Directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter (1971) and Flash Gordon (1980)), and written by Paul Mayersberg (The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) and Eureka (1983)), this crime drama had a troubled release, opening to no fanfare at all in the UK in 1999, it was released in America in 2000, where the critics absolutely loved it, and it got a re-release here in 2001, where people saw what the fuss was about. It follows aspiring writer Jack Manfred (Clive Owen), who is struggling to find inspiration for his next book. But, following a recommendation from his father (Nicholas Ball), Jack gets a job at a casino ran by David Reynolds (Alexander Morton), working as a croupier. It's against his better judgement as he used to gamble a lot in his home country of South Africa. However, he knows he can't get close to the customers or the staff. The job takes over his life, and puts a strain on his relationship with girlfriend Marion (Gina McKee). Then Jack breaks a big rule, he finds himself getting close to gambler Jani de Villiers (Alex Kingston), who has a dark side. It's a very good crime film, and it's about the temptation that the world of gambling has to offer. It's a very twisty film as well, but it's cleverly scripted, and it does show the realistic side to gambling, all the tricks of the trade as well as the do's and don't that the job of a croupier entails. It's well worth a look.