Owning Mahowny


Owning Mahowny

Critics Consensus

This story of addiction may lack the typical flash and glamour, but Hoffman makes Mahowny compelling.



Total Count: 95


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,521
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Movie Info

Brian Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Brian Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession.


Critic Reviews for Owning Mahowny

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (32)

Audience Reviews for Owning Mahowny

  • Jun 06, 2014
    <i>-How would you rate the thrill you got from gambling on a scale of 1 to 100? -Um... A hundred. -What about the biggest thrill you've ever had outside of gambling? -Twenty.</i> Life can sometimes overcome fiction and its rules of probabilities as shown in the real-life-based film by Richard Kwietniowski about an unassuming bank employee whose areas of his personal life slowly begin to hit a new bottom when his ability to transfer funds in an out of the bank after a promotion and approving loans to non-existent clients meet his addiction: gambling. With a low-key execution, the story unfolds patiently, but with not the impact that could mirror the mathematical and even legal implications that this event suggests it had in real life. It also carries a strong message in the end, which is only suggested with the final dialogue quoted above, but not developed fully with that intensity of living at least five times less intensely outside the addiction. Nevertheless, the grand Seymour Hoffman knows how to stay with his troubled character, and John Hurt is terrific as the badass and calculating bastard casino manager. 58/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2012
    hoffman creates a character who is trapped in a downward spiral of addicition. this is one interesting film that went unheard of. hoffman is criminally underrated and this role is proof of that
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2012
    A great movie on the drawbacks of gambling. Once again, Hoffman is putting together masterpieces away from the view of most of the general public. A shame.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    Straightforward but enthralling, "Owning Mahowny" is a rousing character study of incredible performances, most notably from Philip Seymour Hoffman as the titular character. Overall, the film doesn't feel like it's about gambling addiction as much as it is about one man's bad luck, but it has its moments.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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