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The Cooler (2003)

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


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Love ...you have to play to win See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Golpe de suerte  »

Box Office


$3,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$128,973 (USA) (28 November 2003)


$8,243,880 (USA) (19 March 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The entire film was shot in Reno over three weeks, mainly inside a Reno Hotel Casino, The Golden Phoenix, that was being remodeled. The Golden Phoenix is on Sierra Street. The hotel was previously the Flamingo Hilton Reno, and prior to that was Del Webb's Sahara Reno Hotel. See more »


In the motel, when Shelly confronts Natalie, the camera and its operator are reflected in the upper right-hand corner of the mirror. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #3.8 (2004) See more »


As I Walk
Written by Chris Konkle, Nick Fredell, Chris Lane & Shane Grush
Performed by Jettared
Courtesy of Jettared
By Arrangement with Position Soundtrack Services
See more »

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User Reviews

20 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

The Cooler is worth seeing just for Alec Baldwin's performance alone. An old style casino boss, his inability and unwillingness to accept the new Vegas sends his volatile nature over the edge. Baldwin has always been an underrated actor- at the start of his career, the big studios made the mistake of trying to market him as a star, rather than as the quality actor that he is. He is also helped by working alongside another great actor, William H Macy, who can do more with a look than most can do with 6 OR 7 pages of dialogue ( See the scene when he realizes Maria Bello is still in his flat ). See this film for the acting. It's good to see that films like The Cooler and 21 Grams are doing well and being recognised - it is a triumph for acting and strong scripts as opposed to continual FX and CGI in modern cinema.

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