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Smokin' Aces (2006)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  26 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 113,716 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 475 user | 185 critic | 32 from

When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Beanie (as Christopher Holley)
Top Coated Gunman


Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces" Israel, a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state's evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents dispatched to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout. When the word of the price on Aces' head spreads into the community of ex-cons and cons-to-be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire, deadly vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues' gallery collides in a comic race to hit the jackpot and rub out Aces. Written by Anthony Pereyra {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fbi | casino | mob hit | sniper | mafia | See All (123) »


They're Dangerous, They're Even and they are after.... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

26 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ases calientes  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,023,862 (UK) (12 January 2007)


$35,635,046 (USA) (9 March 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


It is the feature film debuts of both R&B artist Alicia Keys and rapper Common. See more »


The hotel that doubles for the supposed "Nomad Hotel" in the film (Montbleu Resort) is located in Stateline, Nevada. Contrary to what Loretta says, there is no city called 'Lake Tahoe' in Nevada. See more »


[first lines]
Donald Carruthers: You've got to be careful when doing your stakeouts. I did one for... I was on one for six months. I gained, like, 20, 25 pounds. You keep eating this crap...
Richard Messner: Well, that's not my problem, though. I don't gain weight. I tried.
Donald Carruthers: That's 'cause you're 12 years old.
See more »


I Love You
(Paul Butler, Michael Clevett, Aaron Fletcher, Timothy Parkin)
Performed by The Bees
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd.
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Part Tarantino . Part Ritchie . All Crap
3 November 2007 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

It's said that if you want to make a great film then keep the premise simple and SMOKIN' ACES has a relatively simple premise of the mob putting a million dollar contract on potential star witness Buddy " Aces " Israel and rival gangs of hit men trying to eliminate both Aces and each other to get their hands on the money . I'm sure we all agree that this is a fairly simple and effective idea for a film . Alas what can often happen is that a writer or a producer can throw a massive spanner in the works by making everything too over complicated

This is certainly the problem with this movie . It confuses the audience as to where it's going , has totally ill thought out plotting and totally underdeveloped characters . There's too many characters which means we spend the first twenty minutes of SMOKIN' ACES being introduced to them in a very lazy manner with captions . THE DEPARTED has perhaps too many characters but at no point do we see captions saying " Mob rat " or " FBI informer or " Undercover cop " letting the audience know who these characters are , probably because it's revealed in the narrative what their function is , as SMOKIN' ACES continues you start to realise that there's no cohesive story save for the central premise . What makes it so annoying is that many of the characters are written out of the film between 30 and 60 minutes of its running leaving the audience pondering why they were included in the first place . One character seems to be merely included to set up a " hilarious " scene with a hyperactive kid at some point in the movie . The more SMOKIN' ACES continues the more you realise what an incohesive mess the screenplay is

Writer / director Joe Carnahan is more interested in incident rather than narrative which while not exactly making him an auteur could be forgiven if the incidents were well done but they're not and Carnahan seems to suffer amnesia . For example we're told about an international hit-man who is so ruthless he bites off his own fingertips in order to stop himself being identified . Do you get it ? Fingerprints can get you identified by law enforcement agencies and a good hit-man will do absolutely anything to stop themselves being identified or linked to their crimes by the law . Strange that a couple of scenes later we see possibly he world's greatest hired killer carrying out a hit where he leaves a wheelchair , mask , and weapons at the scene of the crime . I'f he's such a great assassin then why would he leave all that forensic evidence lying about ?

If the screenplay owes a lot to Tarantino then the directing owes a lot to Guy Ritchie . We see lots of camera tricks , freeze frame etc but at least Ritchie is able to make a consistent film with a complicated plot . Like the screenplay the directing is often an uneven mess and can be summed in the last ten minutes which has an entirely different mood to the rest of the film . And don't be fooled that this may be a good film to rent due to the " big name " cast . Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta haven't had a big hit for years and SMOKIN' ACES ensures they'll be stuck in straight to DVD obscurity for a lot longer yet . SMOKIN ACES also heralds the death knell of Ben Affleck as an actor since he shows us what he does worst - Playing tough blue collar Irish Americans . I'm not sure how his directing career will go but anything that keeps him away from being in front of a camera will be a blessing . And I doubt if even he could direct a film as dire as SMOKIN' ACES

51 of 98 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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