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Entertaining, And Poker Fans Will Really Love It
ccthemovieman-122 September 2007
As far as playing or watching poker on television, I can take it or leave it, and I enjoyed this movie.... so I can imagine poker fans will really LOVE this film. It gives justice to their "sport" with realistic hands, playing, situations and attitudes.

Often, I thought something hokey was going to happen, something predictable but rarely did that occur in this film. You really never knew what was going to happen and suspense builds for a number of gambling scenes. I hesitate to say more for fear of spoiling anything. Suffice to say, the gambling scenes in here were very realistic. I know what from the behind-the- scenes bonus features in which a number of real-life professional players commented on that fact.

The film follows a father-and-son team (Eric Bana and Robert Duvall playing "Huck" and "L.C. Cheever") with a small romance sub-plot involving Drew Barrymore. It isn't just all about poker, although that's most of it - culminating in the World Series of Poker - but about the mentality of people who make gambling their life.

This film was far better than I figured it would be, and was rewarding in the end without being predictable. It was fairly low-key, too, in the profanity and sex department, but kids would be bored with this film, anyway.

This movie will mainly attract card players, I'm afraid, and that's too bad because it offers a lot more than that. The movie got better as it went along and wound up a good two hours of entertainment.
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Good movie for Vegas fanatics. Don't know about anyone else
keiichi736 May 2007
No movie in recent memory has sent me more mixed pre-release signals than Lucky You. The film is directed and co-written by Curtis Hanson, who has made many films I've admired in the past including 8 Mile and L.A. Confidential. The screenplay was also co-written by Eric Roth, the screenwriter of The Insider and Munich. And it features three very likable actors in lead roles, specifically Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, and Robert Duvall. These signs should have filled me with confidence, but there was also the knowledge nagging at me that the film had been sitting on the studio's shelf for almost two years, and had been shuffled through numerous release dates. Now that I've seen the film, I can say that the film is certainly not all bad, but is nowhere near what it should be given the talent both on and behind the camera.

The film is set in the high stakes world of professional gambling in Las Vegas. We follow a man named Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), who could be one of the best players in the game, but he is compulsive and often loses as much as he wins. His estranged father L.C. (Robert Duvall) is also a professional player on the circuit, and it doesn't make things any easier for Huck. While trying to gather the money needed to participate in the World Series Poker Championship, he happens to meet a sweet young newcomer to Vegas named Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore). Billie's a singer at a local bar and knows nothing about gambling, but when she starts to get attached to Huck, she can see the compulsiveness that he cannot. This begins a rocky on-again off-again relationship between the two where Huck will have to determine what is truly important in his life.

Most of the time while I was watching Lucky You, I felt like I was watching an advertisement for the Las Vegas tourism board, or perhaps one of those professional Poker games you sometimes see on TV. That's because the film's narrative is hardly there at all, and a vast majority of the film is devoted to the game itself. The rules are explained early on when Billie sits down with Huck to watch him play in one scene, and then the movie takes off with one game sequence after another. I'm sure there's an audience out there who finds this thrilling, but I personally never got into Poker games, and found my interest somewhat waning as the film went on. To be fair, the film's climactic game at the Championship can be pretty tense at times, but the numerous smaller games that take up the film's two hour plus running time just never build to much. Because the movie is so heavily concentrated on gaming, the story and the characters never come across as interesting as they should be. Huck and Billie never get developed beyond their most basic traits, and never even come across as a couple we can get behind. Huck's seeming inability to listen or reason made me wonder what Billie was thinking each time she hooked back up with him. I suppose this is supposed to be about a love story about two people who never learn. I can certainly see a good movie being made off of that story, but this movie never lets us get close to them, so we don't feel anything whether they are together or apart.

That's not to say the movie is all bad. Lucky You is handsomely shot, and the cinematography by Peter Deming really captures the excitement and thrill of Vegas quite well. And even if the Poker game sequences get somewhat tedious, they are filmed well and manage to keep things moving. There are also some good performances on display. The three main leads are all strong, particularly Eric Bana and Robert Duvall during their scenes together. The father-son relationship they share often felt more genuine than the romance Bana shares with Barrymore. There are also a number of enjoyable supporting roles featuring many of Huck's friends, who are equally compulsive with their gambling. One memorable cameo features Robert Downey Jr as a man who runs multiple 1-900 number services at the same time, as he switches back and forth between a self-run depression helpline and a relationship counseling line. The only problem is that all of these positives are being employed by an emotionally hollow screenplay. The narrative is shaky at best, and we never get to know these characters as much as we feel we should. There is enough drama and ideas here for a compelling romantic comedy-drama, but the film never takes charge. It's too interested in its setting, and not enough in the people who inhabit that setting.

