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A sale is always made...
tomkasprzycki25 March 2004
I remember when i had a short stint working for this telemarketing company, my boss used to always say "A sale is made on every call. Either you sell them what you are selling or they sell you an excuse." This is the message that this film hammers through: the lure of fast money and the power of persuation; you can destroy someone's life with one phonecall. Now unlike the characters in Boiler Room, im not trying to scam you out of your life savings- so stop reading these reviews and see the movie. You won't regret it. 8/10
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A very very very good film
yevonwm1 October 2010
I'll sum this film up in 5 words, 'on par with fight club'.

This is a great film, every second of this film is worth 9/10. I'll start with the films flaws. Firstly, the main character is very weak, I'm not sure whether it's poor writing or bad acting but he just comes across as an idiot rather than the deep, flawed, entrepreneur that the film wanted to portray. Secondly, even in the year 2,000 floppy disks were an ageing technology, without giving much away there's a scene where an entire companies data is copied to a floppy disk. The film includes a lot of central characters and doesn't provide any back-story for any of them, this wouldn't be so much of a problem if the central character wasn't so weak but by the end of it you feel as though you haven't seen a single character develop or even begin to understood any of the characters but you have just seen a good film.

Praise: This film is amazing. The film really captures the desires of society and gives them a face. The characters really convey the shallow two facedness you come across every day where they're happy and pleasant until something happens that could even remotely damage their cash flow. Every person you've ever met that wanted to make a quick buck is in this film, the consumerism and lack of social conscience that constantly plagues society is so prevalent in this film. It also approaches the topic of share trading from a much more accessible angle, they don't put much effort into adding the right industry terms or showing scenes of the NY stock exchange - they show the consequences of share trading, the lack of understanding of the average consumer and give you a better understanding of where the money comes from. If you're anything like me then this film takes you on a ride where you are the main character every step of the way until finally you return to life with a much deeper understanding of the desires people succumb to in modern society. This film includes very young appearances by a lot of famous actors, Ben Affleck, Vin Diesel etc. who all pull their weight to give life to the film. I'm explaining the film in a very stale way but I can't help it, it's on par with 'fight club' - you can't explain why the film is good in a way that does it justice, just watch 2 hours of cinema that will improve your quality of life.
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One of the BEST cult films of the decade
jfmvp31 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If you're on IMDb and reading this review, I'm sure you know what a "cult" film is ("Donnie Darko" and "The Boondock Saints" are prime examples), and "Boiler Room" has become exactly that. It's a niche movie for 18-30 year old men who are frustrated with the grind, and would prefer an easier, quicker way to riches. "Boiler Room" also has some of the pent up male aggression that was astutely highlighted in "Fight Club."

As Seth Davis, Giovanni Ribisi plays the lead in this film. While his performance is solid and adequate in handling the most screen time, he is not the star of the show. Ben Affleck (as Jim Young), Nicky Katt (as Greg Weinstein), and Vin Diesel (as Chris Varick) provide the standout efforts of this ensemble cast.

Affleck, in an ode to Alec Baldwin's character in "Glengarry Glen Ross," is slick-talking, persuasive, and funny at the same time. Along with his work in "Good Will Hunting," this is one of the best performances of his interesting on-screen career. The same can be said of Diesel who, for once, doesn't appear to be out of sync or awkward in the delivery of his lines. His performance is smooth and a very, very pleasant surprise.

Katt is the sleeper of the trio (seen in smaller roles in "The Brave One" and "Insomnia"), and I like his attitude and confidence in the Weinstein role. He showcases the ability to handle a significant workload, and it's unfortunate that he hasn't garnered more screen time in subsequent movies. I doubt he was too happy going uncredited in "The Dark Knight."

Getting back to "Boiler Room," youthful director Ben Younger does an outstanding job with pacing. This film blurs by without ever feeling too light or heavy, and Younger coaxes superb performances from his cast. The ensemble seems very comfortable working off each other, and Younger deserves credit for finding the right dynamic.

