House of Games

1987

House of Games

Critics Consensus

Galvanized by David Mamet's punchy dialogue and a a winding succession of surprises, House of Games is a terse thriller where confidence is currency.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,481
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House of Games Photos

Movie Info

Playwright David Mamet's directorial debut House of Games is a tense psychological thriller about a uptight psychiatrist (Lindsay Crouse) who falls prey to a smooth-talking con-man (Joe Mantegna), and then proceeds to turn the tables on him.

Cast

Lindsay Crouse
as Margaret Ford
Lilia Skala
as Dr. Littauer
Steve Goldstein
as Billy Hahn
J.T. Walsh
as Businessman
Willo Hausman
as Girl With Book
Karen Kohlhaas
as Prison Ward Patient
Jack Wallace
as Bartender, `House of Games'
Ricky Jay
as George/Vegas Man
Ben Blakeman
as Bartender, `Charlie's Tavern'
Scott Zigler
as Western Union Clerk
William H. Macy
as Sgt. Moran
John Pritchett
as Hotel Desk Clerk
Roberta Magure
as Restaurant Hostess
Johnny S.B. Willis
as Hotel Doorman
Josh Conescu
as Garage Attendant
Julie Mendenhall
as Late Student
Rachel Cline
as Student
Patricia Wolff
as Patient, Dr. Ford's Office
Paul Walsh
as Man in Restaurant
Roberta Maguire
as Restaurant Hostess
Jaqueline de la Chaume
as Woman with Lighter
G. Roy Levin
as Poker Player
Bob Lumbra
as Poker Player
Andy Potok
as Poker Player
Allen Soule
as Poker Player
View All

News & Interviews for House of Games

Critic Reviews for House of Games

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (1)

  • There is a teasing quality to Mamet's presentations that reminds me of a skilled magician, meticulously laying out his cards while telling us a story.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Regardless of whether the film still delivers its intended zing, it's still hugely satisfying to watch all the moving parts click into place.

    May 24, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • David Mamet's sometimes baffling, never less than fascinating glimpse into the dark underbelly of this world where it turns out that winning games of chance involve more skill (and con artistry) than luck.

    May 3, 2013 | Rating: 80/100 | Full Review…
  • O roteiro é mais previsível do que Mamet desejaria e seu primeiro trabalho na direção exibe uma teatralidade que ele gradualmente superaria, mas, apesar disso, a complexidade de seus personagens e a dinâmica de seus diálogos são admiráveis.

    Jan 5, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • Since it would be unfair to spoil a moment of this perfectly-plotted masterpiece, all you need to know is that it landed on this critic's Best Movies of the Millennium List in 2000.

    Aug 24, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A conceptual film about con artists, Mamet's feature debut is a deadpan, deviously comic melodrama that proceeds with twists and reversals and builds like a poker game in which the stakes are higher and higher.

    Dec 6, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for House of Games

  • Oct 02, 2015
    House of Games is one odd thriller. The world it takes place in feels empty; the whole thing seems to happen during off-hours. The vibe is on the laid back side, and carries the suggestion that one relax and be charmed by a bit of showmanship. Yet the film watches quick; the dialogue is all about making contact and moving the action. The delivery is artificially clever and dramatic. The characters feel so distant that I was not going to rate this up much, but then thought about it and realized the film still has a lot of good points to it. Recommended to those who enjoy character studies and a good magic trick.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2012
    Psychiatrist/author Lindsey Crouse, an icy observer who smokes more than a tire fire, gets more than she expects after getting involved with con man Joe Mantegna and his cronies. Hailed by Roger Ebert as the best film of 1987 (and 3rd on Siskel's list), there were certainly far fewer films of this devious ilk back then, but the modern seasoned film enthusiast will probably deduce the destination several stops ahead of time. Still a good watch though, one of David Mamet's best scripts and as director he uses light & shadow to good effect.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2011
    A movie on conmen that as a movie is a con on the audience, clever or stupid? I was way ahead of this movie so I couldn't enjoy it the way it's written to be enjoyed. The performances are great and the dialogue is bright - it's a successful adaption, not an enjoyable movie.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2011
    A real "pop corn muncher" of a movie...a true classic that holds onto your attention long before you realize that you...have been conned...LOL! A psychologist assists a suicidal patient a wee bit too far before she realizes that she too, is in too deep. See this flick it is an eye opening winner!
    Fascade F Super Reviewer

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