Lucky You is not quite the disaster that should have had its release delayed for so long, but at the same time, I can understand why the studio was somewhat nervous about it. Despite the big names and the romance angle, this movie is really all about professional gambling, and it speaks to a very limited audience. I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I did. With a screenplay that focused more on Huck and Billie, this maybe could have been an interesting story about two people who fall in love, despite the fact they're probably bad for each other. As it is, I often found myself trying to guess which hotel or casino they shot the scene I was watching in, and was thinking back on my own visit to Vegas a couple years ago. The movie brought back some fun memories, but not much else.
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Poker -- I hardly know her!
hellokristen1 May 2007
(I just had to say that before anyone else!)

I don't know anything about poker, but I enjoyed this film all right.

The people in the audience who do understand the game were getting a lot more out of it than I did. They were oohing and ahhing and tensing up like they were at a real poker tournament.

I'm surprised Drew Barrymore took a supporting role like this. She's good and lovely as always (how come she still looks 20?), but doesn't get enough to do. Robert Downey Jr and Jean Smart are also woefully underused.

The film really belongs to Eric Bana and Robert Duvall. Eric is handsome and solid. And it's a real treat to watch an old pro like Duvall.

It's only a slight tale, but a pretty good one. I could tell from one of the first scenes how it was going to wind up. Hey, maybe I should take up poker.
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Worth a look, especially for Bana fans, of which there are scads
inkblot117 May 2007
Huck (Eric Bana) is a professional poker player on a losing streak. His near empty house in Las Vegas also sports a pool with no water. As he is pawning a camera and his mother's wedding ring, he is hoping for his luck to change. In truth, he is a great player but does not know when to walk away from a table or a bet. One night, after leaving the gambling establishments, he goes to a local watering hole and meets a nice looking lady named Billie (Drew Barrymore). As she is being pestered by a loser, Huck comes to rescue her from his attentions. They make a connection. However, Billie's sister (Debra Messing) persuades her sibling to walk away, saying she knows Huck well and that he is all hustle and no commitment. Yet, Huck persists and convinces Billie to go on a date After a lovely evening and night together, Huck promptly takes money from Billie's wallet to take to the gaming tables. Ouch. Oh, and Huck's father (Robert Duvall), a prize winning poker player, is back in town to compete in the high stakes games. Will Huck win big? And, will Billie ever speak to him again? This is a good movie with a few flaws. It has a somewhat slow pace and also suffers from some incredulity as far as Huck's poverty despite his obvious great talent for cards. Nevertheless, Bana is certainly a large part of why the film is so worthwhile, as his Huck is a very charismatic person, indeed. Barrymore is probably miscast as Billie, although that is not to say she performs badly, just nondescriptly, as the role does not call for a display of her comic abilities. Then, too, someone decided to give her the hair styles of a bowling alley queen and the costumes of a dork. On the other hand, and surprisingly, the Las Vegas setting looks gorgeous, even away from the sparkling lights. If you like Bana, and who the heck doesn't, you will not want to miss a showing of this movie. Anyone with a hankering for high-stakes poker will be perfectly enthralled as well.
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For Poker Fans Only!
brenttraft5 May 2007
The advertisements for "Lucky You" made it out to be a romantic comedy but Drew Barrymore is hardly in the movie. The movie is mostly of guys playing poker.

If you are a big poker fan, you will probably going to like it. Everyone else will probably be bored. If you thought the scenes in "Casino Royal" of guys playing cards was exciting, you will really like this film.

Ten years ago Curtis Hanson made "L.A. Confidential," one of the greatest films of all time. Since then, he has made some decent films but none of them have been really great.

"Lucky You" is well made and has good production quality. Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall are always good. Eric Bana is an okay actor but lacks charisma. It doesn't help that his character is a big time loser and a compulsive gambler.

