30 user 7 critic

Four Dogs Playing Poker (2000)

Four friends steal a valuable statuette for a dangerous black market art dealer, lose it and are forced to play a deadly bluffing game to save their lives.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Cairns ...
Ruben Moreno ...
Tom (as Stephen Phillip Jones)
Dick (as John Nigel Taylor)
Waitress (as Octavia L. Spencer)
Ray Berrios ...
House Security Guard
Data Security Guard
Ramiro Fabian ...


A group of best friends and amateur thieves steal a valuable statuette for a ruthless black market art dealer. After the thieves botch the delivery of the objet d'art, the art dealer forces them to 'find' $1 million by the end of the week or face certain death. The desperate friends concoct a plan whereby each of them takes out a $1 million life insurance policy on themselves. Consequently, if one of the friends die, the others will collect on the policy and pay off the dangerous art dealer. The thieves then enter into a lethal lottery to choose who will be the victim and who will be the killer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and some sexuality | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 June 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

4 Dogs Playing Poker  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Early in the movie when Audrey is punching in the code for the art room, she is told the last two digits were 2 and 7. She clearly doesn't type those numbers, it looks like she enters 9 and 8. See more »

Crazy Credits

Daniel London in the role of Kevin is listed twice in the closing credits. See more »


I Don't Mind
Written and Performed by Scott Hackwith
Courtesy of Hackwith Music ASCAP
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User Reviews

The title's better than the film
2 July 2008 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

Four friends, Julian (Balthazar Getty), Audrey (Olivia Williams), Holly (Stacy Edwards), and Kevin (Daniel London), are recruited by bar owner Felix (Tim Curry) to steal a statuette from a wealthy Argentinian collector for crooked dealer, Mr. Ellington (Forrest Whittaker). Having successfully pinched the statuette and shipped it to America, the group's celebrations are interrupted by Ellington, who advises them that he has been informed that the statuette is not aboard the ship. Telling the group he will require $1 million compensation from them if it doesn't arrive or he will have them executed, Ellington later proceeds to have Felix bumped off to show he's not kidding. The frantic four, on discovering the statuette is indeed missing, hit on a bizarre plan whereby each will take out $1 million life insurance and one of them will kill the other – the deal being only the killer – who is determined by the draw of a card and a safety deposit key – will know who the intended victim is to be.

This movie blew it for me in the first twenty minutes. Having pulled off an incredibly dull heist at a society wedding, we learn that the international art thieves recruited by Curry are in fact an insurance clerk, a shoe salesgirl, a barman, and a druggie, none of whom had ever stolen anything before. Yeah, right. Then, upon being told by Ellington that the statuette – which Curry wrapped in paper and left on top of a crate at the docks! – had gone missing, no-one had the sense to ask how he came by this information. But, hey, if they'd done that they might have resolved everything in the first half-hour, and then we wouldn't have been able to enjoy the 'brilliant' idea first-time writers Shawn David Thompson and William Quist dreamed up. The idea itself – the paranoia arising out of one of four people having to kill the other with only the killer knowing who the victim is to be – isn't a bad one, but is almost impossible to work into a movie without using some pretty tortuous plot devices to shoehorn it in. An experienced, quality writer might at least manage to entertain us anyway, but the script for this movie is pedestrian at best and downright bad most of the time. The characters are strictly one-dimensional, given no background whatsoever, and all come across as a bad lot who are simply getting what they deserve, so we don't care who the killer or the intended victim is. And, if they had behaved true to what minimal characterisation the writers have given them, they would all have high-tailed it the moment they discovered they weren't the killer and therefore had a one-in-three chance of being the victim. Even the supposed twist at the end comes as no real surprise.

The only good things about this movie are old pro's Tim Curry and Forrest Whitaker (who must have both been short of decent offers back in 2000), but they're on screen for maybe fifteen minutes at the most. The rest of the cast are uniformly unmemorable which, unfortunately, this movie isn't going to be, because it's so bad it's going to keep coming back like a dodgy prawn supper. This is a dire film, whose only appropriate fate is to gather dust on the shelves of the nation's DVD rental outlets.

Cool title, though.

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