Unfortunately for Younger, like Katt, he hasn't found subsequent success. That's disappointing to me, because the former flashes a great deal of promise with "Boiler Room." It's one of my favorite lower-budget films of the decade, and it's a shame that it didn't make a little more money. When crap like "Transformers II" smashes in the box office, it makes you feel for quality movies that flop.

It is what it is though, and "Boiler Room" gets a big thumbs up from me.
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A must see film
baumer13 March 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know all there is to know about the stock market. I know the basics and that could get me by until I asked people that were much more well versed and graceful when it comes to that side of business. I do know however that the stock market can be sleazy and deceitful at times and it can also be cut-throat economics. With this in mind I went into this picture with high hopes of at least a film that would teach me something about a part of life that I knew very little about. I was also intrigued because Ben Affleck looked like he had the Alec Baldwin role from Glen Gary Glen Ross, that small but explosive role where the seasoned vet comes in and tells eveyone how to sell, when to sell and what the best way to screw people out of their money is..... and hey, what do you know, I was right. Ben Affleck does have a similar role to Baldwin's. But what I wasn't expecting was the film that was before me. Boiler Room is one hell of a film and even if you know very little about stocks and bonds and insider trading and what-not, there is still plenty in here to keep you intrigued.

The actors in here, while not huge by name alone, are quite good and keep your attention. As I said earlier, Ben Affleck intrigued me the most, perhaps it isn't so much him but the character he plays. He was the cocky-know-it-all-millionaire-playboy that cares about nothing but closing the deal. He is greedy, self centered and most of all damn good at what he does. He teaches the new recruits how to become ruthless and mechanically shut off emotionally. In his world of stocks, there is no place for feelings of guilt, sorrow or pity. In his world all you have time for is greed and anxiety.... anxious to cash you next $100 000 paycheck. Ben Affleck has a small role in the film but it is an effective one.

Giovanni Ribisi plays the good guy here, Scott Caan plays a young and wealthy broker that uses his wealth and power as a way to let go of his anger by constantly getting into physical altercations. But in an impressive smaller role, the one who impressed me the most was Vin ( Caparzo from Saving Private Ryan and also the lead in Pitch Black )Diesel. He plays his character ( Chris ) right down the middle. He wants Seth ( Ribisi ) to succeed but he doesn't seem as ruthless as some of the other brokers and at the end he does something incredibly noble in the face of imminent doom, and that is what I found compelling about his character. Most of the other characters are all driven by success and money and show little compassion, but Chris ( Diesel ) does have that side to him and I enjoyed Diesel's performance quite a bit in Boiler Room.

The story is also quite intriguing and it is both fun and a little horrific to get into the heads and lives of these men as they deliberately try to ruin people's lives in the hopes of bettering their own. They fraudulently sell normal people bogus stocks to bogus companies and it doesn't matter that the people they are selling to are family, blue collar workers that want so badly to believe the American Dream has just landed in their lap that they believe anything that these total strangers are saying to them over the phone. And that gives the movie it's edge.

Boiler Room is the best movie I have seen so far in this new year. Although the new year is not even 4 months old yet, this is one film that may have a chance to make my top ten list of films for the year 2000. This is the first film for writer/director Ben Younger and at the age of 27 it looks as though this guy has a good future in the game. Not that I am comparing Younger to Spielberg or Boiler Room to Jaws, but Steven was 26 when he made Jaws and look where he is today. Again, I am not saying that Younger is following in those footsteps but it is a great film for a guy that is three years less than 30. I highly recommend this film to everyone!