"Lucky You" will be a big hit with spectator poker fans, but everyone else is likely to be disappointed.
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As vapid as a poker face
Jay_Exiomo9 May 2007
Lest be duped by the trailers that make it seem a romantic comedy set in the world of high-stakes gambling, one should approach "Lucky You" as more of a movie about poker with a generous amount of father-son conflict thrown in for good measure. The romantic angle is just an arbitrarily (in fact, awkwardly) placed distraction that sticks out like a sore thumb (hint: Drew Barrymore's character is good for only around 20-30 minutes of this 2-hour movie).

Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a regular high-stakes poker player in Las Vegas whose skills in reading body languages of his opponents is hampered by his rashness. Constantly in the shadow of his estranged father L.C. (Robert Duvall), a two-time World Series of Poker champion who never fails to rub in his son's weakness, Huck falls for Billie (Barrymore) - a Vegas newbie who's just got a job singing in a bar. Problem is, Billie's cynicism-free personality clashes with Huck's callous opportunistic character.

And it goes without saying that as cards are dealt and the stakes are raised, there will be some fixings to occur among Huck and the two people around him.

Strangely, after being in projects with involving narratives, director Curtis Hanson and co-writer Eric Roth fail to draw any meaningful yarn with the characters. In fact, "Lucky You" works better when it sets its focus on the poker table, and not trying to deal with any of tepid characterizations. But such ambivalence ultimately leads to a hollow feeling.

For those who enjoy watching poker, it might be a worthy deal (at least the final act). But for anyone else, considering the people involved in this project, it leaves the feeling of an empty hand.
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Why poker and movies just don't mix
Buddy-5112 May 2007
Only the most die-hard poker fans will find much to cheer about in "Lucky You," a Freudian drama set in the high-stakes world of the Vegas strip.

Eric Bana ("Munich") and Robert Duvall star as Huck and L.C. Cheever, two world-class poker players with many unresolved father/son issues between them. Huck resents the fact that he's had to live virtually all his adult life in the shadow of his famous father who, with his constant carousing, stealing and gambling, made life a living hell for Huck's mother virtually till the day she died. What Huck doesn't realize - and this is where Doctor Freud comes in - is that he is pretty much following in his father's footsteps both in his choice of profession and his relations with women. Meanwhile, L.C. hangs out around the casinos and coffee shops of the city trying to reconcile with his boy, while at the same time, doling out unasked-for advice about how the young man should be living his life both at and away from the poker table. Drew Barrymore completes the cast as Billie Offer, a young, morally upright ingénue from Bakersfield who has come to Sin City to begin her career as a singer and who winds up falling under the spell of the ethically-challenged Huck. Or could it be that the beatific Billie is really an angel of the Lord come to lead the iniquitous Huck out of this modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah?

The scenes between Bana and Barrymore are probably the best in the film and one wishes that more time would have been spent developing that relationship instead of sitting around the poker table. For whenever the story moves into the casino, the movie stops dead in its tracks, proving once again that poker, by its very nature, makes for one of the least compelling sports ever to be depicted on film. Anyone without a thorough working knowledge of the ins and outs of Texas Hold'em, in particular, is going to find himself lost in all the arcane trivia of the poker-playing scenes (which take up quite a large chunk of the movie's overall running time, I might add). Even worse is the fact that the father/son angle is so clichéd and hackneyed at this point that even actors of the caliber of Bana and Duvall (and they are both excellent) can't be expected to really pull it off.

There are some quality elements in "Lucky You." Director Curtis Hanson, who co-wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth, proves yet again - as he did in "LA Confidential" and "8 Mile" - that he knows how to extract the essence of a locale to build atmosphere and mood. Moreover, the interactions between Huck and Billie are often flavorful and intriguing (which is more than can be said for those between Huck and his dad). The performances are uniformly impressive, with Barrymore, in particular, showing a bit more range here than she has in most of her previous roles.

