5.7/10
32,768
215 user 131 critic

Reindeer Games (2000)

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:

Reviews
Popularity
3,944 ( 1,937)

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dana Stubblefield ...
...
...
...
Michael Sunczyk ...
...
Distant Inmate #2 (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
...
Guard #1
...
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:

$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,128,356 (USA) (25 February 2000)

Gross:

$23,360,779 (USA) (16 June 2000)
 »

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

According to Danny Trejo, the reason Vin Diesel was replaced in the role that Donal Logue wound up playing was because Diesel was offered a starring role in The Fast and the Furious (2001). Diesel wisely went with The Fast and the Furious (2001), and was discharged from this movie. See more »

Goofs

When the gang initially robs the casino, they are telling the security guards to drop their guns. One of the guards has the gun up and ready, but the slide is obviously back. There is no way the security guard could have shot the gun with his gun not ready. 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 Tosh.0: Nintendo 64 Kid (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Drummer Boy
Written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone
Performed by Veronika Sorrow
Published by EMI Mills Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Projekt Records
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.


22 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?