5.7/10
33,832
217 user 132 critic

Reindeer Games (2000)

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with his girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself the reluctant participant in a casino heist.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dana Stubblefield ...
The Alamo
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Mean Guard
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Ugly Staffer
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Michael Sunczyk ...
Distant Inmate #1
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Distant Inmate #2 (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
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Guard #1
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Guard #2 (as Ron Sauve)
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Prisoner #1 (as Ron Hyatt)
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Exit Guard
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Pug
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Storyline

After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is days away from release as is his cellmate Nick (James Frain) who is is serving a two year sentence on a separate charge. Nick has a number of pictures from a romantic correspondence with a woman named Ashley he has never met but is waiting for his release. Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Nick is killed defending Rudy during a prison riot. When Rudy Is released the next day from prison he recognizes Ashley waiting outside the prison for Nick and Rudy takes his place and pretends to be Nick. Nick had spoken of his previous employment in security with an Indian casino and Rudy finds himself involved with Ashley's criminal gun runner brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Rudy is violently coerced to cooperate with a Christmas Eve casino robbery scheme that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick's casino knowledge as the key. Things... Written by Brian Orndorf

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The trap is set. The game is on.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deception  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,128,356, 27 February 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$23,360,779, 18 June 2000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character names Rudy and Nick are an allusion to the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from which this movie takes it title. Nick (St. Nicholas) orchestrates the entire plan, only to have Rudy (Rudolph) lead it. See more »

Goofs

When Rudy (Ben Affleck) is trying to hot wire the car you can see the ignition is in the "on" position. Plus the car could not be taken out of "park" without the key being unlocked. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rudy Duncan: [Rudy narrating] To tell ya the truth, I never was much for the holidays. It's been forever since I'd known a holiday, since I'd seen my family, since I'd been with a girl, since I'd driven a car. You see, cars are what put me here - Iron Mountain, Maximum Security Prison. I was riding a hard five for grand theft auto. Meanwhile, most of my esteemed raping and murdering colleagues were up for parole in three. The world works like that sometimes. All the time, in my experience. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Slim Shady Show (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Reindeer Games
Courtesy of St. Nicholas Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Would've been better with just a touch of more action
27 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

I though REINDEER GAMES was a pretty good movie, especially compared to some other movies of the year 2000 so far, but I think there should have been a little more action than there actually was. There was quite a lot of buildup to the casino robbery, but when it finally got there, not much happened. The ending was very good. Just when you think you've identified all the twists, there's another one right there.

Rudy (Ben Affleck), a car-thief, and his cellmate Nick (James Frain), a guy who killed another man while defending his girlfriend, are both about to be freed from jail when Nick is murdered during a lunch fight. Rudy decides to pretend to be him when his pen-pal-like girlfriend Ashley (Charlize Theron), who never met Nick before, comes to find him. The two really hit it off and things are going well, until Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) finds Rudy and threatens to kill him if he doesn't help them get into and rob a casino, which the real Nick previously worked at.

The plot is actually pretty cool, but it's hard to believe that this bunch of idiot-thieves would really believe that this was the real Nick, even after he told them time after time that he wasn't. There are many great twists at the end which leads to an unpredictable, although somewhat unbelievable, ending. The characters are pretty cool, about half of which turn out to be different from whom you originally thought.

Ben Affleck, new to the action genre, did a pretty good job. After proving himself to be able to play very different parts, like in Dogma, Armageddon and now this, I think he is really going places. Charlize Theron did an OK job as well as the mysterious girlfriend of Nick. Gary Sinise stole the show. I really like this guy. Boy can he act! He's played so many different characters very well. Gary doesn't do as well as the villain as he did in SNAKE EYES or RANSOM, but he still did a very good and believable job.

The main flaw in this movie was the lack of action until the end. The casino robbery itself should've been more action-packed, like it seemed on the commercial. Even in the ending there was more irony and surprise than there was action. But the story and was action was there was still very well done. I'd recommend this movie over many of the movies out now.


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