Hanson has populated his film with a number of real life poker playing celebrities, which may be of interest to the aficionados but won't mean much to the rest of us. Sad to say, but the lackluster "Lucky You" is unlikely to appeal to anyone not already passionate about professional poker - and unlikely to garner the sport itself many new fans.
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slow and steady wins the race....
hoove19702 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I went into this "sneak Peek" preview with out any reservations or preconceived notions about what to expect. The father/son relationship was a fairly accurate and believable portrayal of a strained almost completely broken family connection. This is the meat and potato's of this movie. My friends and co viewers had led me to believe this was going to be a "Chick Flick" but it really wasn't. It was a father and son flick. It seems that it wanted to be but it never really got there. Sorry to say that Drew Barrymores part ended up playing only the catalyst to the relationship between father and son. It was fine by me that the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship didn't seem to really work and was "forced" too much. The good stuff was all centered around Eric Bana. He played and played the heck out of every thing he could get his hands on. Robert Duvall was fun to watch as always. There are no Oscars here but fine performances all around. Hats off to all the real poker players who played themselves, Good job! It was strange to see the "bit Parts" played by Robert Downey Jr., Jean Smart, and Debra Messing all given either too much time and dialog or too little. I would love to have seen Jean Smart play the love interest of Duvall instead of I believe Yetta Gottesman. It would have brought in a little more comedy to and otherwise dramatic movie. I could have done without Debra Messing's part, not that she wasn't fine I just felt it was unnecessary. There were some good "one liners" but it wasn't a lot of laughs. I have to say the technique employed throughout the movie allowed even novice poker players to enjoy the "high stakes" action. The audience collectively oohh'd and ahhhhh'd at some of the hands. It was well filmed and directed. This was a solid offering that teaches a few of life's little lessons worth learning. I liked it and recommend it.
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Decent movie about love and poker. Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie last year during a free screening. It was a decent date movie about love and poker. Despite the title, "Lucky You" is really about an down and out poker play, Huck Cheever, trying to get into a famous poker tournament. A big part of the movie is Huck's rivalry with his dad who beats up in the poker table. We see Huck have a lover Suzanne Offer. However, eventually he falls for her sister who is a singer.

Barrymore hasn't looked she's aged much. Her performance in this is memorable though it's not that different from other roles she's played. Eric Bana is convincing as the woeful Huck Cheever. Likewise, Robert Duvall by this point is a master in playing the stuffy, arrogant, but tough old man role. In a way this is one of those movies where the major character as hard he tries is an underachiever who can't cut a break. Nothing ever seems to work for him including relationships. This movie also has the familiar "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, then loses her again" plot that audiences will eat up.

I remember the audience though did love it and the movie does manage to blend in comedy and drama and shows you a bit of what's like in the card playing world of poker.

The release of the movie in May just seems totally illogical. With all the summer blockbusters coming up, it seems destined to be a movie that might be forgotten amidst the hype of the other movies. Still it's a decent movie and the acting is fine. The movie may not do huge at the box office but if you want a perfectly decent movie to watch that will leave you satisfied at the end then see it.
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If you play a lot of poker, don't take your spouse!
david-248314 May 2007
The very sympathetic character of Huck Cheever displays some of the worst compulsive gambler behavior. It's appropriate to the movie and is certainly exhibited by many people who gamble a lot. In fact, it might be the most realistic part of the movie. Unfortunately, the only thing that keeps spouses sane is not knowing

I'm a very frequent poker player and sports bettor, and I enjoyed the movie. But the less intimately acquainted my wife is with the pitfalls of gambling the better she'll sleep. Besides, all the Drew Barrymore scenes really seemed flat to me so it may not even be a very good date movie.
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Perfect for gamblers
MLDinTN8 April 2008
If gambling and poker interests you, then you will love this film. Otherwise, it's too long and in some parts boring because there are so many long card playing scenes. Did the movie have to show so many hands of poker being played for us to follow the story? Eric Bana plays a gambler who wins some but loses a lot. His father, Robert Duval, is a world famous gambler. Duval is fabulous as usual in his role. Drew Barrymore plays the girl Bana pursues. He "borrows" money from her and gets in the dog house but alls well in the end. There are a few funny parts where his friend sets up silly wagers. Like staying in a bathroom and the whole run/golf bet. The climax is the world poker tournament and whether or not Bana can win it.

FINAL VERDICT: I like the actors in this, but I don't know anything about poker, so didn't follow that part with the checking and table tapping. A little too much of the technical stuff. The card playing should have been shorter. But I still recommend it if you like any of the actors.
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Lucky Who?
Timpala11 May 2007
This is one of those movies where the only story that you would really care about is in the trailers.