8.5 out of 10.... a great triumph for Ben Younger and all involved.
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These Guys Can Act!
TimeaSiesta3 August 2006
The large and well-selected cast turned in very powerful performances. They crafted a convincing range of emotions, from cunning cut-throat manipulators of their clients' personal wealth during office hours, to brief examples of their "boys will be boys" shenanigans after hours. The story line is built completely around their personal financial greed, the hapless victims they scammed to realize it (with the greatest focus on one of them), and a well-sustained sense of mystery that plants seeds of possibilities along the way. The ending was not at all predictable; it could have gone in any of several directions. The viewer gets the impression that if these predators could yank even the last remaining penny out of a client on his (they targeted males) deathbed, they'd gleefully do so and view it as a major coup giving them full bragging rights. There's a hint of information about how legitimate stockbrokers earn their credentials and that was enlightening. The romantic angles are minimalized and that serves to benefit the film. The language is consistently coarse, but certainly seemed realistic for the characters' ages, their business sector and their work ethic. For everyone who enjoyed "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Wall Street" (both of which are alluded to in the film), or even more appropriately "The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron," this feature will really score a bulls-eye.
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Very impressed
stephie-1226 November 2003
Although Giovanni Ribisi is the main character, Seth, one of the most outstanding performances is by Vin Diesel as Chris. In Boiler Room he shows that he is more than muscle as he acts his pants off! If you like Wall Street, you will love this - there is even a tribute to it in the movie. An intelligent movie dealing with the desire to get rich quick, regardless of the consequences. A must see!
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Depressing, yet hard edged
MisterWhiplash23 June 2000
This film owes a credit to Glengarry Glenn Ross and Wall Street, but I actually liked this better. Why? Because it seemed more real to me (the script and acting probably did it) than the other films. I liked the Giovanni Ribisi character, who changes slightly through the film, but eventually we see the real side of him, which is great. Funny, thrilling and cool, this film may not be for the weak at heart, but it is for anyone who can afford the tickets. Ben Affleck appears (in one of his better performances) as Ribisi's showy and pushy boss at the stock place. One of the better films (top 20) of the new year. A+
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The Minor Leagues Of Corruption
bkoganbing24 January 2010
Back in the old days what Giovanni Ribisi went to work at was euphemistically termed a 'bucket shop' and the practice of holding onto profits and never really paying except in select instances was referred to as 'bucketing'. The regulations put in during the New Deal curbed them somewhat, but the deregulation that occurred during the Reagan Years put operations like these back in business. That and telemarketing did the rest.

Our protagonist in this film is Giovanni Ribisi who's a kid that I can somewhat identify with, one who can't seem to please his rather stern father, Ron Rifkin, who also happens to be a federal judge. He'd like for Ribisi to get into traditional professions like law or medicine, but Ribisi is a child of his era and is on the lookout for a quick buck. That he gets from his current endeavor which is running a small casino out of his apartment. Though illegal Ribisi runs it honestly, but that fact makes no never mind to Rifkin.

One of his steady patrons, Nicky Katt, interests him in going to work at his brokerage house which is not located in the heart of Wall Street, but out on Long Island.

Gordon Gekko would be proud of this bunch, trained by Ben Affleck who lives the Gekko creed from Wall Street of 'greed is good'. But this crowd could never get in Michael Douglas's front door, remember what a hard time Charlie Sheen had in Wall Street. You've got your list of prospects, aka suckers, and you get on the phone and sell, Sell, SELL, but only what you want sold in a given period. The activity drives up the price and then it deflates, but not before the broker gives out. On Wall Street, it's called 'kiting' a stock.

Michael Douglas's Gordon Gekko takes us to the rarefied world of big time Wall Street corruption. These guys are the minor leagues of the same sport. Ribisi as he soon finds out was living more honorably as a casino entrepreneur. But he can't get out mainly because dad seems to have somewhat changed his attitude. And Rifkin's respect is all he wants.

Boiler Room works best during the scenes with Rifkin and Ribisi, their up and down relationship is the key to the whole film. Other performances to watch out for are Nia Long as the secretary clearing $80,000.00 a year because of her insider information, Vin Diesel as a cheery hedonistic sort of bucketeer, and Nicky Katt is a more intense variety of the same breed.

