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Reindeer Games (2000)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  25 February 2000 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 28,621 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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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:

£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

John Frankenheimer:  [people falling through ice]  a crucial moment of drama in this film. See more »

Goofs

Rudy is given a bottle of rum before the robbery. The bottle says it's Bacardi Light rum, which is clear, but the liquid in the bottle is brown, the color of dark rum. See more »

Quotes

Jumpy: It says here the retail industry does 50% of its business between December 1st and December 25th. That's half a year's business in one month's time. It seems to me, an intelligent country would legislate a second such gift giving holiday. Create, say, a Christmas 2, late May, early June, to further stimulate growth.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Jingle All the Way (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

At Last
Written by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Etta James
Published by EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Are you game?
19 January 2000 | by (Anywhere, USA) – See all my reviews



After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan(Ben Affleck) and his cellmate Nick (HILARY AND JACKIE's 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 (CIDER HOUSE RULES's 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.

From an original screenplay by Ehren Kruger, REINDEER is very much in the same vein as his last script ARLINGTON ROAD. While much more of an action film than the paranoia drenched ROAD, REINDEER holds it's deceptions very close to it's heart as well. Who can you trust, and for how long? Helmed by esteemed director John Frankenheimer (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, RONIN), REINDEER seems keenly aware of it's inane story, yet he keeps pushing the proceedings along briskly, trying to keep this casino heist plot afloat with good actors and a passable script. It's fun just to watch this tale unfold. All the professionals involved know this material isn't CITIZEN KANE, but as action films go nowadays, REINDEER's restraint is it's most endearing aspect. No pop culture references, not too many exploding fireballs, and Frankenheimer keeps the edit count down. REINDEER GAMES is a far more classy film than it's brethren.

It takes some time to get used to Ben Affleck as a tough ex-con. His baby face and peanut brittle voice do little to sell him as an action hero. As REINDEER trudges along, you get used to watching him act tough. It isn't the best performance that's come out of him (I'll save that honor for DOGMA), but Affleck is a likable enough guy and makes Rudy a character you want to see save the day. Imagine an aging lead vocalist for a Black Sabbath cover band and you'll have an idea what Gary Sinse looks like in REINDEER. He always makes a great passionate villain, but this time he takes his appearance one step further and actually looks like a threat. Charlize Theron keeps improving as an actress, but it is her new brunette look and honey smile that one takes away from her performance. She looks lovely in the snow, but not too much presence beyond that. The whole cast is somewhat stuck with Kruger's elementary script, and they all try hard to overcome it. It ends up being their individual charms that make REINDEER come out a winner.

I liked REINDEER GAMES for the throwaway Christmas thriller that it is. Taking advantage of the topical Native American casino boom and deliberately waltzing away from many clichés, GAMES is a pleasure to enjoy. We need more of these. ----- 8


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