Bookies (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bookies (2004)

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The sophomore outing for Mark Illsley, the writer and director of 1999's Happy Texas, Bookies is a return to the crime comedy genre of the filmmaker's first project. Starring Nick Stahl, Lukas Haas, and Johnny Galecki as college buddies Toby, Casey, and Jude, the film begins with the trio upset over a substantial gambling loss. After paying up, they decide that they are on the wrong side of the transaction and concoct a plan to become bookies themselves. Working in the shadows so as not to let on that they are anything but professionals, the young entrepreneurs devise a system that involves leaving money in unpopular books at the library where Jude works. Before they know it, the guys are rolling in the dough. Casey buys a bunch of computer equipment, Jude gets himself a drug habit, and Toby uses his newfound wealth to impress Hunter, a fellow student played by Rachael Leigh Cook. But just as fast as things started to go well, they take an unexpected turn. The boys are making so much money that they're cutting into the business of the local mafia. As one might expect, the thugs don't take too kindly to competition. Also starring John Diehl and David Proval, Bookies premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

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Cast

John Diehl
as Vincent
Steve Hudson
as Julius Garrett
Errol Trotman-Harewood
as Professor Felix
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Critic Reviews for Bookies

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

Both a satiric and level-headed slant on collegiate life and big-time sports, Bookies is an eye-opening amusement.

February 25, 2003
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Noisy, grating and morally dubious.

Full Review… | February 25, 2003
Variety
Top Critic

One of those undemanding pieces of entertainment that somehow creep up on you and force you to like them. This one's doubly recommended to those familiar with the joys and sorrows affiliated with sports betting.

Full Review… | January 27, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Bookies

An independent film to say the least that would probably bypass 9/10 people that walk into a video store. I caught sight of this film on television and I must say that it wasn't bad. This movie really digs inside to you and shows why you just shouldn't get into the professional gabbling industry. I thought it was an interesting choice of cast with Johnny Galecki playing the "badass" of the group when I'm so used to seeing him on The Big Bang Theory and in Roseanne. I would've thought he'd play the opposite like Lukas Haas' character, the nerdy bookkeeper of the bets that is never 100 percent certain whether he wants to remain involved or not. Overall, It's not a movie you'll talk about for the rest of your life and it wont ever be considered a cult classic, but it was well made and worth my time.

Steve Scully
Steve Scully

Johnny Galecki is great in Bookies. His performance is nothing less then stellar. I've seen him before in other things, but always dismissed him as character actor. He shines in Bookies. If this movie had a higher budget, his performance would have garnered him an award. Galecki plays Jude, which is the most developed character in the movie. Also the character I hated. That's probably why I noticed Galecki's excellent performance. Rachel Lee Cook sadly has the weakest character. Her acting wasn't weak, her character was. Without giving anything away, there is a scene where Stahl tells her he has given up, then she lectures him that he should give up, I'm sorry, didn't he just say he did give up?? The plot gets weak toward the end. You'll need to lend some creative license, but not so much that it enters the "Oh Come ON!" stage. Good movie, worth the rental, or even purchase it in the bargain bin.

Brandan W
Brandan W

I enjoyed the movie and I got really into it...however there were some things I really didn't like. Most of the characters were really unlikable. The only character I actually cared about was Stahl's. Rachael Leigh Cook's character was really stuck up and self absorbed. Then there was Stahl's friend who was so obnoxious and did the stupidest things. I was kind of hoping he had gotten shot by the other gamblers. I also didn't really love the character Stahl played, he was too serious and didn't have much of a personality at all. I really like Nick Stahl as an actor, but I don't think this was his best performance. The other thing I did not like about this movie was the narrator aspect of it. I guess it's just me, but I don't like a narrator telling me what is going on and giving me worthless background information that I really don't need to know in order to understand the movie. I'm not stupid, I get what's happening. Then there was the ending. There was a little twist that was fun, but at the very end *SPOILER*, they aren't friends anymore and his "girlfriend" (I don't know if you even consider Cook's character a girlfriend to Stahl seeing as how they never showed any chemistry whatsoever) might not be his "girlfriend" anymore? The girlfriend bit was my last concern. If Cook and Stahl were supposed to be girlfriend/boyfriend they could've kissed or hugged at least once throughout the movie. I mean seriously. They didn't even look like good friends in the movie...what was the director trying to do there? They could've taken Cook's character out completely and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference in the movie. It just confused me. If they just added Cook's character in there just to add a bit of romance to the story........it didn't work. I probably would not watch this movie again, but I really did enjoy it. The ending just disappointed me, I was hoping for something bigger and spectacular to happen.

Japes .
Japes .

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