MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 754 this week

Reindeer Games (2000)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  25 February 2000 (USA)
5.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 28,491 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 205 user | 125 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.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 21 Oct 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 29 Dec 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 03 Jun 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Reindeer Games" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Reindeer Games (2000)

Reindeer Games (2000) on IMDb 5.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Reindeer Games.

User Polls

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
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An actor poses as a lawyer to help his sick friend, and problems develop.

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Charlize Theron
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A man accidentally hits a homeless person with his car and then can't seem to get rid of him the rest of the night.

Director: Jordan Brady
Stars: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Luke Wilson
Trapped (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
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

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

Director: Mike Mitchell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini
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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A top Hollywood talent agent finds his cushy existence threatened when he discovers that his wife is cheating on him and that his journal has been swiped by a reporter out to bring him down.

Director: Mike Binder
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Romijn, John Cleese
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man encounters an exciting stranger after his plane suffers an accident on takeoff.

Director: Bronwen Hughes
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Maura Tierney
Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

David Raybourne is an American journalist covering political news in Italy during the 1970's. He is evolved with the Red Brigades when trying to help a friend (Alison King), who ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Sharon Stone, Valeria Golino
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dana Stubblefield ...
...
Tom Heaton ...
...
Michael Sunczyk ...
Douglas Arthurs ...
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) 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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Cameo: Ashton Kutcher as the man Rudy (Ben Affleck) switches clothes with in the bathroom. See more »

Goofs

When Rudy is pointing the water pistol at one of the gang members, at one angle, his arm is fully extended. At a different angle, his elbow is bent so we can see the gun as his face in the same shot. When they cut back and forth, Rudy's arm jumps from extended to bent and back. See more »

Quotes

[shooting at a group of robbers in Santa Claus suits]
Jack Bangs: Hey, Santa Claus! Welcome to the Tomahawk!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: Nintendo 64 Kid (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

What Christmas Means to Me
Written by George Gordy, Allen Story and Anna Gordy Gaye
Performed by Stevie Wonder
Published by EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP) and EMI Blackwood Music Inc. (BMI)
o/b/o Jobete Muisc Co., Inc. (BMI) and Stone Agate Music (A Division of Jobete Music Co.,
Inc.) (BMI)
Courtesy Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's entertaining and thrilling.
10 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

*** out of ****

Reindeer Games is a semi-guilty pleasure to be sure. I don't feel it's one of those so-bad-it's-good sort of movies, but the script relies quite a bit on chance and one of the plot twists, though quite fun and unpredictable, is a bit on the implausible side. The likelihood of this situation panning itself out the way it did here isn't very high, but the film works because of John Frankenheimer's direction, the charismatic cast, and the dark humor.

Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck), a car thief, and his cellmate and best friend Nick Cassidy (James Frain) are two days away from being released from prison. Rudy just wants to return home to his family, while Nick plans on meeting with his pen-pal girlfriend, a beautiful woman named Ashley (Charlize Theron). Unfortunately, a food fight breaks out in the prison cafeteria and Nick is killed, leaving Rudy with a dilemma. When he's released, at the last moment, he decides to pose as Nick to Ashley.

For the first few days, this is Heaven for Rudy. He and Ashley click immediately, and they make love in a motel. However, returning back to the motel from some shopping, he's ambushed and beaten by Ashley's brother, Gabriel (Gary Sinise) and his men. Having read Nick's letters and discovering he'd worked as a security guard at the Tomahawk Casino, he plans to use Rudy (whom he thinks is Nick) to help him rob the casino. Rudy has to now find a way to convince everyone he's Nick and get out of this situation alive.

From the opening scene featuring five dead Santas in the snow, Reindeer Games had me riveted. It's a fine way to open the film, giving the feeling that something disastrous has just occured, and it piqued my interest. Using the flashback method in this film is effective, which may now be considered tiresome in films overall, but it works here.

After The Island of Dr. Moreau, it looked as if though director Frankenheimer's career was almost over; then came Ronin, an action thriller that featured some exciting shootouts and one of the most brilliant car chases ever filmed. Reindeer Games still features Frankenheimer doing a first-rate job. While his direction is far from flawless (he has a pesky insistence to shoot many, many close-ups) he does an excellent job creating suspense and believable action scenes.

Reindeer Games tries to work as both action and suspense, and for the most part, it succeeds. The action is refreshingly not over-the-top in the "how do we top the next stunt" style seen in so many Jerry Bruckheimer or Joel Silver blockbuster films. Frankenheimer injects tension into the gunplay, fistfights, and chases, and these scenes work better than they probably could have in another less talented director's hands.

Ehren Kruger wrote the script, and he puts in a lot of dark humor. There are a lot of funny moments, due mostly to Affleck trying to ad-lib and convince everyone he's actually Nick. Of course, Kruger is also (in)famous for plot twists that just about nobody can predict, but are also wildly improbable. Actually, Reindeer Games' final plot twist is perhaps more likely to occur than the twists in Kruger's other scripts (Scream 3 and Arlington Road). Speaking of that twist, let me just say that you might or might not figure it out almost exactly a minute before it happens. Unlikely or not, there's no denying that last twist is a lot of fun.

Director Frankenheimer and screenwriter Kruger also seem to know what the audience wants from this sort of movie, and they fill it with everything they can, including violent action, the dark humor, the twists and turns, as well as a good dose of sex and nudity, provided mostly by Charlize Theron. The fact that she's a lovely woman doesn't hurt matters at all.

The cast plays a major part in the film's success. Ben Affleck has proven he's one of cinema's most charismatic young actors. His Rudy Duncan is character you can root for the whole way through because Affleck molds him into a likable and energetically funny persona. Gary Sinise chews the scenery big-time as the villain. Let's face it, he's easily one of the best actors around and it's somewhat of a shame to see him play a role like this when he's easily suited for something more complex, but he has so much fun in the role it's hard not to feel his enthusiasm. Charlize Theron doesn't really get a whole lot to work with. She has only a few modes, mostly just relegated to smiling or crying, or looking lost or angry. The supporting cast mostly consists of Gabriel's henchmen, which include Clarence William III, Donal Logue, and Danny Trejo, all of whom deliver okay performances. The only other cast member with signifcant screen time is Dennis Farina, who tries to chew the scenery like Sinise, but isn't half as effective or memorable.

Of course, not everything in the film is effective. The film has a dark tone and atmosphere almost the whole way through, and it creates more unpleasant scenes than are welcome. You also have to wonder about the intelligence of Gabriel and his men; they simply don't have a lot of it. They get fooled by Rudy a little too easily and after a while, it feels like they give him too many chances.

But ultimately, those are my only true gripes with the movie. Reindeer Games hardly takes itself ultra-seriously, and as a result it's a fun ride virtually the whole way through. There's nothing truly innovative or brilliant at work here, and the film's certainly not saying anything deep; it's just for entertainment value, and all the elements work together well to create an enjoyable and fast-paced thriller.


27 of 49 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:
?