5.8/10
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247 user 178 critic

Gamer (2009)

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In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'Doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive thirty sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?

Directors:

(as Neveldine), (as Taylor)

Writers:

(as Neveldine), (as Taylor)
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1,799 ( 150)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kable
... Angie
... Ken Castle
... Gina Parker Smith
... Simon
... Trace
... Hackman
Ramsey Moore ... Gorge
... Humanz Brother (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)
... Humanz Dude
... Geek Leader
... Backup Geek
... Delia
... Scotch
... Mean Slayer
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Storyline

Ken Castle is extremely rich, popular and powerful since he invented and started exploiting the virtual online parallel reality games, in which people can either pay as user or be paid as 'actor' in a system of mind-control. The ultimate version, Slayers, fields death row convicts as gladiators in a desperate dim bid for survival, which no-one made yet. The champion, John 'Kable' Tillman, was scheduled to die just before he'ld gain release, but he persuades his teenage 'handler' to hand over the reins so he can fully use his talents and experience. Thus Kable escapes to freedom, only to be chased illegally by Castle's men, yet fights back all the way to his HQ and challenges his evil hidden plans. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the near future, you don't live to play... you'll play to live. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Citizen Game  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,203,761, 6 September 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$20,488,579, 4 October 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,828,540, 12 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael C. Hall personally recommended actor Sam Witwer for his role after Witwer played "Neil Perry" in Dexter (2006). See more »

Goofs

(at around 11 mins) After Smith's show Castle and Gina have a conversation, and in different shots Ken is and is not licking his lollipop. See more »

Quotes

Kable: Kid's gonna get me killed.
Simon: Dude, I'm right here man. I can hear you.
Kable: Listen to me. I don't know who's behind it or why, but I was supposed to die tonight. Lucky for us, I can beat them, but not with you controlling me.
Simon: What the hell are you talking about?
Kable: Turn me loose, kid. You want to win? Turn me loose!
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Connections

Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: Gamer (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bad Touch
Written by Jimmy Pop (as James M. Franks)
Performed by Bloodhound Gang (as The Bloodhound Gang)
Courtesy of Republic/Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Three films in one -- nuanced & stimulating in every way
5 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

The premise of "Gamer" is resoundingly simple: What if gamers could control actual people? Coming into the theater, due to the simple premise and embarrassingly poor marketing of the film, I was expecting a brainless, adolescently indulgent action flick. What I got was a mind-blowing surprise.

"Gamer" is three films in one: (1) Subculture examination of the gamer ethos; (2) Pulse-pounding action movie; (3) Thought-provoking science fiction piece.

As others have mentioned, this film truly brings the gamer experience to the big screen. The battle shots bring MMORPG first-person shooters to real life, and the Sims/Second Life-like scenes played just as true, right down to the robotic, singlemindedly determined motion of the characters. The directors obviously spent many long hours gaming in preparation for this film (or just for fun).

As an action film, "Gamer" holds its own, delivering plenty of fights, battle scenes, and adrenaline-soaked moments. Hollywood knows how to do action, and in "Gamer" you see some of what it has learned from films like "The Matrix", "Saving Private Ryan", and others. I won't say too much, but there's a particularly juicy scene involving some kind of giant snowplow.

"Gamer" shines most brightly, and most unexpectedly, as a science fiction piece. The film interweaves themes familiar to our 2009 reality, including economic desperation, prison overcrowding, the fallout of materialism, and technology naively promoted as a panacea for society's ills.

"Gamer" shows us a society addicted to technology at the expense of facing reality. Masses of gamers, locked in adolescence or enraptured by the promise of mindless self-indulgence without consequence, living solely through their avatars. Desperate segments of society, the poor and criminal, who have surrendered control of their bodies to the will of gamers. A populace that embraces televised war games as a solution to prison overcrowding, rather than addressing the true causes of mass imprisonment. The megalomaniacal pushers of technology running largely unchecked as the masses surrender control.

Michael C. Hall delivers a breakout silver screen performance as the multifaceted Ken Castle -- after his great work in Six Feet Under, this is another power move for his career. Kyra Sedgwick nails her cougar reporter character, who begins the film as another no-conscience profiteer but becomes more through the course of the film. And Gerard Butler plays the hero archetype admirably, as every bit of the man who his spoiled teenage gamer-puppeteer cannot become.

"Gamer" may end up as a cult classic, a slowly growing mainstream success, or could stay underrated indefinitely, but it's definitely worth a view.


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