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Reindeer Games (2000)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  25 February 2000 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 28,779 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 205 user | 120 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with his girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself the reluctant participant in a casino heist.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dana Stubblefield ...
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Tom Heaton ...
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Michael Sunczyk ...
Douglas Arthurs ...
Distant Inmate #2 (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
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Guard #1
Ron Sauvé ...
Guard #2 (as Ron Sauve)
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Prisoner #1 (as Ron Hyatt)
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Pug
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Storyline

After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) and his cellmate Nick (James Frain) are finally going to be paroled. After hearing endless stories during his incarceration of Nick's romantic correspondence to a woman named Ashley he has never met (Charlize Theron), Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. When Nick is killed during a prison riot, Rudy decides to assume Nick's identity upon release from prison and meet up with the unknown woman. Burdened with a base knowledge of Nick's Indian casino employment past, Rudy finds himself in too deep with Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) and is violently forced to cooperate with a casino robbery that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick in mind. Written by Brian Orndorf

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The trap is set. The game is on.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deception  »

Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£101,094 (UK) (23 June 2000)

Gross:

ESP 244,329,691 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dana Stubblefield:  the convict that stabs Rudy's friend in the prison scene. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene at the Tomahawk Casino, "Nick" bumps into a waitress and she drops the drink she's carrying. A glass breaking sound is heard. Also when one of the characters discovers that there was no remodel done on the Tomahawk - he runs off, dropping his glass - and the sound is heard again. There is carpet visible, throughout the Tomahawk which would make such a glass breaking sound impossible. See more »

Quotes

Rudy Duncan: Sounds pretty mature for twenty-five.
Nick Cassidy: Grow up in Detroit, you mature real quickly.
Rudy Duncan: Yeah. Either that or those pictures are ten years old.
See more »

Connections

References A Christmas Carol (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Rollercoaster
Written by Ralph Middlebrooks, James 'Diamond' Williams (as James L. Williams),
Marshall E. Jones (as Marshall Jones), Leroy 'Sugarfoot' Bonner (as Leroy Bonner),
, Clarence Satchell, Willie Beck, Marvin Pierce (as Marvin R. Pierce)
Performed by Ohio Players
Published by Rightsong Music, Inc. (BMI)
o/b/o itself and Rick's Music, Inc.(BMI)
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Affleck-ted, but Not Fatally
23 February 2001 | by (Berkeley, CA) – See all my reviews

John Frankenheimer follows up his great comeback film, "Ronin," with "Reindeer Games," a flawed but efficient thriller that recalls his earlier "52 Pick-Up."

Freshly paroled ex-con Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) assumes the identity of his cellmate, Nick (who misses out on his parole when he is taken out during a prison riot), when Rudy falls for Nick's gorgeous pen-pal, Ashley (Charlize Theron). The ruse goes awry when he is also mistaken for Nick by a gang of thugs (headed by Gary Sinise) who recruit him in their planned heist of an Indian casino at which Nick had been employed.

Like "52 Pick-Up," "Reindeer Games" has a central character whose flawed behavior puts him at the mercy of dangerous individuals who conceive a scheme that spins out of control. "52 Pick-Up" was successful because the entire cast, beginning with Roy Scheider as the trapped hero, was equal to the task of bringing the grittiness of the material to the screen. The one significant problem with "Reindeer Games" is the casting of squeaky-clean Affleck as its central character. Through no fault of his own, Affleck looks like a lightweight alongside a supporting cast that includes Sinise, Clarence Williams III, Danny Trejo, and Dennis Farina -- all actors who look like they have lived a little. Affleck cuts a profile similar to that of Scheider, but without the lived-in look that made him convincing as someone who would be able to go toe to toe with his tormentors.

"Reindeer" is helped greatly by the performance of Theron, who, while also young, always has been able to project a more adult presence like the young Kathleen Turner. Credited more for her on- and off-screen glamour, Theron often is underrated as an actress. Here she conveys equal parts sweetness, intelligence, dismay, and ferocity. Of course, she also livens up her sensual scenes. For many actresses, nudity itself is the extent of their sexuality, but Theron generates heat simply by looking comfortable and bringing an unforced quality to the proceedings.

The other major plus is Frankenheimer's direction, which turns an adequate screenplay into a solid thriller. He keeps the story moving and handles the action scenes economically, avoiding the excesses of Michael Bay, Simon West, and other directors of MTV-inspired fireball-fests. As in "Ronin," the action actually stays within the bounds of plausibility, which makes them more involving.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Favorite Charlize Scene In REINDEER GAMES abrooks-4
Favorite Quotes Andyp007
Where did this take place? yooper1019
what a GREAT movie! clarkent25
Much better than expected martin23579
Ashton Kutcher is in this film! Double-Down
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