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Ingenious (2009)

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A rags-to-riches story of two friends, a small-time inventor and a sharky salesman, who hit rock bottom before coming up with a gizmo that becomes a worldwide phenomenon.


Jeff Balsmeyer


Mike Cram
2 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dallas Roberts ... Matt
Jeremy Renner ... Sam
Ayelet Zurer ... Gina
Marguerite Moreau ... Cinda
Amanda Anka ... Louisa
Richard Kind ... Newkin
Eddie Jemison ... Bean
Judith Scott ... Rita
Debby Rosenthal Debby Rosenthal ... Brenda
Michael Kagan Michael Kagan ... Mort
Rob Brownstein ... Kent
David Frederick White ... Dave V.O. Talent
Vince Grant ... Randall
François Chau ... Mr. Chow
Melissa Alejandra ... Voice Talent


Matt and Sam are life-long friends running a funky gift shop while trying to come up with the next genius idea. Matt's recent inventions haven't been all that inventive and Sam's salesman techniques are shaky at best. In need of money, they turn to Matt's girlfriend, Gina. Gina wants to help out but aware of Matt and Sam's gambling problems in the past, and concerned that they have come back, she no longer knows if she can trust him. Even Matt and Sam's friendship is put to the test when they hit rock bottom and try to get normal jobs, but all Matt needs is one bright idea and he might be able to right everything. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It only takes one idea.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Snappers See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arriba See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gina: No, Matt, I've been up since six.
Matt: I've been up about a minute and a half.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


La Culebra
Performed by Marriachi Batiz
Traditional song / public domain
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Inspirational. Motivational. Thought provoking. Great film.
17 March 2016 | by tomhuang-22354See all my reviews

I was stuck in traffic the other day and decided to put on this film to help pass the time (don't worry, both hands were on the steering wheel and it was only generally stopped traffic.), this film caught my eye was because of the tag-line "All it takes is one big idea." which is something that struck because of its relation to the recent book I've read entitled "Think And Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. The poster also had a fairly young (or young looking) Jeremy Renner as an added pull for me to watch the film. Jeremy Renner stars along Dallas Roberts (Milton Mamet, he's a scientist from The Walking Dead.) and Ayelet Zurer (Lara Lor-Van from the 2013 Man Of Steel film.). The film is based on the true story of Mike Cram, an inventor (played by Dallas Roberts) and his friend who's a salesman (Jeremy Renner) who have tried to execute a bunch of ideas until they come to a point where they're really down on their luck, still in search of that one big idea that will turn everything around. The on screen chemistry between the 2 lead actors was very natural, they fit their roles of best buddies quite well which helped make the film very easy to watch. The film had a warm tone to it, perhaps because the film was shot in a desert town/city, Arizona if I'm not mistaken. The film was put together very well, no wild camera angles or sequences, just simple and straightforward storytelling.

This film is one of those inspirational films, after watching, it leaves you with the feeling like you need to go and create something, make something that's yours. With that feeling like you gotta rack your brain for that one idea that could change everything. I know how that feels, because that's something I've been doing for years now. Trying things, taking small steps in executing my own ideas or innovating on current ideas. It's frustrating at times but this film helped serve as a reminder to keep pressing on. To keep on trying, because amidst all the difficulties and the challenges you'll face, the next great idea is just beyond the horizon. Your big break is right there if you can just have the strength and the courage to push forward. This film takes you on a roller coaster ride into the life of an inventor, basically into the life of anyone who has ever had an idea and pursued it and did whatever it took, until the very end, no matter if that end was success or a learning experience. This film is an expanded portrayal of the saying "necessity is the mother of invention.", you'll see what I mean once you get a chance to watch it.

I highly recommend this film, I have a strong feeling that it will be something you'll enjoy. Who knows, this might give you that extra inspirational push you've been looking for to pursue that idea you've had in your head for the longest time or even spark the creation of a new one. :)

For my other reviews, feel free to check out tomhuang03.blogspot.com

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