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Gamer (2009)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  4 September 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 107,063 users   Metascore: 27/100
Reviews: 243 user | 178 critic | 13 from

In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'Doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive thirty sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?


(as Neveldine) , (as Taylor)


(as Neveldine) , (as Taylor)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ramsey Moore ...
Humanz Brother (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)
Geek Leader
Dan Callahan ...
Backup Geek


Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments, a star player from a game called "Slayers" looks to regain his independence while taking down the game's mastermind. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who's playing you? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Citizen Game  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,203,761 (USA) (4 September 2009)


$20,488,579 (USA) (2 October 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(at around 51 mins) The motorcycle driven by Trace is a Buell Firebolt. See more »


(at around 1 min) In the scene showing the pyramids in Egypt, the word "Kable" is displayed backwards in Arabic letters. Since Arabic is read from right to left, the way it is shown in the movie, it would be read as "Lebaak". See more »


Kable: [after killing Hackman] You should have let him fight for himself. Maybe then he would have had a shot.
Ken Castle: I think you're missing the point, my man.
Kable: No, no, I get it. You're pulling all the strings around here. Which makes my next move pretty stupid...!
[He lunges at Castle with a knife, but freezes unexpectedly]
Ken Castle: I neglected to mention my smart boys reversed that crack the Humanz worked for you. Easy-breezy, once I had access to their drives.
See more »


Edited into 5 Second Movies: Gamer (2009) See more »


I've Got No Strings
Written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Three films in one -- nuanced & stimulating in every way
5 September 2009 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

The premise of "Gamer" is resoundingly simple: What if gamers could control actual people? Coming into the theater, due to the simple premise and embarrassingly poor marketing of the film, I was expecting a brainless, adolescently indulgent action flick. What I got was a mind-blowing surprise.

"Gamer" is three films in one: (1) Subculture examination of the gamer ethos; (2) Pulse-pounding action movie; (3) Thought-provoking science fiction piece.

As others have mentioned, this film truly brings the gamer experience to the big screen. The battle shots bring MMORPG first-person shooters to real life, and the Sims/Second Life-like scenes played just as true, right down to the robotic, singlemindedly determined motion of the characters. The directors obviously spent many long hours gaming in preparation for this film (or just for fun).

As an action film, "Gamer" holds its own, delivering plenty of fights, battle scenes, and adrenaline-soaked moments. Hollywood knows how to do action, and in "Gamer" you see some of what it has learned from films like "The Matrix", "Saving Private Ryan", and others. I won't say too much, but there's a particularly juicy scene involving some kind of giant snowplow.

"Gamer" shines most brightly, and most unexpectedly, as a science fiction piece. The film interweaves themes familiar to our 2009 reality, including economic desperation, prison overcrowding, the fallout of materialism, and technology naively promoted as a panacea for society's ills.

"Gamer" shows us a society addicted to technology at the expense of facing reality. Masses of gamers, locked in adolescence or enraptured by the promise of mindless self-indulgence without consequence, living solely through their avatars. Desperate segments of society, the poor and criminal, who have surrendered control of their bodies to the will of gamers. A populace that embraces televised war games as a solution to prison overcrowding, rather than addressing the true causes of mass imprisonment. The megalomaniacal pushers of technology running largely unchecked as the masses surrender control.

Michael C. Hall delivers a breakout silver screen performance as the multifaceted Ken Castle -- after his great work in Six Feet Under, this is another power move for his career. Kyra Sedgwick nails her cougar reporter character, who begins the film as another no-conscience profiteer but becomes more through the course of the film. And Gerard Butler plays the hero archetype admirably, as every bit of the man who his spoiled teenage gamer-puppeteer cannot become.

"Gamer" may end up as a cult classic, a slowly growing mainstream success, or could stay underrated indefinitely, but it's definitely worth a view.

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