The one to really watch out for is Ben Affleck. It's a small part, but Affleck does wonders with it. Now this is a man who could really have made it Gekko's world and wouldn't have had the trouble that Charlie Sheen had crashing it or the conscience pangs after he discovers what it's all about. Affleck should have gotten Oscar consideration in the Supporting Actor category.

In fact the whole film is sadly overlooked, don't miss it if it is ever broadcast.
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The real thing
jorgen6823 July 2003
The plot in Boiler Room is true to reality. A friend of mine was telling me about an outfit he used to work for in the 80's. Worked just like JT Marlin. They switched name three times in two years. My friend called people who lived far away so he wouldn't have to run into them at the grocery store.

The way the company keeps their brokers hungry is by encouraging excessive spending, such as luxury cars, so they have to make even more money to keep up with the lifestyle.

Boiler Room has a group of young actors that all play their parts well. Giovanni Ribisi makes a good appearance, and Nia Long needs to be in more movies.
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Thinking with Testosterone
glocksout14 August 2006
Boiler Room is basically about a young college drop-out, played by Giovanni Ribisi, who is seeking the quick way to the top. He starts an illegal gambling casino in his home, but is soon offered a job as a stock broker. This is a fast-paced occupation full of young guys who don't know what to do with their money. They gamble constantly, they party constantly; drugs, women and cars. On the surface, this is easily brushed off as a formulaic, pop-culture movie. If you pay attention though, this is a lot more than that. The subtext for this story is the relationship Ribisi has with his father. This relationship holds a lot of tension, and through the film goes through many changes both positive and negative, and culminates in a tear-jerking revelation. I'll admit it, I almost cried. But there is also a lot more going on here, most notably the story of one of Ribisi's clients who had domestic problems he had to face with his wife and children. His performance was impressive, and you really felt for him.
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Heart and blood of Madoff 's
antileft28 April 2009
There is hardly a movie that after nearly a decade proves even more real than reality itself, thus being perhaps one of the most prescient movies ever. Who would 've predicted that in less than a 10-year time America and the world would have found itself on the brink of a total collapse with eggheads and presidents alike unable to do anything to stop this chaos , having been brought on by that very human quality in its most negative sense , namely one of the basic destructive forces within men –greed ?! Yep , the authors of this film should be immediately named presidents of Harvard Economics Departments for painting a completely real picture of 25year old brokers at a anonymous JT Marlin , where only one rule applies : from now on you are in the world of 'as if ': act as if you were a multi-billionaire,as if you had a 9 inch penis ' , as the sky is the limit , and those selected ,will earn their first million$ within a year , and how - by lying , by selling non-existing stock to 'suckers'or to 'the old and dumb ' .No level of shenanigans , subterfuge, pretense is shied upon , as long as the line is open , and hundreds , perhaps thousands , constantly fed by the Orwellian propaganda of joy , prosperity and progress are virtually standing in line to feed their primordial sin – avarice ! Even though this little known celluloid work of art , propelled with a proper amount of fiercest rap and ingenious shots of Big Apple-sorry , more like the most vicious image of Gotham City and its environs , ends on a bright note, the damage of this philosophy of no work – roof top returns are unfortunately seen today on every corner of the globe with the horrible prospects ahead. Superb acting by everyone , specially by G. Ribisi and V. Diesel and a film that must be shown as lesson number one at all Economics Departments around this planet . With Nobel prize winners for this arcane ' craft ' cum philosophy cum science-Economics in obligatory attendance !
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Great movie but disappointing ending !
mluzipo18 January 2001
Great movie, I really enjoyed the most of it except the ending. The producer got it right until that last 30 minutes or so. It lost pace and drama, and I was definitely not expecting the movie to end like that.I would have liked to see the policeman coming and rocking the boiler room. I would have also liked to see just how far Nia Long would have gone with her complicated love life. Great movie but pathetic ending !!!!
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Corruption and Greed All Around!
g-bodyl28 December 2013
Boiler Room is the new millennium's version of Wall Street. Both deal with money, corruption, greed, and all of that good stuff. This film strongly gives a message on how honesty is a key to life, not greed. It also shows how money leads to corruptness and how Wall Street is just a bunch of lies. This film is surprisingly well-acted and has a very smart screenplay. However, the ending leaves something to be desired. After a zany, smart hour and a half, they just tidied up the mess as if nothing happened.

