Lookin' to Get Out (1982) Poster

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I bet audiences were lookin' to get out of the theater!
Wizard-825 June 2011
Before I get into my critique of "Lookin' To Get Out", I feel I should mention that I saw the original theatrical cut of the movie via finding an old VHS release of the movie. Supposedly, the DVD release of this movie runs 15 extra minutes and supposedly improves the movie. That may be the case, but from what I saw, I can't see any extra footage making a big improvement of the mess that I saw. True, the DVD cut may explain a number of unanswered questions the original cut had, like why one character has bandages over one of his eyes. But the movie would still have a slow and plot less feel - it frequently feels that the actors are making it up as they go along. And while I think Voight and Young are talented actors, they give extremely annoying performances. The only thing that survives intact is the performance by Bert Remsen as the professional gambler - he's colorful, and commands the screen in his scenes. But even he can't save the movie enough to make it worth watching.
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Ship wreck and sunken treasure.
bombersflyup3 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Lookin' to Get Out is a shambles, though the caper enjoyable and laughter infectious.

The characters played by Voight and Young flimsy and silly and Patti's miscast, though that didn't stop me from liking it. They had me, I thought old Smitty had lost his marbles. That he would put them in a deep hole, a very clever finish. The pair seem to be content to leave without any money, considering the risk and they're still going to have those two guys after them.
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Ashby misfire
tieman6423 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Lookin' To Get Out" was a bit of an ego project for actor Jon Voight, who wrote, starred and partially financed the film. Voight, unable to get a director to shoot his script, hired Hal Ashby, who at the time was stuck in an existential rut, smoking cocaine and drinking booze.

The film, a 17 million dollar flop, stars Voight and Burt Young as a couple of New York losers who lose $10,00 in a poker game. They thus go to Las Vegas hoping to win back some big bucks. In Vegas the two hook up with former call girl Ann-Margret, set up headquarters in the MGM Grand Hotel, and break the bank in the casino.

Reportedly, director Hal Ashby's cut of the film was heavily chopped by both Paramount and Voight. The result is a mess, as much of the film's dialogue seems badly improvised, and the entire film consists of Voight showing off, each scene crafted simply to prove how great and gritty an actor he is. It's all very vain.

7/10 - This review was based on a very poor, damaged copy of the film. For Ashby completists only.
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Nothing but Enjoyable
Rodrigo_Amaro1 June 2010
"Lookin' to Get Out" is directed by Hal Ashby one of the most original and underrated directors of all time, but the 1970's was his best decade directing classics like "Being There" and "Harold and Maude". In the 1980's his final decade he release minor works and then died in 1988. In 1982 he directed this film written by Jon Voight about two gamblers trying to get away of trouble after one of them lose a lot of money on a bet.

Alex (Voight) and Jerry (Burt Young) go to Las Vegas and they pretend to be friends of Bernie Gold (Richard Bradford) the owner of a hotel casino and enjoy a high class hotel suite and have some fun. But Harry (Jude Farese) the guy who Jerry owes money is trying to find them. And also there's time to see some old friends like Patti (Ann-Margret) a prostitute who was romantically involved with Jerry, now living with Bernie and her daughter (Angelina Jolie, very little making her first appearance on films).

It's a comedy with two lost characters running away of trouble and creating another ones. It's very different from any other works from Ashby, it's empty, pointless, easy to follow in some parts, and no great acting. But it's enjoyable to watch and more easy to follow than "Shampoo" (great film but so many confusing and long considering that is a comedy). But compared to "Harold and Maude" this is a disappointment.

What makes this film good is Burt Young who has a great and funny character, finally he made something so likable as much as Polly in the "Rocky" series. His best joke in the movie is ask Jon Voight's character every time she sees a smiling woman if she's a hooker. Voight, by the way, has a few good scenes, most of the time his shouting his lines and being annoying with his partner.

