6.8/10
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290 user 148 critic
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"21" is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.

Director:

Robert Luketic

Writers:

Peter Steinfeld (screenplay), Allan Loeb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,538 ( 192)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Sturgess ... Ben
Kevin Spacey ... Micky Rosa
Kate Bosworth ... Jill
Aaron Yoo ... Choi
Liza Lapira ... Kianna
Jacob Pitts ... Fisher
Laurence Fishburne ... Cole Williams
Jack McGee ... Terry
Josh Gad ... Miles
Sam Golzari ... Cam
Helen Carey ... Ellen Campbell
Jack Gilpin ... Bob Phillips
Donna Lows Donna Lows ... Planet Hollywood Dealer
Butch Williams Butch Williams ... Planet Hollywood Dealer
Ben Campbell Ben Campbell ... Planet Hollywood Dealer Jeff (as Jeffrey Ma)
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Storyline

Ben Campbell is a young, highly intelligent, student at M.I.T. in Boston who strives to succeed. Wanting a scholarship to transfer to Harvard School of Medicine with the desire to become a doctor, Ben learns that he cannot afford the $300,000 for the four to five years of schooling as he comes from a poor, working-class background. But one evening, Ben is introduced by his unorthodox math professor Micky Rosa into a small but secretive club of five. Students Jill, Choi, Kianna, and Fisher, who are being trained by Professor Rosa of the skill of card counting at blackjack. Intrigued by the desire to make money, Ben joins his new friends on secret weekend trips to Las Vegas where, using their skills of code talk and hand signals, they have Ben make hundreds of thousands of dollars in winning blackjack at casino after casino. Ben only wants to make enough money for the tuition to Harvard and then back out. But as fellow card counter, Jill Taylor, predicts, Ben becomes corrupted by greed ... Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by the true story of five students who changed the game forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, and sexual content including partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

21 - The Movie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,105,943, 30 March 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$81,159,365

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$157,927,340
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was used as a luxury prize for the contestants on the Big Brother (2000) 9 in the US. They played a competition involving blackjack, and the winners got to see a special advance screening of the movie. One contestant won a trip to Las Vegas worth $21,000, which included a three night stay at the same hotel the actors from the movie stayed in. See more »

Goofs

There are multiple errors in Vegas hotel locations - seeming to be in one hotel when the shot from the window makes it clear they are elsewhere, particularly when visiting a suite said to be at the Hard Rock but clearly the view is from a tall Strip hotel. The Hard Rock Hotel is neither. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Campbell: [narrating] 'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Those words had been dancing around my head all night. I mean, it's Vegas lore, that phrase. Just ask any of the old-time pit bosses, they'll know. It was a Chinese dealer at Binion's who was first credited with the line. He would shout it every time he dealt blackjack. That was over 40 years ago, and the words still catch. 'Winner, winner, chicken dinner.' Yeah, try it. I had heard it at least 14 times that night. I couldn't lose. First...
[...]
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Connections

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Shut Up and Drive
Written by Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Peter Hook and Gillian Gilbert
Performed by Rihanna
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nothing funny, nothing sensational, nothing joyful; perhaps a little interesting
30 August 2008 | by CihanVercanSee all my reviews

Worth to watch for spectacular views from Las Vegas, the movie 21 starts with a "Maverick"ish gambler movie opening. Though, this movie is not even half good as Maverick. We initially see how Jack and Ace forms a lovely couple. Then we meet our leading actor Ben something, the singing frog of the movie "Across the Universe", as a very sharp-witted campus kid trying to persuade the dean of the Harvard Medical School to access student scholarships.

A gambler gang of campus kids leading by Kevin Spacey drives Ben and the others' -including Kate Bosworth as another campus kid- minds over gambling in Las Vegas by means of proved mathematical methods of counting cards. Ben, who must have swallowed a calculator, becomes the smartest one of all. We are witnessing our campus kids how actually they gamble with cheating over cards at a casino. Best thing of the casino scenes are the chance of getting know how the backstage of security cams goes. There are a bunch of technicians trying to catch whoever does cheating on the games.

The actual happenings of the story is hidden behind the script. Accordingly, it forces us to undone the knots. Yet regrettably, the search for straightening the story is just getting boring and boring until the end starts to occur, while leaving mentioned questions unanswered.

Thankfully at the final, knots are getting undone. For five minutes long, while Rolling Stones-You Can't Always Get What You Want is playing, we see how the life takes on shape for each character. Then we end up at where we started; back on the faculty dean's room, Ben is still talking to the dean. Whole movie has passed in this room, we realize. The dean looks persuaded by Ben for his scholarship.


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