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

Director:

Writer:

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton
Trapped I (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When their daughter is kidnapped by experienced nappers, the Jennings' turn the tables on this seemingly foolproof plan.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Courtney Love
Paycheck (2003)
Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman
Bounce (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man switches plane tickets with another man who dies in that plane in a crash. The man falls in love with the deceased one's wife.

Director: Don Roos
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natasha Henstridge
Boiler Room (2000)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Director: Ben Younger
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Director: Mike Mitchell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

After an explosion in space and subsequent two-minute radio-out period, two astronauts return home to their wives. Slightly it's revealed that they're not the same as they were.

Director: Rand Ravich
Stars: Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Joe Morton
15 Minutes (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

CIA analyst Jack Ryan must thwart the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Stars: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain
The Yards (2000)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he ... See full summary »

Director: James Gray
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

48 hours of intersecting lives and crimes in Los Angeles.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Teri Hatcher, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is days away from release as is his cellmate Nick (James Frain) who is is serving a two year sentence on a separate charge. Nick has a number of pictures from a romantic correspondence with a woman named Ashley he has never met but is waiting for his release. Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Nick is killed defending Rudy during a prison riot. When Rudy Is released the next day from prison he recognizes Ashley waiting outside the prison for Nick and Rudy takes his place and pretends to be Nick. Nick had spoken of his previous employment in security with an Indian casino and Rudy finds himself involved with Ashley's criminal gun runner brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Rudy is violently coerced to cooperate with a Christmas Eve casino robbery scheme that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick's casino knowledge as the key. Things... 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deception  »

Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,128,356 (USA) (25 February 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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Alan Silvestri was hired in late 1999 to score after replacing Jerry Goldsmith on the film after he'd left due to creative differences and had only a month to score the film with the music being recorded in early January 2000. See more »

Goofs

Monster throws a dart into the front of Rudy's shoulder, but in the next shot it is stuck in the back of his shoulder (shots of additional darts being thrown were cut from the final version so we never see this one land). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rudy Duncan: [Rudy narrating] To tell ya the truth, I never was much for the holidays. It's been forever since I'd known a holiday, since I'd seen my family, since I'd been with a girl, since I'd driven a car. You see, cars are what put me here - Iron Mountain, Maximum Security Prison. I was riding a hard five for grand theft auto. Meanwhile, most of my esteemed raping and murdering colleagues were up for parole in three. The world works like that sometimes. All the time, in my experience. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 18 to Life: If a Bellow Falls in the Forest (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
(uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Frankenheimer's Rosebud...
16 December 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I can imagine the pitch for "Reindeer Games" being thrown at the execs behind the picture...

"Okay, it's about this guy, who's not who he says he is, who everybody thinks he is, who fools these guys who thinks he is, falls in love with this girl who thinks he is, even though he isn't, and they try to pull a heist with his expertise, even though he has none."

Nick (Ben Affleck) has just been released from jail for defending his girlfriend in a fight prior to being thrown into the slammer. Upon his release, a long-time pen pal named Ashley (Charlize Theron) greets him and they immediately hit the sack. However, her brother (Gary Sinise) wants Nick to help them pull a heist on Christmas Eve at a local Indian casino, which is run by a money hungry wannabe (Dennis Farina). Her brother kidnaps Nick, holds a gun to his head and commands him to draw up a sketch of the security points in the casino, since he used to work there and knows all there is to know about the casino. There is one minor detail, however, that may hinder their plan.

Nick is not Nick.

Nick is really a car jacker who overheard his jail cellmate, Nick, reading his letters from a penpal named Ashley aloud. Nick was killed before his release in the jail cafeteria, and so Nick took his identity so that he could meet up with the infamous Ashley he kept hearing about, forming a mental picture of her in his head.

If you stop to take the time and think through all the minor details of the film's plot (especially given the "twist" ending), you'll probably arive upon the conclusion that it's all a bunch of bull. It simply doesn't make sense if you really take the time to think it through.

If you don't put your brain to work, however, you'll find yourself having fun watching director John Frankenheimer's last film. Frankenheimer was a talented director, the man behind such films as "The Manchurian Candidate," "Seconds" and "Ronin." His last feature was one of his most stylish and brutal, fast-paced, funny, and often just fun to sit through.

Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump," "Ransom") is his usual villainious self, while the real surprise comes from actress Charlize Theron, who switches character a lot through the film, especially towards the end, and is a real beauty and delight to watch. She's the film's high point, and though people criticize the plot, I found "Reindeer Games" mildly inventive with its shifting twists and turns, even if they aren't always so believable.

The film's downfall is its ending, which feels as if the filmmakers got caught up in all their twists and turns and unconsciously wrote themselves into a wall, then suddenly slapped on a cheesy, cliched ending with a sentimental good guy closing scene. It's rushed, silly, and doesn't fit in with the rest of the film.

Irregardless of its uncountable flaws, "Reindeer Games" (or "Deception" as it is called in the UK) is a fun film, John Frankenheimer's final movie. "Reindeer Games" is often linked as Frankenheimer's long-time dream picture, much like Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America." Like a dying man's final words, perhaps it conveyed some hidden meaning to Frankenheimer. Or, maybe everyone was wrong. Maybe "Reindeer Games" is nothing but another Frankenheimer film, this one not as good as most of his others.

But "Rosebud" didn't mean anything to anyone except Charles Foster Kane. Maybe "Reindeer Games" meant something to John Frankenheimer. However, as anyone who has ever seen "Citizen Kane" probably knows, it's not likely that we'll ever find out what it means, even if we try.

3/5 stars. Enjoyable if you don't put your brain to work.

  • John Ulmer



40 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss Reindeer Games (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?