Entertaining in some strange level, but if you expect clever humor, interesting lines or a original plot stay away of it because you won't find it here. 9/10
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Fine comedy drama
EdgarST30 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It is a common practice: it is enough that a false authority (most entertainment reporters who are no film critics, just regular spectators) dislikes something, for a choir of followers to repeat his opinion and create undeserved bad reputation for a cultural product. Such is the case of (among many others) "Born to Win", "The Hotel New Hampshire" and "Lookin' to Get Out", all the three curiously made in the 1980s, a difficult times in the history of the United States, under Ronald Reagan's dominant image. Respectively directed by Czech Ivan Passer, British Tony Richardson and American Hal Ashby, the three films had something valuable to say about US individuals, institutions and customs: be it the disintegration of the couple due to drug abuse, the dysfunction of nuclear families, consumerism or a certain vulgarity that may describe Las Vegas too well. None of the three films is a masterpiece, but they rise above the low scores and bad opinions that surround them. In particular, "Lookin' to Get Out (the director's cut) did not diminish at all the great admiration I have for Ashby, one of the most underrated American filmmakers, with a magnificent work that includes "The Landlord", "Harold and Maude", "The Last Detail", "Shampoo", "Bound for Glory", "Coming Home", "Being There" and the documentary "Let's Spend the Night Together", all containing his privileged perception of his fellow Americans and their cultures: who has ever made any two titles of those, has the liberty to make lesser films as "8 Million Ways to Die" or "Lookin' to Get Out", which are not bad at all. Written by Al Schwartz and Jon Voight, "Lookin' to Get Out" is a typical American film comedy drama about gambling buddies, prostituted women, exaggerated bad taste, and a peculiar cultural way of reacting to troubles, stuff that has being the basis of dozens of dramatic comedies, much worse than this, in which Voight and Burt Young try to get out of trouble, when they have to pay 10 thousand dollars in 24 hours, and the only solution they come up with is going to gamble in Las Vegas, where Ann-Margret crosses their path with a different agenda. The plot, which does not aspire for an award to originality, benefits however from the performances of the central cast (Voight, Young, Ann-Margret, Bert Remsen and Richard Bradford), without forgetting the contribution of a group of unknown faces that add weight to the story being told; from maestro Haskell Wexler's cinematography; and mainly -in my opinion- from Ashby's hand, from his subtle and affectionate style to capture the fragility of the demented characters, to handle with caution the grotesque and violent, but without suppressing those events and attitudes that offend human dignity, day after day. If you find a copy of Ashby's cut, don't miss it. You will add another title to the gallery of good performances by Voight, Ann-Margret and Young, your appreciation of Ashby will not be affected a bit (unless you have overrated "Harold and Maude") and, as a bonus, you'll see Angelina Jolie (Voight) at six, playing her talented father's little girl. The extended version edition includes a reunion of the actors, who evoke Ashby's memories and his working method.
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boring, old, typical
NijazBaBs9 January 2021
I did not enjoy this movie. Quality (audio and video) is bad, topic is boring and badly presented, typical alcoholism and gambling. Talk dominates, and not interesting but useless. Did not enjoy seeing old times. Nothing to see. I only watched this to see Angelina Jolie and her patents, and if anybody else would watch for same reason, well they will get disappointed. Just some normal or even boring people almost totally unrelated to some of best Angelina's movies. Does not even look as herself here. Much more interesting gambling tv series is CSI.
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Bipolar disorder
tomsawyer-018586 August 2017
This is not a comedy, even if it really tries to be, instead it often feels


Now how can you be a friend to somebody who, when he gets lucky, spends all to finish depressed, and then jump up joyfully at the next occasion to get lucky.

That's right. Manic depression, a mental disorder.

Out stands the appearance of little Angelina in the end, obviously not good at acting, but she worked on it, and became much better then her father, who really acted to his best, but it was still acting, and the movie never came as a comedy. The movie may have been OK in the 80ies, but it has aged very badly.

As Jon Voight quotes : Irresponsible people shouldn't have kids.

This movie is rather a tragedy about a little girl and her father, going their own way.
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Director's Cut Doesn't Help
jeffsultanof17 April 2011
The DVD of the Ashby cut of the film (which he'd donated without telling anyone that it had fifteen extra minutes) was released with great fanfare. Finally this film had a chance of being seen in the director's vision.

Except that we are no better off. This is still a horrid film that goes nowhere.