Ben Younger's film is about a guy named Seth Davis who runs an unlicensed casino in his apartment. In an attempt to go straight, he joins with this small finance firm outside New York City and after hitting success, he begins to realize something may be up with this firm.

This film is well-acted for sure. Who would have ever thought Vin Diesel would be in a movie like this with no action scenes but he still brings his intimidating pose here. Giovanni Ribisi does a solid job in the lead role. I really liked Ben Affleck here as well and he sure is one sleazebag here.

Overall, this is a really good film that was a little hampered by the ending. But with a smart script, great acting, and a tense atmosphere, this film gives us an interesting inside look on the corruption and greediness of Wall Street. I rate this film 8/10.
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very good with some unanswered questions
blanche-225 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Boiler Room" from 2000 is a very good film featuring some young, up and coming talent including Ben Affleck, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Scott Caan, Jamie Kennedy, Will McCormack, and Christopher Fitzgerald. Ron Rifkin has a showy role as Ribisi's father.

It's interesting that several compared this film to "Wall Street" and "Glengarry Glen Ross" - certainly the comparisons are valid - but someone mentioned a real-life comparison, to the Enron situation. The documentary I saw was "Enron The Smartest Guys in the Room" and I think that's an apt comparison as well.

The plot concerns a young man, Seth Davis, who makes money running a backroom casino. His father is a federal judge and the two men are distanced from one another, his father making it clear that he doesn't approve.

One night, a man comes into the casino and suggests a stockbroker job for Seth with a boutique company. Seth becomes a trainee there, and comes up against heavy competition and ruthless bosses and managers, one of whom is played by Ben Affleck and another played by Nicky Katt. He temporarily wins his father's approval as he learns how to "always be closing" with every phone call, and the art of the deal. There's just one problem - there's something a little odd about the place, and Seth can't put his finger on it. What he doesn't realize is that the business is under investigation, and the Feds have targeted someone close to Seth for information.

Interesting film and very well acted. What's scary is, this type of thing worked with Enron so I wouldn't say it's unrealistic. Greed is greed, be it in stockbrokers, corporations, or stock owners.

I felt like others, let down by the ending. I could have used another five minutes to wrap it up better.


Did anyone else think Seth's father set him up? Not out of anger or cruelty, but to get him out of the situation and help to bring this place down. I found it hard to believe that as a Federal judge he would go along with this IPO and say, on the phone, that he wanted to help Seth so he "wouldn't get caught" - and this is all recorded and played back to him when Seth is brought in. The Feds banked on Seth spilling his guts in order to save his father. One would think his father would believe it would go the other way and therefore wouldn't have agreed to it, but he must have seen how desperate this kid was for his love and gone along with the Feds. They were threatening to strip him of his position as a judge. Seth's father a couple of scenes earlier wanted nothing to do with Seth because it jeopardized his job.
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What do you want me to tell you! That's what we do here.
sol-kay20 January 2013
***SPOILERS*** These greedy and crooked stock brokers never learn. In the movie made 13 years after the the great 1987 stock market crash with dozens of market bigwigs thrown behind bars for manipulating the market and fleecing investors of billions they, a new generation of crooked stock boys, are back again in action doing their thing. This time in a sleazy chop shop brokerage house 100 miles west of Wall Street in Commack NY called J.T Marlin. Told by the brokerage house's chief as well as senior member the 27 year old Jim Young, Ben Affleck, that anyone who's lucky enough to get a job at J.T Martin will end up being a millionaire,like himself, in just three short years. As it later turned out instead of being a millionaire they'll most likely, if they can't make a deal with the FBI, end up behind bars in a federal penitentiary!

