21 2008 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

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(243) IMDb 6.8/10
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Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects) and young Hollywood super star Kate Boswoth (Superman Returns) star in this clever & adreniline filled heist film. An MIT math whiz is recruited by a teacher to join a specialized team of card counters. They break away from their mentor before casino security finally catches up with them. Based on book "Bringing Down the House." It co-stars...

Starring:
Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey
Runtime:
2 hours, 3 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Robert Luketic
Starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey
Supporting actors Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Laurence Fishburne, Jack McGee, Josh Gad, Sam Golzari, Helen Carey, Jack Gilpin, Donna Lows, Butch Williams, Ben Campbell, Frank Patton, Steven Richard Vezina, Chaska T. Werner, Kyle Morris, Ernell Manabat
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark Turner on July 26, 2008
Format: DVD
Films about gambling and Las Vegas in particular have always held a certain fascination with the public, culminating with perhaps the ultimate Vegas movie OCEAN'S ELEVEN. But this week we have a release of a film that takes the Vegas movie a whole new direction. Most stunning of all is that it is in part based on a true story.

TWENTY ONE is the story of Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a struggling student at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) who has hopes of attending Harvard Med School. A grade A student with a 4.0 average, Ben is interviewed for a full ride scholarship. All he has to do is present an essay describing a life experience that sets him out above the other several hundred students applying. The problem is he has nearly no life experience.

That all changes when he starts a class taught by Prof. Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey). During the class, Rosa notices Ben's aptitude with numbers and mathematical equations. In turn, he invites him to join a select group of students Rosa has put together. The reason? Using the technique of counting cards, they plan to make a mint in Vegas at the blackjack tables.

At first hesitant to do so, Ben finally comes around and joins the group which consists of Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), Choi (Aaron Yoo), Kianna (Liza Lapira) and Fisher (Jacob Pitts). The group learns to not only count cards, they put together a set of signals to let the lead player know which tables are hot and when to move on. When they have it down, they become Vegas bound.

It runs like clockwork. The tables return them all a tidy profit and back to school they go, only to return weekend after weekend.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Zuffa VINE VOICE on April 9, 2008
Ben Campbell (Sturgess) has a problem. He is graduating from MIT and has been accepted to Harvard Med School, but he doesn't have the $300,000 it will cost him to attend. Then, along comes Professor Micky Ross (Spacey). Mickey offers him a place on his "team". This team visits Las Vegas on weekends, and by counting cards makes a lot of money. After initially refusing, Ben is swayed by the need for money and the affections of Jill Taylor (Bosworth), a member of the team. In Vegas, Cole Williams (Fishburne), the head of security of one of the casinos is about to figure out the team's scheme. Ben may be in for more than he bargained for.

"21" is the fictionalized account of college kids who really did beat one of the most sophisticated anti-crime systems in Las Vegas. The story is interesting, even if it has been Hollywoodized. The plot points toward the end are predictable, but the fact that these kids were able to get away with this for so long sustains the interest for the majority of the movie. Kevin Spacey is good as always, radiating intenseness. Sturgess and Bosworth get the job done, while not providing memorable performances. "21" is an interesting, enjoyable film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Madisen on November 10, 2010
Format: DVD
In the movie 21,based on a true story, a college student at MIT wants to become a doctor and attend Harvard Medicial School. The problem is he has the grades but not the finances, until one of his math professors discovers his unique math skills. The professor has created a secert club within the school of some of the most gifted students, where they go to Los Vages each weekend and count cards in the game of blackjack. So he joins to pay for medicial school. He makes more money than he needs, and meets some of his best friends while participating in the club. One night in Vages everything goes wrong and he looses it all.
This movie is the perfect example of not taking what you have for granted, wheather it be friends or money. Life can change in the blink of an eye. Never let your ego get in the way of your future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danny Yu TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2011
Format: DVD
Based on a true story, the movie makes the gambling and risky life style very glamorous.

My thoughts:

- settings, props, buildings, scenes are all believable and adds to the realism

- it looks too easy to maintain that lifestyle. Flying from the east coast to Las Vegas every weekend? That's exhausting. I can't imagine how it's possible to keep such composure through the night.

- Kate Bosworth. Goodness, she is charming and beautiful.

Adventurous movie. You'll feel like you're right there by their side while they're winning or losing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on September 7, 2009
Format: DVD
A fact-based drama "21" should have been much more engaging than it is. There is potential for more thought-provoking drama or more intelligent thriller, but somehow the filmmakers failed to notice that, making the whole story very superficial. "21" tries to satisfy all the viewers with its "neat" ending. It shouldn't have. It has ruined one of the most interesting real-life stories I've ever heard.

The story is this: "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions" by Ben Mezrich" upon which the film is based. I was intrigued by the story (the book title says it all), which seemed so interesting. However, the film was a huge disappointment.

While the script of "21" starts promisingly enough, with a struggling MIT student Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) who is recruited to join a team of gifted students, the film soon loses grip and disintegrates into a preachy, humorless melodrama. Kevin Spacey appears as a charismatic MIT professor organizing the team of students, who fly to Las Vegas and make money using the "card counting" skills. His slightly mysterious character interests us at first, but soon slips back into a predictable role in a typically Hollywood fashion.

So what went wrong? It is the script. Somewhere in the process of translating the book into a screenplay, something is gone. Perhaps it is moral ambivalence. Perhaps smart thriller. What we got instead is romance, which only slows down the pace, and clichéd narrative devices that are so obvious and clearly out of place in this fascinating real-life story. I've never been to Las Vegas, but I don't think the casino securities would treat the guests - even though they are "card counters" - in the way Laurence Fishburne's character does.

No doubt there is a great story buried beneath the messy script. Maybe you should buy a book and find it there.
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