Ashby was a fine director who unfortunately got lost in a drug haze in his later years. Despite the enthusiasm of all concerned in the interviews on the DVD, this is a movie that runs out of steam very early. Voight plays an obnoxious character whom we don't pull for, and Burt Young is wasted as his buddy.
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Energetic Tour-de-Force Actors' Movie
david-greene527 December 2004
Because this film has been so stubbornly withheld from the home-video market, it has been years since the last time I saw it. Still, as a serious aficionado of fine acting, I still retain vivid memories of this lively flick and I can not understand all the negative reaction it received. The characters who populate this story are fascinating and memorably enacted by a superb cast. It would be little more than another typical caper flick were it not for the well-drawn weaknesses of the main characters which lead them inexorably into a high pressure situation from which they must try with all their might to escape. If you ever get to see this show, watch for the marvelous work of the numerous supporting players such as Richard Bradford. It is a deliciously glossy, stylish film but with a character-driven story that thoroughly engrossed me each time I saw it. It dances precariously between comedy and drama in a manner which I found intriguing and delightful. In view of all the bad reviews I have read about "Looking to Get Out" I deeply regret that it persists in being unavailable year after year. I would love to look at it again to try to figure out what causes so many folks to dislike it. Is it simply a matter of taste? I do not know.
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Ann-Margret at her hottest
seagem11 August 2014
I thought this film was excellent! I saw the extended version on DVD so uncertain what the clipped version looks like.

Jon Voight is superlative as the annoying wise guy gambler. Burt Young doesn't appear to be acting as the NYC street wise buddy - he is that good or at least well cast. Ann-Margret nails it as the old girl-friend who can't quite get Voight's character Alex out of her system. She is smoldering every time she is on screen and she really keeps the viewer enthralled with all the male actors vying for attention. Her extended kiss as Patti Warner with Alex will jolt male and female viewers alike with its tenderness and anticipation!

Should be required viewing for anyone with, or knows someone with a gambling addiction!

Really combines some of the best elements of Ocean's 11, The Sting and Don Quixote. Don't miss the last 15 minutes to see who is conning who.

The scene with real life father Jon Voight and daughter Angelina Jolie is not to be missed as it came off surreal to me. Watch and see what I mean.
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Simply awful
Socratease21 May 2007
Five minutes into watching this film I began to wish I hadn't put it into the machine, and as it dragged on to its wretched conclusion I forced myself not to press OFF in the way that you sometimes cannot drag your eyes away from a catastrophe.

I am unable find one redeeming attribute in this train wreck. The dialogue is simply awful. The acting is simply awful. The directing is simply awful. The story is simply awful.

It is one of those movies where you wonder how anybody -- cast or crew -- could get out of bed and come to work on it day after day.

If I could give it zero stars, I would. What a total waste of production time and money this debacle is. Yeeeechh!
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Fans of Being There or Harold and Maude beware!
distraido26 January 2000
This is a disappointment for anyone familiar with the classics of Hal Ashby. Jon Voight seems to feel the need to scream every line (I guess he liked what he wrote!). It's one of those films that suffers from the absence of any likeable characters.
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What can I say..
cTitus9249 November 2006
accept I love this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it took me forever to get, but because this the whole Brad-Angelina thing, and finally getting a real g/f (for awhile) made me loose interest in Jolie but I may pick it up again and because of the this hit and the upcoming release of The Good Shepard (2006)

It has Jon Voight,and it also has the guy from the Rocky movies,&The Amitiville horrors 2. It also has tasteful nudity, a magic show,mature humor,even fighting! It also shows you the inside view of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas Navada, It also shows the streets of NewYork City.

Oh yeah Jon Voight is SO cool! best of all his daughter has a small part in it she is so adorable. For those of you who don't know who she is she's the great great Angelina Jolie (voight) which name she's credited as in this movie, make sure watch the credits for that reason and another which you have to see for yourself...

(she plays Tosh)

I even got a different case from the one displayed on IMDb

Now once I get the Mr.&Mrs. Smith's directors cut I officially have all of her movies!!!!!! = you can also see the MGM Grand hotel in Cher's believe tour which is on DVD,VHS,TV.

(2016) Omen world has me corrected it has the previous MGM Grand

It's a bit of a Stoner Buddy comedy, I guess It may turn some people off, but I think the movie has a good ambiance if you ask me. People may think the characters seem to be shouting but that's what New Yorkers tend to do in any other movie (even if they don't in real life!)

If you can get past the snickering and yelling, you may like this gem!
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This is the best Jon Voight movie EVER!!!!
ZacharySmith21 February 2003
Novices will dismiss this gorgeous movie as drek, pointing out that the only "good" thing about it was Angelina Jolie when she was 4 years old. First of all, anyone who is an Angelina "fan" has problems of their own, and are in no position to criticize anything, much less art, like this great movie.

