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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
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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 »

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Details

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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) (30 March 2008)

Gross:

$81,159,365 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third movie released in less than four years to have Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth in the cast together. The other two are Beyond the Sea (2004) and Superman Returns (2006). See more »

Goofs

There is no class 2.09 at MIT, though the 2.09 class seems to pay homage to 2.70 (aka 2.007) which is a renowned robotics competition. 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

Featured in The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Time to Pretend
Written by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser
Performed by MGMT
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good, but not Great
9 March 2008 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

This film screened at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. It is a reasonable well-made based-on-a-true-story film that tells the story of a group of MIT students who attempt to make a fortune counting cards in Vegas. The screenplay apparently plays pretty fast-and-loose with the version told in the book. Never-the-less, the acting is excellent - especially Jim Sturgess in the role of the lead student. Honestly, his accent was so good that I didn't realize - until he came on stage afterward - that he was British. He does a great job with the mannerisms to give you a real sense of the character's evolution. Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne are solid - although Fishburne's role is fairly small. The minor characters are not as well-developed as they could have been. The cinematography of both Boston and Las Vegas is quite good, especially on the big screen. It's an interesting story, but they could have edited down a bit to make it move a little quicker. This is a good film, but it probably could have been a lot better.


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