It'collage drop out Seth Davis, Glovanni Ribisi, who's drawn to J.T Marlin after his father federal district court judge Marty Davis,Ron Rifkin, frond out that he was running an illegal casino out of his home in Kew Gardens Queens. Told by his dad to get himself an honest job as well as a nice Jewish girl Seth ended up doing the exact opposite in both cases! The job that Seth got at J.T Marlin was as criminal a any business run by the Mafia. As for a nice Jewish girl Seth's girlfriend turns out to be the non-Jewish $80,000.00 a year single mom secretary at the place Abbie Halpet, Nia Long. It's was Abbie who ended up, under pressure by the FBI, ratting her "lover" Seth in order to save her own behind for withholding evidence of stock & bond fraud at the brokerage house!

As for Seth himself he gets his honest federal judge dad Marty in the mix by getting him to reluctantly give Seth help in the trouble he got himself into thus implicating himself in his son's crimes! And soon Judge Marty finds himself facing not only disbarment but a stretch behind bars! All this trouble and heartbreak, in Seath's family, could have so easily been avoided if he just stayed with his illegal casino operation which his outraged dad made him give up for better things in life. Like a job at J.T Marlin where almost the entire crew that worked there ended up behind bars. With Seath, who like his girlfriend Abbie, ratting them out in order to save his own neck!

***SPOILERS***Like the famous saying by Michael Douglas as sleaze ball Wall Street "Master of the Universe" Gordon Gekko in the movie "Wall Street" that "Greed is Good" Seth Davis and his fellow shyster stock brokers found out it, unrestricted and criminal greed,is just the opposite. Banned for life in the financial world was the best thing that Seth got by ratting out low life stock broker crooks like himself.

Seth's dad was lucky to avoid jail time but lost his job as a well respected federal judge by just trying to help his not too bright son from ending up in the slammer ! As for Seth his only redeeming feature was getting one of his abused and cheated clients Harry Reynard, Taylor Nichols, his $50,000.00 in life saving back. It was the very naive and susceptible Reynard that Seth talked into investing in a company that didn't exist and was soon to go kaput. That was about the best thing that Seth did in his short career as an, or so he hoped, up and coming big time Wall Street stock broker.
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"His clear and effortless style give this film a pace and feeling that veteran directors are still failing to create."
JonMLParker8 November 2012
Every once in a while a film comes a long that changes your outlook on the industry. In his first directorial offering Ben Younger not only engages his audience but establishes himself, quite rightly, as one of the best up and coming talents in the film industry.

Giovanni Ribisi's outstanding performance in Boiler Room is without a doubt his finest hour, an actor who is frequently overlooked and always underrated, Boiler Room gives the world a reason to finally recognise this actors outstanding ability.

A wonderful supporting cast comprised of Hollywood talent that would ordinarily be more wooden than Pinocchio, give this film the ability to flourish. Boiler Room is probably the first time anyone has ever considered for a moment that Ben Affleck is a good actor.

Ben Younger is clearly able to motivate in a way that no other director can. His clear and effortless style give this film a pace and feeling that veteran directors are still failing to create. His choice of soundtrack compliments the edit and helps the film flow seamlessly.