I didn't know about the movie being held by the studios for a couple of years and whatever studio politics was involved in that decision. I would imagine that it was a case of several people not wanting this thing released with their name on it. It seems then that they took any interesting moments available in the entire film and made them into the trailer. I wonder if they had to go back and shoot more scenes just to be able to get footage for the trailer.

I left the film thinking that it was some sort of Gamblers Anonymous PSA gone wrong. We see what a gambling addiction will do to people throughout the film, just how screwed up some of these people are, but it's all done as a funny aside. Sort of a "oh, look at the cute alcoholic, he can't stand up." We have men getting breast implants on a bet. Yes, I know a real guy did it but that doesn't make it sane or interesting. The same character takes a bet to live in a casino men's room for a month? Huck (is that short for huckster? surely no one would name their kid Huckleberry), our lead, is so consumed by his addiction that he begs, borrows, and steals from everyone he meets. He lives alone and sleeps on a lawn chair by his empty pool. He's sold off all of his furniture (except presumably for his bed) and mortgaged the family home to the hilt. Wait, maybe that's just the American Dream updated for the '00s. No, he's cool, he's a gambler. I can see countless addicts pointing their family to this film to justify just one more mortgage so they can make it all back and live happily ever after. Vegas is counting on you baby.

I'd also like to know how this degenerate gambler manages to park his bike in the underground garage at Bellagio? Then he proceeds to wander through the back halls and service areas of one of the world's largest casinos. Yeah, right. Maybe he's trying for a part in Ocean's 23.

I know that the actors are better than this and they all have shown it across decades of fine work. How in the world does something like this movie get made and who didn't have the chips to keep this thing on the shelf where it belonged?
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Mediocre Poker Movie
butchfilms11 December 2008
I didn't like very much "Lucky You", I thought that I would be watching a good poker movie because of the director (L.A confidential & 8 mile)and the cast, Eric Bana (Troy), the great Robert Duvall and the hot Drew Barrymore. But I was wrong this is a mediocre film and I like to play poker, watch poker games on TV and watch poker movies.

I think this movie deserves 5.5 stars. I didn't like the performances, the poker games were OK, but this is a movie where the most important thing is the plot, any director can put actors around a table a make them look cool, talking and making bets but the difficult is in the plot around the poker tables.

The movie is about a poker player who has to earn $10000 to get in a poker tournament but in his way to get the money he will meet with a beautiful naive woman and with his father, a great poker player, to whom he dislikes.

"Lucky You" would have been better if it had lasted 100 minutes instead of 124 minutes. Just watch it if you don't have anything else better to do.
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Dull, sleepy story of poker players
LilyDaleLady19 March 2008
I could tell right off this was a terrible movie (even the credits are boring), but the real shocker is that it was directed by the guy that made "LA Confidential" -- one of the very best films of the last decade or so -- and features Robert Duvall, one of the best actors of our generation. Yet, as in so many limp forgettable films, the problem is...THE SCRIPT. The story is utterly without merit, and there was no reason to tell it, except that it tries to exploit the recent fascination with big-time poker tournaments.

Unfortunately, poker (which is probably quite interesting and challenging to play) is wretchedly boring to WATCH since winning depends in part on having a BLANK ("poker")face. The only cathartic part is thousands and even millions at are stake, but otherwise, its no more interesting to watch than gin rummy or even your granny's bingo night at church.

Huck (yes short for "Huckleberry") Cheever, a young poker player in Las Vegas with no other job or means of employment. Not a very good player, as he is always broke or losing at the last minute. It becomes painfully obvious that that Huck really is a GAMBLING ADDICT, so addicted that he repeatedly blows money he needs to pay to get into the Big Game, money he owes other people...even money he STEALS from the innocent girl he is dating.

That's not a clever, talented poker player on the rise -- that's a pathetic addict who is about two steps from life in the gutter. We are supposed to think Hank (who is losing stupidly, left & right) is a brilliant world-class player. Hank's dad, L.C. Cheever (Duvall, excellent as always, even in a thankless role) is quite obviously a much better, craftier player.

There is a very slight romance with Billie, a wannabe lounge singer, played by Drew Barrymore. She can be very charming, but here she seems miscast and shrewish as she lays into the messed up Huck about his life. The romantic parts are leaden and devoid of romantic charm or even erotic appeal (there's no nudity or sex) since Bana and Barrymore have zero chemistry together.

