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21 (2008)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 28 March 2008 (USA)
"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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

They proved the Vegas Blackjack System was beatable...by beating the hell out of it. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

21 - The Movie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,105,943 (USA) (28 March 2008)

Gross:

$81,159,365 (USA) (16 May 2008)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main characters upon which the film 21 is based were Asian. Controversially, mostly Caucasian actors were cast. Jim Sturgess required a dialect coach to speak with an American accent. See more »

Goofs

When Ben meets with Mickey and the group for the first time, he explains the basic rules of 21 and deals himself a face-up card, then the camera cuts to Ben then back to Mickey and now Mickey's card is face down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Campbell: [narrating] 'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Those words had been dancing around my head all night. I mean, it's Vegas lore, that phrase. Just ask any of the old-time pit bosses, they'll know. It was a Chinese dealer at Binion's who was first credited with the line. He would shout it every time he dealt blackjack. That was over 40 years ago, and the words still catch. 'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Yeah, try it. I had heard it at least 14 times that night. I couldn't lose. First...
[...]
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Connections

Spoofed in The Hangover (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Always
Written and Performed by Amon Tobin
Courtesy of Ninja Tune Records
By Arrangement with Coda Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cliché drivel
2 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lots of badly delivered voice-overs (a lazy storytelling mechanism by the way), wooden acting, flashy cinematography, and unnecessary use of slow motion coupled with the basic plot of every Tom Cruise movie from the '80s is no substitute for a real movie. While this may be based on a real-life story, its similarity to good film entertainment ends at the point that they both use celluloid. Trite in every sense of the word, I hope Spacey got paid well as this thing certainly didn't propel his career anywhere. Nobody in the cast appeared to be trying, and the creative forces behind the camera flipped the auto-pilot switch "on". The Discovery Channel documentary reenactment had more dramatic punch.


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