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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 29,015 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 209 user | 121 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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Title: Reindeer Games (2000)

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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:

$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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In October, 2007, Charlize Theron said in an interview in Esquire magazine that "Reindeer Games" was her least favorite of all her films. She said: "That was a bad, bad, bad movie. But I got to work with John Frankenheimer. I wasn't lying to myself - that's why I did it." See more »

Goofs

When questioning Rudy about his true identity, and how much he knows about Ashley's background, Gabriel puts a Glock to Rudy's head. Upon doing so, it sounds like a hammer cocking back on the pistol. Glock pistols do not have hammers. 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 Saturday Night Live: Ben Affleck/Fiona Apple (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Silver Bells
Written by Ray Evans (as Raymond Evans) and Jay Livingston
Published by Paramount Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Winter Blunderland
16 August 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ben Affleck plays Rudy, a con just trying to go straight (are there other kinds in the movies?), waiting for his imminent release. He and his cellmate Nick each have plans of enjoying themselves once they get out of stir. Nick's involves meeting and spending the rest of his life with a woman he's never met, a pen pal named Ashley (Charlize Theron). Ah, but the best-laid plans and all that go horribly awry when Nick is slain a few days before they're both due to be sprung. What a coincidence! Naturally, Rudy pretends to be Nick to Ashley, discovering her to be quite the cutie. You see, he's just gotten out of prison, hasn't been with a woman in years, and.... Well, anyway, he hooks up with the gorgeous Ashley, and all is well - for a few hours, anyway, until Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) shows up and demands Rudy/Nicky help him and his gang - who have never robbed anyone - pull off a heist of a local Indian casino. Of course, Rudy, being Rudy and not Nick, doesn't know a thing about the casino (Nick was a guard there years ago). And he tries to tell Gabriel that. But wouldn't you know it, the creep just won't listen! (Bad guys are like that.)

So your basic plot involves Rudy trying to help/not help these guys with their evil plan, and of course they'll stop at nothing, and of course things go wrong, etc. Oh sure, there are a few plot twists, and some will have you guessing, but my bet is there's going to be a lot in this movie that you've seen before. And if you think the plot's relatively ho-hum, with few surprises, then you're left with the performances of the three main leads.

Ben Affleck is miscast, in my opinion. His character's not terribly likeable (I mean he DOES lie to Charlize Theron, after all), but that's not his fault. Affleck's problem is that he combines arrogance with tough-guy attitude and thinks it makes him multifaceted. No, Ben, it makes you look like a jerk. A better choice for this role might have been Edward Norton (Fight Club). Norton can play tough with foibles, and I don't think Affleck has that ability.

Charlize Theron is outstanding. She delivers a deep, stunning performance that produces new wrinkles with each scene. Much like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Theron is crafty, essaying more in those bewitching eyes than most actors can in an entire soliloquy.

And Gary Sinise? He's Gary Sinise. He's sinister, he's mean-spirited....he's the heavy. He's the bad guy, folks, and Sinise has played this role a few times, so he knows what he's doing. Oh sure, maybe his character is nothing more than a cardboard Bad Guy role, but hey, that's more the fault of the screenwriting than it is of the actor, so I won't blame him. I've seen his talent range, and I know he's got some. (See Of Mice and Men or The Green Mile or Ransom.)

Bottom line - it's not exactly filled with the kind of twists that'll keep you guessing, but it's not too bad. It is, however, a bit of a comedown from the director of The Manchurian Candidate. But fret not, friends - it is, after all, a rental at this point, and it's worth the $3.50 or so.


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