Looking back to what I thought the first time I saw Bana in "The Hulk", he is handsome, but really does not have acting talent. He probably rates off the charts with female audience testers, but simply cannot carry a film. I wish there was some way to tell filmmakers that you need MORE than a pretty face or a ripped body to connect with the audience.

The film wraps up with Huck and Pops at The Big Poker tournament, the only exciting aspect of which is that the prize is several million dollars. (I understand there are also cameos by a number of genuine poker champions; I wouldn't know.)Huck throws the game -- and several million bucks -- to his dad. WHY???? There is nothing up to this point to demonstrate that L.C., a two time champ, couldn't deal with losing, or that he needed the money (for an operation or something). In fact, it's Hank who is poor and screwed up, and losing his (furniture-less but posh) home. It's Hank who really needed the win, so he could continue his career as a first rank player.

The whole film would have made more sense if the father threw the game...helping his son for the first time, and moving aside for the next generation (and perhaps if Hank thought he won for real, but then realized his father's "gift"). But that ain't this film. Hank's decision makes no sense, and there is no reason to believe that the father-son relationship is really healed.

Heck, even though the movie ends with Hank and Billie smooching, anyone with half a brain quickly realizes Hank will probably be rifling through Billie's purse by midnight, and screwing around behind her back, and that this is no romance: this is a tragedy for poor naive Billie. And how come nobody remotely suggests that Hank (and some of the other idiot gambling addicts in the film, including a humorous lunkhead who has had BREAST IMPLANTS to try and win a bet) have even thought about getting help for their tragic, destructive behavior.

So aside from being about as exciting as a hygiene class filmstrip, the movie doesn't make much sense and offers appallingly bad advice (keep gambling, keep taking money from innocent people, do anything to win, etc.).

It's a loser, that much is for sure. In conclusion: presumably nobody saw it at the box office, so no $$ loss there, but this is not even worth a rental and for god's sake, do not purchase it, even on clearance (where it is destined to end up)...not even your most poker-lovin' pals will tolerate it.
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Good story, good editing, good acting, and Bana is superb!
aharmas6 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In the middle of all the hype other films get, here is a finely crafted "small film" that treats us with another great performance by Eric Bana, as the self-destructive poker player who might get another chance at redeeming himself. As one discovers when the film reaches its shocking conclusion, Bana has slowly descended into a pattern that is not very healthy or practical.

Bana plays a Huck, an obsessive compulsive player, always out to beat the others. He has little self control and sabotages whatever lucky deals he might have or the skills taught to him by the father who deserted him. Along the way he meets a sweet ingénue played by Drew Barrymore, and this trio's interactions is the gist and delight of the film.

The film doesn't have any new revelations, but it feels fresh because it allows the humanity of the players to come through. These are not faceless gamblers, but real people who happen to live in places like Vegas. It is also good to see that some of the darkness and the underworld references have been toned down in order to allow the more intimate moments to take precedence.

