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For a thriller about the duplicitous world of online gambling, Runner Runner has frustratingly little up its sleeve, and you can blame the writers for that. Though director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) does a great job of capturing the alternately glitzy and grimy feel of sunny gamblers’ paradise Costa Rica, and Ben Affleck sinks his teeth into his role with gusto, Runner Runner‘s familiar, lazily plotted script bogs it down with an overabundance of clichés.

In an opening slightly reminiscent of David Fincher’s The Social Network, viewers meet Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake), a brainy Princeton grad student in hot water for promoting gambling on campus. Furst, well-versed in the strategies of online poker, plays for his tuition money one night, only to find himself penniless after losing to an impossibly good opponent. Believing that he’s been swindled, he jets to Costa Rica to confront the site »

- Isaac Feldberg

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