6.8/10
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292 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
2,272 ( 1)
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 risked it all. 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
See more on IMDbPro »

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 problem Prof. Rosa mentions in class with the three doors is known as the Monty Hall problem. See more »

Goofs

When Ben is in the casino playing for the first time, the count is +18. We then see a face card (worth 10) appear and Ben wins. Mickey then asks him what the count is. He says +18, but it's really +17 because a face card has a value of -1. 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

Features V for Vendetta (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold My Hand
Written by James Lavelle, Richard File, Chris Goss, David Catching and David Bowie
Performed by UNKLE
Courtesy of Surrender All
By Arrangement with Zync Music Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cliché drivel
2 August 2009 | by Bighead55555See all my reviews

Lots of badly delivered voice-overs (a lazy storytelling mechanism by the way), wooden acting, flashy cinematography, and unnecessary use of slow motion coupled with the basic plot of every Tom Cruise movie from the '80s is no substitute for a real movie. While this may be based on a real-life story, its similarity to good film entertainment ends at the point that they both use celluloid. Trite in every sense of the word, I hope Spacey got paid well as this thing certainly didn't propel his career anywhere. Nobody in the cast appeared to be trying, and the creative forces behind the camera flipped the auto-pilot switch "on". The Discovery Channel documentary reenactment had more dramatic punch.


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