Bana deserves an entire separate review, and it is only fair that he becomes a major star in the future. Enough said.
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...After seeing Lucky You
dribincharles4 May 2007
This movie is about obsession. No…it's not about addiction. Just about a guy who lives from one poker game to another. It could just as easily be about remote-control models or painting tin military figures, its just that poker has a social element attached to the obsession. People are important in poker…I know, I play poker. The good thing about Lucky You is the poker; the bad thing is…the poker. While they try to explain Texas Hold'Em, it's pretty half-baked. I rank it up there with Rounders as far as the intensity of the poker play. It's not a romantic comedy! Drew Barrymore is an important prop in the movie, but only slightly more important the cards and less important than Huck's mother's wedding ring (see the movie to know what that means). See this movie for the poker, not because the queen of romantic comedies, Ms Barrymore, is in it. Bana is excellent as the obsessed poker player scion of Duvall, the patriarch of the Cheever Poker Family. (The problem with Duvall is he's digging into his bag of character-actor bits for some more of the grizzle he does so well. Note: Duvall was suppose to be an English professor before he became a poker pro…I didn't see it.) This movie is an excellent study of obsession and those affected by the obsessive person. See it for the poker (lotsa real poker pros in it), not because People magazine's most beautiful person has a supporting role.
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If you like poker, then this movie is for you.
PWNYCNY8 May 2007
Drew Barrymore is an actress whose talent has not yet been fully tapped. Eric Bana is good but, as usual, Ms. Barrymore is wonderful. She proves once again that she has developed into a wonderful actress. Robert Duvall is also good. What was not so good was the story itself. The father-son conflict is contrived and ultimately fails dramatically. Also, Eric Bana's character is an insipid loser and not particularly nice, so there is nothing about him to inspire empathy. He takes money, squanders it, disrespects his father, steals from his girlfriend, acts irresponsibly and does stupid things. But if you want to learn a few things about poker players, then this is the movie to watch. Actually, the real story is the poker game itself. Some of the players at the table seemed to be much more interesting than Mr. Bana's character and if the movie dealt (no pun intended) more with them, then maybe this movie would have been more entertaining. Nevertheless, having Drew Barrymore in this movie makes it still worth watching.
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Poker player will cringe
Ozzy20005 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
One of the worst films of 2007 in which the dull and boring Eric Bana fails to bring his character to life in this really silly screenplay about a so called "Hot Shot " poker player in the 2003 world series Poker Championship in Las Vegas. Robert Duval plays his father and Drew Barrymore plays his doting girlfriend.

If know how to play and enjoy real Poker you will find this film pathetic and boring and if you don't like Poker why else would you watch it? Nationalistic Australians will enjoy the appearance of Eric Bana.

Really dumb like a M. Night Shalamayan film its pathetic.

The acting was terrible in particular Eric Bana.
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Good poker film about poker rather than other things
intelearts19 June 2007
The first time I saw this I was not that impressed - but catching it again - it is a revelation - it actually works much better than I remember. Eric Bana plays a poker pro stuck in the twilight of Las Vegas. He is a mix of serious and compulsive, a dangerous mix for any gambler (And he is willing to gamble). He meets Drew Barrymore and fun ensues.

What got me is that the poker world is really well done - not only did they get a large number of poker stars to do walk-ons, they also avoided the dreadful AA syndrome, where every hand is hugely unlikely - this is well-done, genuine, and makes for a good film.

Bana is good, but not great, he doesn't quite have enough depth to make this more than basically interesting, and fun.

All in all, much much better than when I saw it first time - it holds up well as one of the better films about poker and poker players.
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Lucky You - if you missed it.
justincward27 March 2008
There are two outstanding things in Eric Bana's performance. His ears, which Eric's carefully neglected haircut only just disguises. All the laydeez in this film seem to find him irresistible, but hey girls, before you think about mixing genes with Eric, check those lugholes out. Eric does meet his match in Drew Barrymore, as she puts in a turn that makes Madonna look like the new Meryl Streep. And then we're supposed to care about assorted lowlife playing poker. What's at stake? as they say at scriptwriters' school. Well, $350 and Eric's mother's ring which is worth 'a buck and a half'. I kid you not. The scriptwriter (of 'The Postman' no less) wants us to sit through endless games of poker, the variation indicated by helpful signs at convenient intervals, on the strength of Eric the Wooden standing to lose $351.50. At least, that's as far as I got before I turned it off. Well, all right, it's the WSOP, but aren't all poker movies about that? The rest of the film that isn't poker operates on the level of a beach party movie - complete with indoor volleyball. The supporting cast of assorted Hollywood bad boys and lifelong achievers find keeping this particular beach ball in the air beyond their collective strength. Not worth rating.
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Remember James Bond Casino Royale????
magiclord2821 September 2007
Well anyone giving this movie below 9 is seriously not a movie lover like i am... i've watched this movie and it rocks..remember Casino Royale??? why does anyone watch Casino Royale even then its a poker movie too...well not all of it...but the title is based on it get your facts right guys before u post any useless comments..maybe your wondering why Drew Barrymore and Robert Downey Jr. has little roles in this movie..well all i can say is that they are dedicated in making movie's like this rock..even though they play only a small part in it...Go watch this guys...oh yeah maybe Robert Downey Jr. was looking for a bigger role?? IRON MAN!!! WAhahahaha
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less than outstanding poker film
CountZero31311 September 2007
Eric Bana stands out in this mediocre-to-good film about a compulsive gambler with a father complex. The film works best during the poker sequences (to non-aficionados of the game), when Bana's eye for detail and the psychology of other players is nicely portrayed. The film falls flat with Drew Barrymore's character - far too sugary-sweet, way too much of a contrast with the thieving, manipulative gambler. Plus, the big sister is hotter, he should be with her. I couldn't take Barymore's redeeming angel role seriously. Robert Duvall turns up in a cringe- inducing wig, but at least they make a joke out of the wig to get that moment out the way and let him put in a convincing performance. And the resolution of the father-son conflict is nicely done if a tad formulaic. All in all not a bad way to kill some time but looks pretty tame if you have seen the Matt Damon Ed Norton film Rounders, on a similar theme.
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A discovery of love underneath the deck of cards, and a shuffled up sibling rivalry.
blanbrn4 May 2007
Curtis Hanson pretty much keeps it simple in this film as "Lucky You" sticks right to it's points showing flawed characters at work with no twist occurring. Eric Bana is master poker player by the name of Huck who tours Las Vegas as a con king also, but his main love of life is poker. Things change when he meets aspiring lounge singer Billie Offer(Drew Barrymore) as now love is in the deck! I must say it was nice to finally see Drew in a supporting role of some dramatic element, when Huck feels good, but conflicted from his new love his father L.C. Cheever(Robert Duvall) shows up and indeed a sibling rivalry is evident. This film really doesn't take any surprise plot twist it's clear it's about high stakes poker and a new love discovery while an old one is renewed. Really "Lucky You" is an all right film, just nothing spectacular.
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Eric Bana and Robert Duvall make "Lucky You" work, but ...
kasilver5026 May 2008
If it were possible to divide the movie-going public into "poker lovers" and those who - while not "anti-gambling," might pass up a two-hour flick that is being sold as a movie about poker, you'd think there'd have to be two separate reviews of the movie. But you'd be wrong. There's something here for both.

