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A small movie elevated by superb performances.
A small movie elevated by superb performances.
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All Critics (172)
| Top Critics (39)
| Fresh (132)
| Rotten (40)
| DVD (13)
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.
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.
Kramer has gotten strong performances from his cast (Baldwin is particularly good as the strangely likable, but still horrible, casino owner).
A movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
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.
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.
"The Cooler" is a complex 'small' movie that packs a big punch.
A sweet underdog romantic dramedy...
What elevates this Vegas-set drama above the routine is the high-caliber acting of William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and especially Alex Baldwin, who received a well-deserved Oscar nomination.
Avoid this film. It will eat your soul and vomit black bile in your face.
Alec Baldwin se encarga de que Shelly sea por lejos el personaje más interesante de esta historia (...)
A pointless, money-depleting waste of time to be avoided at all costs.
In some ways, the film can be seen as a fairy tale. The protagonist is weak but at the end becomes something beyond human with the help of his muse. Beautifully shot and captures the spirit of Vegas after dark very well!
From co-writer/director Wayne Kramer (but not the guy from the MC5) comes this stylish, charming, and underrated little gem of a movie about a professional loser. Bernie Lootz has perpetual bad luck, so he makes his living at a Vegas casino as a cooler- the guy they send in to end a gambler's hot streak. Bernie is great at his job, but his life (and his luck) begin to change when he meets and subsequently falls in love with Natalie, an utterly gorgeous waitress co-worker. This wouldn't be so bad if this change didn't also have an effect on Shelly Kaplow, the last of the old time gangster casino owners who is trying like hell to escape the Disneyfication of Vegas and keep things from changing.
Filled with a great jazzy score from Mark Isham, a new twist on an old plot, decent writing, and terrific acting from a first rate cast, this is an exceptional romantic dramedy. Well, mostly drama, since the bulk of the humor is rather dark and melancholy. Indeed, there are actually some really dark moments throughout, but it's nothing as downbeat as Leaving Las Vegas.
Macy is perfect as Bernie, and his weary facial expressions and impish mannerisms really nail the type of guy Bernie is. In many ways, this character is comparable to Macy's other perfect character Jerry from Fargo. MAria Bello is quite excellent as Natalie, and this film really helped her career take off. Turning in one of his last truly menacing dramatic performances is Alec Baldwin in an Oscar nominated turn as Shelly, the no-nonsense ruthless casino boss. Ron Livingston also is good in a supporting role as an Ivy League young gun trying to put Shelly out ot pasture.
This is some really great stuff. It's sometiems rather uneven with the mix of wry romance with the dark underside of Vegas poking through, but in the end it all comes full circle and ends as it should, though you do need to be cool with Deus Ex Machina type stuff in order to accept the climax. Give this one a shot. It's a shame it's not as revered as it nees to be.
Yet another good William H. Macy movie. Very well made and well acted movie. Seems like this would really be something that casinos do.
Macy at his best supported by Bello as her star was rising and Baldwin at his scene stealing sinister peak. Just short of classic on account of the flimsy 'luck' premise being stretched beyond credulity.
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