Top 5000
Up 310 this week

21 (2008)

 -  Biography | Crime | Drama  -  28 March 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 167,361 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 275 user | 214 critic | 29 from

"21" is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Related News

The Notable Films of 2010: Part Five
| Dark Horizons
Spacey Denies 'Diva' Claims

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 02 Jun 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 15 Jan 2012
a list of 29 titles
created 26 Feb 2013
a list of 47 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 42 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "21" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: 21 (2008)

21 (2008) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of 21.
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Carey ...
Jack Gilpin ...
Donna Lows ...
Planet Hollywood Dealer
Butch Williams ...
Planet Hollywood Dealer
Ben Campbell ...
Planet Hollywood Dealer Jeff (as Jeffrey Ma)


Ben Campbell is a young, highly intelligent, student at M.I.T. in Boston who strives to succeed. Wanting a scholarship to transfer to Harvard School of Medicine with the desire to become a doctor, Ben learns that he cannot afford the $300,000 for the four to five years of schooling as he comes from a poor, working-class background. But one evening, Ben is introduced by his unorthodox math professor Micky Rosa into a small but secretive club of five. Students Jill, Choi, Kianna, and Fisher, who are being trained by Professor Rosa of the skill of card counting at blackjack. Intrigued by the desire to make money, Ben joins his new friends on secret weekend trips to Las Vegas where, using their skills of code talk and hand signals, they have Ben make hundreds of thousands of dollars in winning blackjack at casino after casino. Ben only wants to make enough money for the tuition to Harvard and then back out. But as fellow card counter, Jill Taylor, predicts, Ben becomes corrupted by greed ... Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Inspired by the true story of five students who changed the game forever. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, and sexual content including partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

21 - The Movie  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,649,855 (UK) (11 April 2008)


£5,430,673 (UK) (16 May 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The problem Prof. Rosa mentions in class with the three doors is known as the Monty Hall problem. See more »


In the beginning of the film, Ben receives a promotion in his job at the menswear store, and a raise to $8 an hour. In Massachusetts in 2008 the minimum wage was (and still is) $8.25 for retail workers. See more »


Micky Rosa: [to Ben about card counting] What were going to do is perfectly legal and they can't do a single thing about it.
[very next scene: in a concrete room, bare bulb lights, a fist hits a guy who's strapped to a chair: he's bleeding/sweating]
Cole Williams: You think you can beat the system?
[shows guy his meaty fist]
Cole Williams: This *is the system*... *beating you back*
See more »


Featured in Getaway: Episode #17.14 (2008) See more »


The House Is Rockin'
Written by Doyle Bramhall and Stevie Ray Vaughan
Performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not quite a winner
1 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I personally think that Jim Sturgess is a very promising actor. His stage presence was believable and he has a lot in store for him. Being a film with Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishbourne, I was pretty stoked for this film. However, 21 turns out to be quite drawn out and the trailer for the film seemed more exciting.

The story is inspired by a very popular book called "Bringing Down the House". The main character, Ben Campbell, goes to MIT and need 300,000 dollars to go to med school. To suffice this requirement, he is invited by a group of students to a Blackjack group. He learns the technique of counting cards and goes to Las Vegas every weekend to make money and enjoy the high roller life at the same time.

The premise of the story sounds very interesting. However the story seems to stray to many Hollywood clichés. Despite interesting characters, it can be pretty obvious how the characters affect the plot. The film also incorporate multiple strands of storyline together into one film. The film is built of Ben's experiences in Las Vegas, his relationship with his older friends/his mom, and the security professional who is trying to put an end to the Blackjack Team. Although the transitions between storyline are effective, the side stories aren't very exciting to watch and again it is pretty predictable.

The dialogue is very slick and fluid although I was not completely assured by Sturgess's ability to act and speak in American English. Also, the film doesn't throughly explain the concept of counting cards. I was confused to what he was doing at many points during the film. Also I think it was possible to cut out some of the scenes in the film. It got a little drawn out and wasn't adding much to the overall story plot.

When the ending was nearing, I felt like this was going to end very poorly. It had caused me to temporarily not like any of the characters. However, the film went a little further in the ending than I thought it was going to be and it turned to be a fulfilling ending. Overall, 21 was a bit of a disappointment. Despite the slick dialogue and promising story, it became too predictable and drawn out.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why counting is illegal? jazu3
Does Ben's choice about Door 1 or Door 2 matter anymore? aly-bukhari
Serious question about Monty Hall (NOT 66 vs 50%) the_carn
So Why Do They Keep Going To The Same Casino? rcar9091
Gameshow door odds anthony85uk
I dont know anything about the facial recognition software, but.. moviecritic15
Discuss 21 (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: