122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2005
I am a Stockbroker with 15 years of experience. I began my career working for a firm that was like the firm portrayed in the film in many respects. In fact, I have heard this film was based on a firm that ended up merging with the one I worked for.
The film provides a very accurate portrayal of a Small Cap firm from the late 80s to early 90s. For example, the recruitment process was perfect. You didn't need a resume, you didn't need an education and they didn't want people who already had licenses. They wanted raw recruits that didn't know anything and they made money on the testing process.
After you passed the test, you received no training, you got a list (any way you could) and cold called until you opened an account on what they told you to buy. If you didn't open accounts within a month you were out. In the film, they cut off Riblisi's tie as a right of passage. In my firm, the first time you did $1000 in commissions in a single day they cut off your tie.
Other things are realisitic as well; the fact that the firm has positions in the stocks that they sell and there is extra commission at certain moments, the Brokers all know every word of the movie- Wall Street, that they have big houses or apartments with no furniture, they drink and get into scrapes as a group, that all happened at my firm.
There are many more examples of parallels between the firm in the movie and the experiences of the main characters and my own real life experiences. This movie may seem outrageous or over the top to some, but, it is as accurate as a movie about this subject could be.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2000
At first, I was a little apprehensive about "Boiler Room" thinking it was just gonna be "Wall Street: Part 2". I finally rented it on tape and loved it. One of this year's most underrated films, Boiler Room is a smart and energetic film with excellent performances from it's right cast. The film tells the story of Seth Davis, a decent college dropout earning a living by running a casino inside his house, much to the strong dismay of his frustrated judge father. In order to impress his dad, Seth takes on a job at a stock brokerage firm where he becomes a fast tracking stock broker and making good money. Only later does he find out that his job isn't what it's cracked up to be. The performances are strong, particularly from lead Ribisi and supporting characters Nicky Katt as a two faced co-worker, Ron Rifkin as his dad, and Scott Caan as a hotheaded co-worker. Vin Diesel does quite well as the good guy to Ribisi's Davis. The film definitely has the testosterone feel of a Generation X movie with The Angel's rap/classical score. There's even an homage to "Wall Street" that I don't want to spoil. If you're in the mood for a really good film, rent "Boiler Room". Look for the director Ben Younger in a cameo as a stock broker.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
Some folks might rent or buy this DVD for its well known names, but Vin Disel and Ben Afflec play very small roles It is Giovanni Ribsi that shines. He plays a young college drop out, who turns to an in-house, illegal gambling den to help him release his inner rage and built up anxieties towards his demanding father.
But it is his discovery of a Boiler Room operation hawking non-existent stocks and bonds for non-existent companies that really steers this movie.
Fantastic interactions between the main character, and Vin Disel character. I appreciated the relationship beteen Giovanni and the secretary character, but I felt it was under-developed and weak. Could have been left out, or developed better.
I saw this one in the theater, and now own on DVD, and would recommend it to any Pre-MBA student, or Wall Street wannabe. It is great training.
MC White said: Check it out!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2000
This film seems to cover all of the bases-fast-paced action, peerless performances, and hysterical dialogue (but a warning, they are all saturated with the vernacular of stressed-out, potty-mouthed stock brokers). Although some reviews have said the script is convoluted and lacks direction, I entirely disagree. The script contains scenes that reveal the many dilemmas that plague Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) - his struggle to gain the approval of his inhibited father, a federal judge; his fight to live with himself; and his need for redemption. It is obvious that it is quite difficult to find films that are so tightly and expertly woven these days, but overlooked films like `The Boiler Room' confirm that there are still writers and directors out there who know how to do their job competently.
Ben Affleck has a memorable cameo as the guy who motivates the young brokers-to-be. Vin Diesel's role is small but he most definitely makes the most of all of his scenes. Nia Long plays Abby, whose role (if I must nitpick) I felt could have been developed a bit more and contained more connecting scenes with Seth. The kudos really goes to Giovanni Ribisi, who is proving that he is fast becoming one of Hollywood's hottest and most talented stars. Enigmatic in appearance and disquieting in demeanor, he takes command of every scene and delivers his lines with emotion and bite. I cannot think of another actor who could play the role of Seth as well as he did. His performance in the role of a young man struggling to come to terms with himself keeps you nailed to your seat for the entire duration of the film.
The rap music and slightly annoying cinematography chiefly in the beginning of the film can be easily forgotten once all the primary elements are established. Don't miss this film!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2004
This movie surprise me.I liked how they use "Gecko"and it shows them watching Wall Street that was cool.The next best movie to Wall Street (Michael Douglas) in the stock market.
Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) drops out of college and stumbles upon a job to be a stock broker to make all kinds of money, everything is going well, and he is doing great,but things seen to good to be true , as he finds out what he's got himself into.With actors such as Ribisi ,Vin Diesel,Nia Long , Scott Katt and Ben Affeck as (Jim Young) some what like Alex Badwin's part in Glengarry Glen Ross similar in arrogant roles.So set the sale and Enjoy!!!!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2001
Giovanni Ribisi is Seth Davis, a 19-year-old who's secretly running a backdoor casino while his parents think he's in college. Desperate for a quick buck, he joins JT Marlin, a brokerage firm that has the look, feel, and energy of a Morgan Stanley or Smith Barney. But underneath the gloss, this is a firm that engages in shady dealings, selling fake stocks and ripping off investors cold. Seth learns the ropes of the trade and over time becomes ruthless and cocky. He alienates his no-nonsense dad, who happens to be a judge and is, to say the least, disappointed that his son is blowing off college.
On the surface, this sounds like a re-telling of "Wall Street," but don't dismiss this film so easily. "Boiler Room" soars on the strength of performances of Nicky Katt, Scott Caan (son of James), Nia Long, and the then-unknown Vin Diesel. The film moves at a brisk pace and, for the most part, avoids melodrama and other formulaic touches. Definitely worth a look.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2001
You win no points comparing this to Glengarry Glen Ross(which is the subject of my thesis), as they make specific references to Mamet's play (produced 15 years ago, by the way) in the film. True, this may be the same type of story, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a story about con artists that David Mamet hasn't already written. This is new, younger, hipper, and, dare I say, funnier than it's predecessor. Vin Diesel is impressive and interesting and Giovanni Ribisi is endearing. The film is well written and the alternate ending is great. I'm not sure which ending I like better... I like them both for different reasons. I would not hesitate to call this an "art film" because it does read much like a piece of theatre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2006
Both "Wall Street" and "Boiler Room" have the same moral outline. In both movies, young, ambitious, and smart individuals are looking to make an enormous amount of money in the quickest time possible. Both are doing it on the stock market. Both want to make their fathers proud, and both quickly learn that the only way to get the fast "wall street" money is to get it illegally. Once they realize they are committing crimes, they do it anyway. Then, of course, comes a braking point. Both movies open with shots of New-York city. Only in the "Boiler Room", the soundtrack is rap music. That shows us the evolution of time since "Wall Street" came out. Well, the tastes in music changed, that's for sure, but no change occurred in human nature. "Greed is good", said Gordon Gekko. Greed still reigns supreme in "Boiler Room".
The love story does not end anywhere in "Boiler Room". In this story, the love interest is not a whore and does not like him for the money. And she really needs the job. In this movie, she is a positive character, whereas in "Wall Street", the love interest is a negative character.
Also, in both movies, we do not see the main characters really enjoying their new found wealth. Yeah, Bud Fox did buy a nice apartment, but we never see him free of worry, free of self-doubt and guilt. The same applies for Seth.
Vin Diesel, an excellent actor, ads flavor to the movie, along with Jamie Kennedy and a bunch of other young actors trying to prove themselves. Ben Affleck is in the movie too, although you only see him once or twice and the movie could have gone on without him. That's too bad. I don't know why he agreed to such a mediocre part.
Overall, an enjoyable, easy to follow movie. Not as glamorous, not as flashy, but gets the point across. However, not able to surpass "Wall Street".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2003
Seth Davis is a college drop-out with no direction. His father despises him for all of the goof-ups he's made in his life (not to mention he isn't a very happy camper when he finds out about Seth's illegal card game operation). Seth is willing to do just about anything to win back his father's approval and love. And that's when he's dragged into the business world and is recruited to a small stock brokerage firm. In very little time, he learns the ropes and is able to make sales without hesitation. The only problem is there's a good chance that the firm he's working for is much, MUCH more illegal than any small-time card operation. Seth's about to get a wake-up call from the business world, and it's not going to be a pretty sight.
Having a very big "Wall Street" and "Glengarry Glen Ross" feel and influence to it, "Boiler Room" is an exciting and chilling look into the "survival of the fittest" rule when it comes to business. It still is successful at being its own movie. There's a great story behind it all that is very believable and very convincing. You don't have to know the business lingo to understand what takes place in the film. While it's a complex story and plot, it's still clear to us exactly what's going on and what's happening.
The film has some really good acting in it. Giovanni Ribisi is perfect when it comes to playing Seth (he has a very childish and innocent look to him, which makes it easier for us to sympathize with him). Vin Diesel is pretty good in the movie as well. Nia Long is great as Seth's love interest and never misses a beat. Everybody else in the movie is great as well. The film has great direction and a solid story to back it up.
The DVD has some pretty neat features. The picture and sound quality is terrific. Special features included are deleted scenes/alternate ending, commentary, isolated score with composer commentary, the original theatrical trailer, and some neat DVD-ROM features to add to the mix.
"Boiler Room" is a great movie about the ruthless business world. Even though this is fiction, this is something you can see happening anywhere. If you like "Wall Street" or "Glengarry Glen Ross," then I highly recommend this movie. A movie that succeeds on every front.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2000
Boiler Room: rated R, 1 hour and 50 minutes
Inside the Boiler Room, lives a secret world, existing on the basis of corruption, treachery, and deceit. Seth Davis, the innocent newcomer, is introduced to the underground operation run by stockbrokers looking to cheat people out of their money, in hope of becoming filthy rich. Everyone in the firm is in their early 20's rapidly acquiring wealth, and none of them dare ask questions as to where their wealth comes from. Seth is the only individual curious to know how he is becoming so prosperous. A series of coincidences lead to his discovery, and eventually to his backlash against the firm. Between the time of Seth Davis' unskilled work, while in training as a stockbroker, to his mastery of the job, when he attempts to escape the fraudulence that he had once taken part in, a string of intricate details and relationships maintain a tense and entertaining atmosphere for Boiler Room. The intense environment, and heated dialogue is what makes Boiler Room such a unique and compelling film. Conversations between characters are cunning and edgy. Characters evolve from good to bad and vice versa throughout. Seth's own father takes his twists in personality, from a spiteful, stubborn, disillusioned parent, to a more sensitive, and compassionate human being. Some of these moments are a bit sappy, but never overdone, and always sincere and believable. Nearly all of Seth's friends are pompous, self-centered hypocrites, which he soon finds out through his experiences with them. He discovers who his true friends are as well, and by the end of the movie, finds out who he really is. The acting display is surprisingly good. Giovanni Ribisi as Seth does a remarkable job, clearly proving his worth, in a star-making role. Ron Rifkin does wonders with his character, as Seth's father, contributing to the reality of their relationship. And supporting actors such as Ben Afflek (Jim Young, head of the training department), Nicky Katt (Greg, ice-cold rival of Seth), and Vin Diesel (Chris, close colleague to Seth), all execute marvelous acting performances that help keep the movie together for its audience. The movie is fast paced and punchy, much like a treadmill constantly gaining momentum. By the end of the movie, it has its greatest grip on the viewer. I found myself wishing it would not end so soon. Ultimately, moral values triumph over the harsh injustices of the real world, but the damages done, can never be reversed.
Boiler Room, directed by Ben Younger, also starring Nia Long and Tom Everett Scott, is a brilliant and captivating thriller A-.