Put simply, this is the best movie about friendship I have ever seen. The writing is spectacular, as Jon Voight really understood how to express to the audience the love these two guys had as friends. The subtleties in the acting are wonderful to watch, like when Alex (Voight's character) yells at Jerry (Burt Young's character) for losing all his money at the race track. He screams at him, but then remembers that his friend is his friend, faults and all, and walks up to Jerry, pats him on the back and says, "Come on, let's go get some breakfast." The physicality of the pat on the back was a lovely touch, just like the Italian brothers fighting on the beach in "Big Night". The brothers "fought" with love, not really hitting each other. The two guys in "Looking to get Out" accept each other with all their faults, like no other two characters I've ever seen in film or TV. One scene has Jerry telling a p***ed off casino owner that his friend (Alex) doesn't understand how impossible he (Alex)is, but that he (Jerry) does, and that's why he's his friend. To which a very indignant Alex (Voight) says to the casino owner, "How 'bout that?", and the two of them walk out together, having lost all their money, up to thier necks in deep ca-ca, but still having each other. Yet another wonderful moment in the film is when Alex has gotten them into more trouble, and Jerry says this about Alex... "You know, he's a great guy to have in a jam. Problem is that he's the one who got you into the jam in the first place." Great writing, wonderfully acted by all the cast.

This film is rich. Rich with one-liners, rich with wonderful characters all the way around, and rich in humanity. This is a gorgeous film, and if you're ever lucky enough to see it, grab it, and never let it go. Of all of Jon Voight's movies, this would be the one I'd like to talk with him about. What a gem! "Coming Home", "Midnight Cowboy", "Table For Five", yes, they're good, but "Looking To Get Out" stands alone. Of course you have to understand film and writing to appreciate it. You can't just be in the Angelina Jolie fan club.
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I was the one who was "Lookin' to Get Out!"
dareshiranu22 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film in the theater when it was released.

For more than a decade I had jobs where I worked nights and saw virtually every movie that hit the theaters in my mid-sized town, sometimes two or three in a day - even driving to other nearby larger cities that got films we didn't. I watched videos quite a lot too.

This is the only movie in my entire life I've ever walked out on... ever! There was not one single character that had a single redeeming quality. They weren't just flawed, they were broken. I couldn't identify/connect with them, I couldn't relate to them, I couldn't dig up a single scrap of empathy for any of the lot of them.

John Voight's character was the worst as I recall, but dear Lord the monomaniacal self-absorption of those people was simply not entertaining.

And to give you an idea of what I AM willing to sit through, I've watched Blood Sucking Freaks and finished it.

But these characters were totally... repellent is the only word I can think begins to describe my response with any accuracy.

I watch movies to be entertained, not tortured.
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Awful, but great for Angel fans
callisto_girl24 August 2000
I'm a huge fan of Angelina Jolie and I have the full collection. I thought this was a horrible movie, but it's definitely a must-rent for any Angie fan. At 7 years old, she may only be there for a minute in the end, but it's all worth it...
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ctitus924 is mistaken - the MGM Grand in this movie is not the modern one
ctitus924 states in the previous review that you can see the MGM Grand in Cher's Believe DVD - that is not true - the MGM Grand in this film was involved in a major fatal fire in 1980 and was then sold - it is now Bally's hotel and casino in Vegas. The MGM Grand in Cher's video is newer - it was built later and is farther down the strip. As for the movie- I am watching it now as I type and while it is great to see old Vegas locations, so far I am finding it a little slow moving...but interesting to see Vegas in the late 70's when this was filmed. There are some great clips of various Vegas acts and the cast of recognizable actors in the film is impressive.
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pointless and terrible
slntbreath4 December 2001
Of course, I only purchased this to finish off my Angelina Jolie collection (she had the most adorable chubby knees as a child!) and was prepared for the worst... Yet not prepared enough. Pointless. So pointless, even the characters seemed confused, and with Burt Young garbling all his lines it's a wonder you could even make out the GIST of what the man was saying. The 4-minute AJ appearance at the very end makes this one movie I never intend to rewind.
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ronnieunap11 February 2008
I watched this movie while hung over and thought this movie to be splendid, absolutely a great movie, maybe due to being hung over. The star of the movies (Jon voight) character was crazy enough to be believable. This movie was transcendental. It made me concentrate on this movie without disruption, I couldn't be pulled away from the characters. I have never recommended anything but this movie I will. I would put this movie in with a good fellas feel of entertainment. If you see one old movie this year see this one. I heard this movie was out of print, if I could knew of getting this movie on DVD I would recommend it be brought back on DVD with passion.
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