Boiler Room is a marvel to behold, a triumph in every sense of the word. You would truly be considered a moron if you passed up the opportunity to see this film.
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Boiler Room
Robgundy1522 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Well this is an easy one for me. i watched this 4 years ago. The writing in this movie is an 8 out of 10. Its a more than solid idea for a movie with a nicely adapted story. What put this movie over the top for me was the acting. I usually can't stand Vin Diesel or Ben Affleck, but this movie makes me think there's hope for them yet. Affleck sells it with the cocky, over the top character, and diesel plays a similar character with a conscience. The actor that steals the show however, is Giovanni Ribisi. He plays a character who is a slacker,but a guy who is clearly smart and knows how to make money for himself. When all is lost and you feel he is a one dimensional heartless character like the rest (minus Diesel), he does everything in his power to get Harry Reynard, a hard working family man, his money back that he had lost in the scam that was JT Marlin. As i said before, the writing in the movie gets a, 8 out of 10, and the acting gets a 9 out of 10. Props to Ben Younger, Giovanni Ribisi and a surprisingly good performance by Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck. Notable supporting roles to Scott Caan, Tom Everett Scott and Ron Rifkin. Excellent movie.
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Engaging drama about the financial world
Gordon-1129 May 2010
This film is about a son of a judge who runs an underground casino. He tries to impress his father by entering a legitimate business, only to find that things don't work out the way he plans.

Giovanni Ribisi delivers a great performance. He looks vulnerable to be the son who will never live up to the expectations. He manages to bring his inner moral conflict, which is something internal and hard to depict, very well through his facial expression and body. Giovanni Ribisi makes the film engaging because he captures viewers' sympathy.

"Boiler Room" is an engaging film that exposes the unscrupulous greed of financial companies. I enjoyed watching it.
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Better Than I Hoped
fandangonoir19 July 2000
If you dig films about stockbrokers you will dig dis. The usually annoying Giovanni Rabisi gives a good performance as an up and coming broker in a third rate firm. Nia Long and Ben Affleck give good supporting performances. But the best thing is the great Vin Diesel who shows off his acting chops big time. Vin seems to be doing it all, action films like 'Pitch Black', war films like 'Saving Private Ryan', and now this as a ruthless money grubbing capitalist pig broker. I love it. Here's hoping we see Vin baby fer a long time to come.
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It rings very true...
bhubert28 June 2000
This film rang very true with me. A few years ago, when I was in New York doing my training for a major, reputable, investment firm I met a bunch of guys from one of these Boiler Rooms. They were out celebrating a big month by one of the new brokers and they were certainly as loud and obnoxious as the movie characters. After telling them that I was also a stockbroker, they told me about some of their telephone tactics, all exactly like the ones used in the movie. They would do things like call people and tell them they had called before -- even if they never had. They also had the list of canned responses as referenced in the film, i.e. "I need to talk to my wife about this." "At your job you make business decisions everyday, think of this investment as a business decision." The name of their company even sounded like a legitimate firm -- just like the one in the movie. Obviously, the writers of this film spent some real time in the brokerage world to see just how these bucket shops operate. I highly recommend this movie -- and if you're a broker -- you should probably show it to your clients because like they said in the movie -- lots of people do trade with these guys even if they have a hometown broker.
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Dramatic, enjoyable, true life depiction.
casablancan25 May 2000
Its tough to make a realistic film of any subject and produce a piece of enjoyable, believable cinema. Its done well here, to the point that many of the viewers will disbelieve the gaul and gullability of the characters. This is how it is in the scam- world of finance (its all a scam, we just need it).

I take 3 points away from this film because all of the sub-plots make no sense and the cinematography is terrible. (Out of focus so much my eyes hurt!).

Deserves a place on everybody's DVD shelf.
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Smart and hip
bigpappa1--215 May 2000
Although similar to Wall Street this film is able to stand apart on its own as a smart motion picture. Acting is good, direction creative, and plenty of style and laughs to spare. Only complaint is Ben Affleck just seems to be just giving a series of monolgues (some short, some long). Good. 8/10
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The excellent performance by Giovanni Ribisi alone makes this film worth seeing.
ronell30 April 2000
I think anyone who has had any sales experience will appreciate this film. These guys are good at what they do, even though they are destroying peoples lives. This is not an inside look at how a stock brokerage works, but how a legitimate looking business can actually be a telemarketing scam. References are made to "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "Wall Street" which may not have been a good idea since this film is not in the same league, thus highlighting its shortcomings.