That said, Eric Bana (as "Huck") and Robert Duvall (as J.C. Cheever), with solid, believable performances are the glue that makes this whole movie work. To avoid any "spoilers"... Bana and Duvall - both full-time gamblers, albeit from two different generations - create a chemistry that we've come to expect from Duvall, and prevent this from being "just another lukewarm poker story."

Then we meet Drew Barrymore, as sweet and attractive as ever, as "Billie Offer." Billie's just arrived in Vegas where she plans to stay with her older sister Suzanne (Debra Messing), where she dreams of finally starting a career as a nightclub singer. (Yawwwwn ... I mean, Wow!) When we first meet Billie, it's clear that big-sister Suzanne is intent on protecting Billie from all the "really bad stuff" that Vegas can hand out to the unwary - including Huck. But Barrymore's performance is inconsistent at best, and her character appears to have been poorly written. For example, first consider Billie's dialog and mannerisms in her earliest scenes (for example, when she's first hit on by Huck at a club); then fast-forward to her performance during the last 45 minutes of the movie: How did Billie somehow mature by about 6 years in two days? And how is it that her character is suddenly competing with the Dalai Lama in the world championship "words of wisdom" game show? (My money's on the monk.) I mean, hello-oo? Okay, could another actress have made Billie's character, as written, work better? A qualified "maybe."

Final thoughts: Poker lovers will definitely find a lot to like in "Lucky You." A non-Poker person myself, I actually got into the game itself. The strategies, insights, and portrayal of the game and the lifestyle that surrounds it rang true. And while the tension builds as our story moves toward it's climax - The World Championship of Poker - several of the world's best-known Texas Hold'Em tournament players actually join the cast at the tables.

With those qualifications, a good flick. Go see it.
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bitchonwheelsx329 December 2007
this movie is terrific. seriously. it might seem a little cliché at some points, but its really a good movie. its entertaining, and makes you laugh. better than that, it makes you smile at the end. the best kind of movies. i loved the ending, it definitely fit the movie. im often not satisfied with the endings in movies but i was with this one. i would recommend this movie to anyone. you don't need to know poker in order to understand this movie. the movie isn't really even about poker if you really look at it. plus, eric bana is not hard to look at for 2 hours.if you're looking for a movie that will make you laugh, smile, cry, and leave it feeling happy and good, this is the movie for you. definitely watch this movie. you even begin to hate robert duvall, for once.
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