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The Cooler (2003)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 27,162 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 212 user | 155 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

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Title: The Cooler (2003)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Drama

The plot is unknown at this time.

Director: Wayne Kramer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Mikey
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Buddy Stafford
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Charlene
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Johnny Cappella
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Highway Officer (as MC Gainey)
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Lou
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Tony
Richard Israel ...
Marty Goldfarb
Timothy Landfield ...
The Player
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Storyline

The unluckiest man in Vegas - a guy whose bad luck is contagious - is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers' action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets "lady luck," which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When your life depends on losing... the last thing you need is lady luck. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, violence, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 2004 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Golpe de suerte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£151,514 (UK) (18 June 2004)

Gross:

£438,172 (UK) (2 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernie's Room 104 is located at the Town House Motor Lodge, 303 West Second Street, in Reno, Nevada. The film crew put another motel sign ("Bettor Life") over the Town House sign for filming the movie. The EZ Mini Market where Bernie shops is also at the Town House Motel. The Room 104 interiors were shot at the studio. The pool is still empty, even in the summers. The Town House is a quarter mile from the Golden Phoenix, at Second Street and Arlington in Reno. See more »

Goofs

When Bernie plays craps, he is shown placing two stacks of chips side-by-side on the pass line. This is incorrect - a player's entire bet must be placed in one vertical stack. AFTER a point is established, a player make "take the odds" by placing a second stack of chips BEHIND the original pass line bet. A second stack of chips on the pass line next to the player's bet would be assumed by the crew to be a toke - a bet for the dealers. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Casino employee: Where's Bernie, they're killing us. Yeah, we need him right away.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Maria Bello's face is reflected on the side of the "Lady Luck" hotel. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Can I Steal a Little Love
(1953)
Written by Phil Tuminello
Arranged by Kevin Antunes
Performed by Joey Fatone
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Las Vegas-Or the City in a Parallel Universe

"The Cooler" has really divided viewers. Some, definitely not all, are taken with William H. Macy's first-ever sexy role where he shows his buns (and a bit more) as Bernie the Cooler, a key employee at the Shangri-la, a Las Vegas casino a bit shopworn and out of touch with the latest and hottest on the Strip. A cooler is a guy who shows up by the side of a punter on a long winning streak and, somehow, extinguishes his luck merely by hanging around the table and acting like a klutz.

Maria Bello is a cocktail waitress, Natalie, relegated to the low end of the casino where elderly day trippers bet small amounts. Feeling sorry for her, and perhaps a bit attracted, Bernie gets her transferred to the big spender zone where, presumably, tips are better. One thing leads to another and - wow - Macy is, according to a few of my female friends, a heck of a lot sexier than, say, a wannabe babe magnet like Brad Pitt.

Running the casino is Shelley, Alec Baldwin. Shelley has a problem: the casino's investors (a euphemism) want to tear down the place and build a new, modern joint that will pack in the younger high rollers. A sentimentalist at heart, as well as a gangster, Shelley wants Shangri-la - which does turn a profit as he points out to the guys demanding change - to stick it out as the last classy, old style casino. This is the stuff of eyeball to eyeball confrontation.

Natalie is the catalyst for a change in Bernie's luck - and lust. From an initially awkward conjoining, the two fall deeply in love and find they're in synch in the sack. So she's no longer a catalyst, she's the Significant Other.

Bernie has some family issues with his lackluster son and Natalie has to deal with problems with Shelley that would merit a lawsuit about a hostile workplace . Shelley - poor guy - really needs a dedicated cooler, Bernie is the best and he knows, he thinks, how to insure renewed employee dedication.

No Nevada gaming authority or cops here - this casino seems to be in a parallel universe where the honchos make their own rules independent of even the semblance of regulation. There can't really be a Shangri-la like this place in Las Vegas (I'm sort of sure).

Macy delivers a terrific performance as a schlepp who finds he has the heart of if not a lion at least a fierce tabby. Bello handles the shifting moods of her character very well-she's a good actress. And very pretty. Baldwin turns in a predictably dependable job as a tired mobster/businessman who holds true to values rejected by the new generation of Organized Crime wiz kids (one persistent pest sent to remake the casino is dismissed as a "Harvard turd").

All in all, a good movie especially because it showcases Macy in an unexpected role where he demonstrates the depth of his enormous acting ability.

WARNING: Very explicit sexuality and some in-your-face brutality. Not for kids.

7/10.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Macy Sold Out kevindoran77
Anyone think Baldwin is hot? leobourne
What is it that Shelly 'sees' in Bernie's kid's hand? Adams5905
Question about Ending haines
this seems a bit like a david mamet work... nalberico
Positivity joyinacceptance
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