The big plus for this movie is Giovanni Ribisi, a very low key performance that added credibility to his character and drew sympathy from the audience. On the minus side, the constant barrage of profanity and the prejudiced views expressed by some of the characters was very offensive, and the uninspired soundtrack will not make it into my CD collection.
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Cool movie that gets you thinking
mercury-266 March 2000
What's cool about the debut feature from 26-year-old writer/director Ben Younger is that it's fresh and seemingly untampered with by the Hollywood powers-that-be. The story often takes a back seat to intervals of exposition about the stock market and stock trading and completely unnecessary rat-a-tat dialogue between one young punk and another. Movies weren't always this way. Directors couldn't always get away with this much. Most still can't. Producers still have final cut most of the time and the `fat' is trimmed. Which leads me to believe that it's all part of the Big Studio Strategy. Get young butts in the seats by hiring young directors to make the movies.

Not such a far out idea, especially when it bears such fine results as Boiler Room. What it's about, in short, is a youngster with a serious bad bone and just a tiny little bit of a conscience, Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi). Seth kicks law school because the illegal card game he's running out of his apartment is generating so much money, he's made it a 24-7 operation and there just isn't time for school. We're expected to believe Seth actually thinks his father, a federal judge (Ron Rifkin), should be proud of him for his accomplishments.

While I am by no means done ribbing this film, I will say that it is quite good. Any film that paints an evil portrait of those who sell things over the telephone is okay in my book, but there's more behind my approval than that. Seth's relationship with his father is explored thoughtfully and believably. Rifkin is great in this rare supporting role (he's usually stuck in character acting hell). I liked how Younger dares you to care about this robot of a man, then slowly peels the layers away.

Then of course, there's Ribisi as Seth, who really eats up the role of a fast-talking, built to sell young gun stockbroker. The character is so very interesting because he's too good at what he does for his own good. A person watching this film might begin to ponder what they would do were they in his situation. What if someone told you that you were `guaranteed to make a million dollars' inside of three months? The full version of this speech is delivered by the Alec Baldwin-ized Ben Affleck, who gets a lot of acting mileage out of his two scenes. He swears at the new recruits Seth is among; he bends them, breaks them, spits at them, mocks them, throws his car keys at them until they're ready to bleed for $150.00 a week.

This brings me to my biggest hang up. It seems to me that half that conference room would be clear of people halfway through Affleck's tyrade. Here's the larger problem, though: The way these guys talk to potential clients over the phone! If the guy on the other end of the phone talked that way to you, would you really trust him with ten thousand dollars of your money? I am no Shirley Temple, but when a strange person says the f-word twelve times inside of a three-minute conversation, TRUST IS BROKEN DOWN. I doubt I'm the only one who observed this.

Boiler Room deserves the benefit of the doubt because it does what it sets out to do, which is, Get you thinking about the role of money in your life. You think about how there are just enough suckers out there to justify the existence of these persuasive, nearly abusive phone pitchmen. They can be anyone they want because you cannot see them. The trick is making you think you wanted to buy the shares all along. They get you to confess your dream to them, they re-package it, and then they sell it back to you. Wait, is it just me or does that sound a lot like the movie business? Even so, go ahead and buy a ticket to Boiler Room. You won't feel like a sucker.

Grade: B
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One to see
egibson31716 February 2002
This movie is about a young hustler from a well to do family who tries to turn "legit" to gain his fathers approval. He begins work at a shady brokerage firm where big dollars are earned for ghost stocks. The subplot is an interesting romantic triangle that could have been explored more. Overall, I rate this movie as one not to miss.
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