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
The sunglasses worn by Laurence Fishburne throughout the movie and at the end by the pool are Randolph Engineering Aviators. See more »
In the first Las Vegas casino scene, the team enters the Hard Rock but the closeups of Ben's $500 chips show "red rock" on their labels. The Red Rock casino scenes occur much later in the movie. See more »
'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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21 is worth seeing on a restless Friday or Saturday night with friends, but it isn't anything more than that. The film features nice performances from actors Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne, as well as nice entries from the lesser known ensemble.
However, it doesn't take a film expert to notice some of the more...awful lines. "That's is impressive software."...come on, seriously? Just bad writing.
And the flow of the plot is painfully cliché, up until the end where things are admittedly pretty unpredictable. The ending was unexpected, but it worked and made up for earlier plot points that were predictable.
"21" is entertaining, that's it. Nothing more, nothing less.
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