The Cincinnati Kid - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cincinnati Kid Reviews

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April 17, 2018
Jewison's breakthrough film connected with audiences in its day, but now seems oddly unfocused and outdated. Flat, maudlin characters in a confused morality play, that deals an absurdist final hand-albeit somewhat tense and satisfying in the wake of the frivolity that came before.
½ March 16, 2017
Been wanting to see this for a long time, and it didn't disappoint. Sure, it's dated a bit, but it still holds up because of the great performances. Edward G. Robinson, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden...all fantastic. Even Steve McQueen is good. The outcome may be obvious, but it was still fun getting there.
January 31, 2017
Light, simple fun, lead by a stellar cast and some great tension build up in the big game. If you like poker, you should love it. McQueen plays it super cool.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2016
Steve McQueen is the young upstart poker player, Edward G. Robinson an old master, Karl Malden is their friend and dealer, Ann Margret his flirtatious girlfriend, and Tuesday Weld is McQueen's. It's a fantastic cast - McQueen oozes cool, it's special to see Robinson at age 72 deliver a very good performance, Malden plays 'conflicted' well when he's pressured to fix the match, Margret is sexy and has a way of speaking with her eyes, and Weld is incredibly cute but also nuanced. To top it off, Joan Blondell is the backup dealer, and while her role and performance aren't amazing, it's very nice to see her and Robinson together again nearly three decades after 1936's 'Bullets or Ballots'.

New Orleans is a fantastic setting and director Norman Jewison makes good use of it. I have to say, I was not all that jazzed about the scene with the cock fight, which is cruel. And, he's less effective in making the movie feel as though it's in the 1930's, but maybe that doesn't matter. The poker talk at the tables is pretty authentic, but I always find it amusing that the 5-card stud hands shown routinely in movies are extremely rare. The ending comes as a jolt and seems abrupt, but perhaps that's because I was thinking how interesting it would have been if it was revealed that Robinson was engaged in a nefarious fix with Blondell. As it is, the movie is about integrity and dignity, even in what may seem to be an unlikely place, amongst gamblers. Cheating, and accusations of cheating, are shown more than once to be signs of weakness, whereas real skill is cool and confident, and there is mutual respect between McQueen and Robinson's characters. How interesting that McQueen falters on the relationship side by being seduced by Margret, though even then he doesn't deny it or make excuses. It may be a little clichéd and it may have borrowed its theme from 'The Hustler', but it's an engaging, interesting film.
August 7, 2016
Winner takes all poker drama. Great cast that keeps you involved. It's a bit over the top at parts, but in the end it's a winner. "You're good kid, but so long as I'm around you'll always be second best." Ann Margret is beautiful, I feel bad though that McQueen fell for her.
April 13, 2016
The Cincinnati Kid depicts a corrupt New Orleans. A porker game played corruptly by cheating.

A knife vs a razor blade in a dumpy bathroom.

I like who the train tracks chase was filmed with the crane shot.

A girl who cheats at solitary and forces the puzzle pieces to fit into a puzzle where it does not belong.

The film ends with Cincinnati Kid ends broke.

I was not impressed with the music. It was far too ordinary and did not stand out. It sounded like music that would hear in just an ordinary 60's city set show. I think that the music made this film boring. The music has to keep an audience interested but the music just makes the film boring. There are some scenes where the choice to have music in scenes verse no music would have been different to add more tension.

I am not a fan of the corrupt gray figures depicted in this film. I felt like the way the games are depicted were not filmed in an entertaining way that keeps the audience interested. i felt like the card games in the Sting were much better told than this depiction.

I felt like the film could have been edited shorter. It was a little too long for my taste.
March 25, 2016
Very good poker film. Notable performances by classic actors Edward G. Robinson, Karl Maldon and Joan Blondell. Beautiful, young Ann-Margret and Tuesday Weld perform alongside McQueen in his prime.
September 28, 2015
This is the best poker movie ever made, featuring the up and coming young kid (Steve McQueen) facing off against the old champion (Edward G. Robinson in a great performance, but no oscar, as he was never awarded even one). Great realistic poker action, and a superb supporting cast, including Karl Malden, Ann-Margret, Tuesday Weld, Cab Calloway, Rip Torn, and Joan Blondell. The memorable theme song is sung by Ray Charles.
½ September 20, 2015
The ending was unpredictable and unusual, but that doesn't overshadows the film's grittiness of New Orleans and its storyline about a rising poker player trying to be the best. "The Cincinnati Kid" is fun, exciting, and offers great acting range from the cast. Definitely one of my favorite McQueen films.
½ August 21, 2015
What's memorable about this film are the performances, especially by Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, and Ann Margaret. But the picture feels like on big build up to a very disappointing ending. At the end, you're not quite sure if the film's point that sometimes luck can run out is really an important one.
August 18, 2015
Pretty boring so far.
January 31, 2015
Great plot twist at the end.
January 16, 2015
I watched a documentary on Steve McQueen. Then I watch this film. It gets great reviews and all but I just don't get it. Must be the playing cards thing. I could never understand them and the games are just a big mystery to me. What I learned from the film? It never pays to be too self assured and think you rule the world. Or something.
November 16, 2014
Not a great movie by any means, it does have its moments. In the end it is just too predictable and lacks "teeth."
½ January 26, 2014
Smart western focusing on the gambling hall instead of a six-shooter.
Nearly all the actors are capable of stealing a scene, and we want them to.
½ January 19, 2014
An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.

stars Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Ann-Margret, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld, Joan Blondell, Rip Torn, Jack Weston, Cab Calloway and Jeff Corey.

directed by Norman Jewison.
½ December 20, 2013
Well I stumbled onto this movie using the name of poker, but this movie gave me a good opportunity to see the old school of filmmaking. Its obviously a very different style of direction and on a personal note it was quite intriguing to see how they made the films at that time. Steve Mcqueen being the superstar he was does a beautiful job in maintaining the tension during the games.
I love how the ending is not even bitter-sweet but just plain depressing at the end. It shows a very realistic point of view for the audience you fail to see in today's movie with all the over the top characters.
To the poker fans, you could give this movie a go.
December 13, 2013
A movie about poker before poker was a fad. Throw in a great cast and you've pretty much got a classic. I won't spoil things completely, but because the movie was made in 1965, the feel closer resembles a foreign flick that does not stick to the typical American story line.

McQueen is always good. Not a fav of mine but he was solid in every role. Ann-Margret...I guess this was my first time seeing her. Holy cow. Total smokeshow. Again, imagine what this movie must have been like in 1965 before every woman on tv spilled out of her clothes. Karl Malden is good as Shooter, and Robinson is good as Howard.

The final 30-35 minutes are the final poker match. In a movie that lasts just 105 minutes, that's fairly impressive. Even more so is the ending. I just read that they did throw in a different ending than originally scripted. That ending would have been really cool.
August 28, 2013
STAR CHANNEL 2, 2013/8/28
½ August 11, 2013
Perhaps my favorite Steve McQueen performance. This made poker cool before all that ESPN, Poker After Dark stuff. The final hour when the marathon game begins with Edward G. Robinson is what makes the film great. I don't play or like poker so for Norman Jewison to make a film where every single hand has you on the edge of your seat speaks volumes of his talent as a director and storyteller. And yes, the final hand makes for a great ending.

Grade: B+
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