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Well-paced and reasonably entertaining in its own right, The Gambler still suffers from comparisons to the James Caan classic that inspired it. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Literature professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) leads a secret life as a high-stakes gambler. Always a risk-taker, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Staying one step ahead, he pits his creditor against the operator of an illicit gambling ring while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a paternalistic loan shark. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must risk everything for a second chance.

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Critic Reviews for The Gambler

All Critics (143) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (80)

  • 'The Gambler' is just shy of a great movie - it doesn't quite add up like it should - but it is a reminder that there's a very fine actor lurking in Mark Wahlberg.

    June 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • This is a slick, fast-paced film that maintains its sometimes unbearable tension until the last roll of the dice.

    February 12, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite stylish direction by Rupert Wyatt, who pulls off a few arresting set pieces, The Gambler never manages to make sense of William Monahan's often laughably overripe screenplay.

    January 25, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The Gambler feels academic and slightly out of time.

    January 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a misconceived and strangely cast affair that can't work out its own attitude toward its main character.

    January 23, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Mark Wahlberg is always a physically articulate actor; here he wrings despair and disillusionment from every beaten-down gesture, every curt exchange.

    January 23, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Gambler

  • Jan 20, 2019
    Marky Mark try'na sell a watch to a stereotype made me kinda shame-laugh, and the last act was an improvement on the first two, but The Gambler is not something I would recommend to, realistically, anyone at all.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2018
    Wahlberg delivers one of the finest performances in recent times. The biggest problem is the film built around him sadly can't serve the story and it's this mix up that robs the film of being something grand and original. Wyatt has a consistent vision but he tends to lose the whole focus towards the end and we are essentially robbed of a film with a core purpose. I liked the film and the tone but it struggles to overcome a lucklustre love connection, which becomes one of the key parts of the story at some point. The support cast has depth and shine when provided the chance, Goodman shares one of the best scenes in the later part of the story. This is a good film but not great, the performances surrounding it are worth the ticket but the overall story is lacking where it needed to shine. 19/10/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2015
    So fucking bad. I normally like Mark Wahlberg, but he's pretty terrible here, as is the rest of the cast. AND WHAT IS WITH ALL THE FUCKING MONTAGES HERE?! THERE'S LIKE 15 OF THEM!!! Do yourself a favor and avoid this piece of shit.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2015
    Mark Wahlberg stars as The Gambler in this a drab and nihilistic thriller. When college professor Jim Bennett has his gambling debts called in by the Chinese mob he's given seven days to come up with the money. Wahlberg gives a decent performance, but his character is rather unlikable; as he seems to be self-destructing just to see how far he can go. Additionally, the plot is weak and doesn't have a clear direction. Yet director Rupert Wyatt does a nice job at creating an atmospheric tone, and at bringing tension to the scenes. While The Gambler has its moments, it fails to deliver a compelling story.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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