6.8/10
229,286
321 user 154 critic

21 (2008)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, History | 28 March 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
"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 »
Reviews
Popularity
2,414 ( 458)
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:

They proved the Vegas Blackjack System was beatable - by beating the hell out of it. 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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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

Cole says to Ben that while he was in Barstow for a funeral, Micky won seven figures from counting cards. He was also supposedly fired. It wouldn't have been Cole's fault because he wasn't there nor did he have any knowledge that Micky would be back. It would have been security's fault for not catching it in time. A person winning seven figures in one night would have definitely been pulled away and interrogated. It would have to have been an inside job to get away with something like that. 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

Referenced in My Girlfriend Is an Agent (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Tender Buttons
Written by Patricia Keenand and James Cargill
Performed by Broadcast
Courtesy of Warp Records
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User Reviews

 
Good, but not Great
9 March 2008 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

This film screened at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. It is a reasonable well-made based-on-a-true-story film that tells the story of a group of MIT students who attempt to make a fortune counting cards in Vegas. The screenplay apparently plays pretty fast-and-loose with the version told in the book. Never-the-less, the acting is excellent - especially Jim Sturgess in the role of the lead student. Honestly, his accent was so good that I didn't realize - until he came on stage afterward - that he was British. He does a great job with the mannerisms to give you a real sense of the character's evolution. Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne are solid - although Fishburne's role is fairly small. The minor characters are not as well-developed as they could have been. The cinematography of both Boston and Las Vegas is quite good, especially on the big screen. It's an interesting story, but they could have edited down a bit to make it move a little quicker. This is a good film, but it probably could have been a lot better.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$81,159,365

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$159,808,370
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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