Posted by Abbie on April 18, 2008 under Achive

First of all, hello misogyny! If my Feminist friend Lucy from university had seen this movie, her head would have exploded. The female lead is referred to as ‘that,’ and all of the female characters ‘aren’t trusted.’ There’s also a relevant argument for some racism in there too, but as this isn’t Film 450 with Dr. Brown, I’ll just get to the review.

Kevin Spacey plays Micky Rosa, an MIT professor who leads a secret team (this all sounds very spy movie, doesn’t it? I digress…) of card counters who spend their weekends taking Vegas for thousands. His newest recruit is Ben, an adorable mathematical genius who is in the midst of trying to figure out how to pay for Harvard med school. It all fits together so nicely, doesn’t it? However, things go awry; Ben gets carried away and Professor Rosa shows his true, not so nice, colours. Throw in a love interest and an angry Vegas security thug and it makes for a pretty good plot.

Spacey, unsurprisingly, just shines. You really don’t like him in this film, and you’re not supposed to. He plays a real jerk and he plays it well. Though I’m not sure how historically accurate it is (MIT students did operate a Blackjack team from the ’70s-’90’s), that’s not really the point of the film. For an easy watch, 21 is pretty good. It even describes exactly how to count Blackjack if you can follow the maths.


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