compete in a multi-million poker tournament to have a chance to save his grandfather's(Barry Corbin) casino. But he is going to have some very tough competition. Lainie Schwartzman(Cheryl Hines) is so good, she has earned enough money for her children's college education, and provides the rooting interest by being from Long Island.(Yes kids, there really is a Massapequa.) Her brother Larry(David Cross) does his best to keep up. Harold Melvin is an idiot savant who has seen "Dune" way too many times. Andy Andrews(Richard Kind) is an amateur player from Wisconsin who gained entry through a web site. Deuce Fairbanks(Dennis Farina) and The German(Werner Herzog) are the veteran cardplayers.[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Grand" is a silly and occasionally funny mockumentary on the subject of televised poker tournaments. Since I usually have something better to do than watch one(which reminds me, "Dollhouse" is on tonight), I cannot consider myself an expert by any means. Regardless, its shots at unctuous commentators and trying to fit people into neat boxes feel like they hit the target. There are some real life people playing themselves which helps the atmosphere and some familiar faces in cameos which does not. Otherwise, the characterizations are hit and miss. While David Cross proves to be an eternal source of annoyance, Werner Herzog is a delight, exploiting his perceived insanity for laughs. [/font] [font=Century Gothic]What truly separates "The Grand" from mediocrity is an unexpected depth from generational conflicts. Larry and Lainie suffer under the thumb of a manipulative father(Gabe Kaplan?!?). Harold has a clinging mother(Estelle Harris). And Deuce is nostalgic for the good old days when you could shoot somebody and dump the body in the desert without anybody complaining.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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