5.8/10
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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:

Mark Neveldine (as Neveldine), Brian Taylor (as Taylor)

Writers:

Mark Neveldine (as Neveldine), Brian Taylor (as Taylor)
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1,793 ( 235)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gerard Butler ... Kable
Amber Valletta ... Angie
Michael C. Hall ... Ken Castle
Kyra Sedgwick ... Gina Parker Smith
Logan Lerman ... Simon
Alison Lohman ... Trace
Terry Crews ... Hackman
Ramsey Moore Ramsey Moore ... Gorge
Ludacris ... Humanz Brother (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)
Aaron Yoo ... Humanz Dude
Jonathan Chase ... Geek Leader
Dan Callahan ... Backup Geek
Brighid Fleming ... Delia
Johnny Whitworth ... Scotch
Keith Jardine ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Citizen Game See more »

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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:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Simon first plays Cable, you can see him wearing a t-shirt with "Crank" written on it. Referring to Neveldine and Taylor's previous film Crank (2006) Crank: High Voltage (2009) See more »

Goofs

(at around 43 mins) In the scene where it reads "Kables Last Stand" on three separate buildings, the furthest left building has the original banner reflection of the middle building in place of the word "Last", including an NBC logo at the bottom. See more »

Quotes

Ken Castle: I'm wired too. I replaced 98% of my own noodle with nano-tissue years ago. But mine's different. It's built to send, to transmit, whereas every other nano-cell that I've put out there, including the ones in your head Kable, are designed to receive. I think it, you do it. We're talking every Slayer, everyone in Society city. I believe your better half would fall under that category, provided they were within range of my transmitters.
Kable: Very nice, Castle. So you got an army of psychotics and ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features Battlezone (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got You Under My Skin
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Sammy Davis Jr.
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Middle of the road
12 May 2010 | by Cujo108See all my reviews

In a not too distant future, the world is obsessed with "Slayers", a game that allows it's players to control real death row inmates in a real world gaming environment. If they win a certain amount of games, the inmate receives a full pardon. The star inmate is Kable. He's won more games than any other "Slayer" has even come close to, and he's close to getting out. However, the game's billionaire creator, Ken Castle, has no intention of letting that happen.

Mixing elements of The Running Man with bizarre game-playing scenarios, outlandish events and a sizable chunk of social commentary, Gamer is an interesting if not always successful little action picture. The commentary on things such as people living reality through game-play and the depths to which society will sink for entertainment are on the mark. Aside from "Slayers", Castle also created an earlier game called "Society", which is sort of like "Sim City", only with real people. Gamers control people in the game and make them do whatever disgusting act they want, such as burning themselves, sex fantasies and the like. I personally felt these were the most effective segments in the film, including a perfect use of the song, "The Bad Touch".

Michael C. Hall was a big draw for me, as he is terrific on one of my favorite TV shows, Dexter. As expected, he was the standout among the cast. His Ken Castle is an over-the-top megalomaniacal nut case, and I enjoyed every moment he was on screen. Alas, he wasn't on screen as often as I expected going in. We naturally get much more of Gerard Butler, who isn't much of an actor from what I've seen. He's tolerable here, but nothing special. We also get a few smaller roles for the likes of Kyra Sedgwick, Pathology's Milo Ventimiglia, Terry Crews, who feels out of place in a non-comedic role, and terrific Drag Me to Hell actress, Alison Lohman.

The action itself is underwhelming, as it suffers from the all too common quick cutting/shaky cam routine. I have to admit, that doesn't bother me as often as it does most people, but it did here. There's also one ridiculous scene involving Kable filling up a truck's fuel tank with something other than fuel. Regardless, while a flawed film, it does have some solid material to offer. It just could have been wrapped a little tighter.


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