The Gambler (2014)


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


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Movie Info

Jim Bennett (Academy Award (R)-nominee Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Academy Award (R)-winner Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett's future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance... (C) Paramount

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Mark Wahlberg
as Jim Bennett
Brie Larson
as Amy Phillips
Anthony Kelley
as Lamar Allen
Steve Park
as Number 2
Chil Kong
as Blackjack Dealer #1
Davone McDonald
as Neville's Muscle
Amin Joseph
as Neville's Bookkeeper
Cjon Saulsberry
as Neville's Posse
Teebone Mitchell
as Neville's Posse
Alvin Ing
as Mister Lee
Karen Ritchie
as Blackjack Dealer #2
Tina Wang
as Roulette Croupier
Josiah Blount
as Nebbishy Student
Shakira Ja'nai Paye
as Questioning Student
Melanie McComb
as Mouthy Student
Andre Braugher
as Dean Fuller
Chanon Finley
as Pole Dancer
Raquel Pomplun
as Bottle Service Girl
Mattie Hawkinson
as Wide Eyed Student
James Wellington
as Indian Casino Dealer
Carlos L. Smith
as Indian Casino Ranchero
Steven Fisher
as Indian Casino Gambler #1
Henry Penzi
as Indian Casino Gambler #2
Steve Kim
as Mister Lee's Heavy #1
Simon Rhee
as Mister Lee's Heavy #2
Leland Orser
as Larry Jones
Todd Tetreault
as ROTC Squad Leader
Trevor Denman
as Horse Race Announcer
Jessika Van
as Sports Bar Waitress
Mike Rylander
as Game Announcer
Marques Johnson
as Game Color Man
Mark Schotz
as Assistant Basketball Coach
Michael Fisher
as Basketball Coach
Kent Avenido
as Gambling Den Owner
Brian Woods
as Referee
Marc Abbink
as Press Member
Stephen Woo
as Karaoke Singer
Rio Ahn
as Korean Pit Boss
as Student
Greg Duncan
as Security Consultant
Jason Her
as Radio Host
Kelly Bacon
as High-Fiving Court Fan
Rex Hindrichs
as Donovan Cham (Wildcats Player)
Jahmilla Jackson
as Supporting
Case Lawyer
as Gambler Ken
Stephen Choi
as Black Jack Dealer
Daniel Mitchell
as Jim's Dad
Lawannah Ann Curry
as Upscale Gambler
Denise J. Saucedo
as Posse (Janet Mc)
Nicki Dion
as Student
Micah Taylor West
as Female Basketball Player
Moses Yim
as Upscale Gambler
Jonathan Gatz
as Screaming Fan
Alex Gregory
as Basketball Player
Dawayne Jordan
as Basketball Fan
Anita Liao
as Casino Hostess
Hanna Messick
as Cheongsam Girl
TJ Nibbio
as Basketball Fan
Justin Ryan
as Basketball Fan
Iain Sandison
as Bookstore Guy
Joseph Steven
as Funeral Priest
Eric Bryan Stone
as Basketball Player
Steven J. Wong
as Mr. Mahjong
Jen Yim
as Showgirl
Teazz Yung
as Supporting
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News & Interviews for The Gambler

Critic Reviews for The Gambler

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (33)

The dialogue never leaves the surface and the running across Los Angeles that happens in the last sequence is supposed to thrill you, but it's such a cliché that your embarrassment extends to the crew member who has to follow with the camera.

Jan 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Though Wahlberg is a fine actor, there's no way I can buy him as a college English professor holding forth on Shakespeare and Camus.

Jan 7, 2015 | Full Review…

The hopeful ending comes off as too little, too late. Wahlberg gives the role his all, but sticking with him is a futile gesture. The Gambler never pays off. It's a sucker's bet.

Dec 30, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

As The Gambler becomes less about its protagonist's dashed intellectualism and more about the gathering danger of his predicament, the film gains power.

Dec 27, 2014 | Full Review…

An agreeable if ridiculous slice of old-school Hollywood machismo ...

Dec 26, 2014 | Full Review…

It's just like the Kenny Rogers song says: "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." It's time for this "Gambler" to walk away.

Dec 26, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Gambler


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 Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer


Wahlberg's existential crisis is sharply written and briskly paced, but in a film that's a little too aimless.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

"The Gambler" is slick, interesting, but ultimately dull and boring. I had so many mixed feelings leaving the screening for this film. Great performances all around, but a premise that has already been done to death. After losing his grandfather, Jim Bennett is faced with his past as all the people he owes money to, come back to haunt him. He has natural luck for gambling but does not know how to get out when he is high. There is some great tension building in the betting portions of the film and whether he will make it out alive, but with hardly a score and a very slow pace, "The Gambler" is kind of a sleeper that will be forgotten in years to come. Not to say that any of the film is particularly bad, it just doesn't do anything new and the script needs some work. Overall, I had a decent time watching this film, but there is nothing special enough about it to warrant a recommendation. I honestly expected more from the director of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Jim Bennett: You got me feeling lucky; I'm putting everything on black... In a film about high stakes gambling and the crushing weight an addiction (or whatever Mark Wahlberg's character wants to call it), knowing how to balance the tension and frustration of someone constantly risking it all with cinematic skill is very important. Rupert Wyatt's directorial follow-up to Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a drastically different type of film in terms of scale, but this remake of 1974's The Gambler clearly shows that he can balance entertainment with intelligence within the confines of mainstream studio fare. Not that we do not see this from other filmmakers in any given year and it is also not like The Gambler is not without its share of issues, but as much as Wahlberg is the star actor in the film, Rupert Wyatt is really selling himself as the star director. read the whole review at

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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