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Andrew W. Walker,
Christmas on the Canadian prairie: Harlan, a small-time grifter, plans a big con with his moll Fiona, scraggly and half his age. Expensive watches "on loan" from a jeweler, cash borrowed at a high vig from a tribal fund manager, and an old violin are props in the con; a pawnbroker with a safe full of money and various well-armed or well-protected thugs get their ores in as well. Problems, crosses, and double-crosses mount: Harlan finds himself on the stick's short end as the night progresses. Whose money will end up where? And for whom will this be a silent night? Written by
David Mamet's "House of Games" is probably the definitive "switcheroo" movie. It is highly entertaining, and highly recommended. "7 Times Lucky" is a failed attempt to create interest in a similar con game. Unfortunately the only con game here is the one being played on the audience. An unbelievably contrived script, and some truly uninspired acting, sinks this wannabe noir. There is zero character development, so who cares if in the first few minutes a guy gets hung upside down and has his toe cut off? Annoying flashbacks only add to the confusion, and all of this nonsense is wrapped in a Christmas theme no less. An almost incoherent, train wreck of a film. - MERK
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