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21 (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition) (2008)

Kate Bosworth  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

List Price: $34.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Bosworth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014E29TQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "21 (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by the true story of MIT students who mastered the art of card counting and took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. Looking for a way to pay for tuition, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) finds himself quietly recruited by MIT's most gifted students in a daring plot to break Vegas. With the help of a brilliant statistics professor (Kevin Spacey) and armed with fake IDs, intelligence and a complicated system of counting cards, Ben and his friends succeed in breaking the impenetrable casinos. Now, his challenge is keeping the numbers straight and staying one step ahead of the casinos before it all spirals out of control.

An unconvincing exercise in moral complexity, 21 is based on Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions. Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe) plays brilliant, blue-collar scholar Ben Campbell, whose doubts that he'll win a scholarship to Harvard Medical School compel him to join a secret, M.I.T. gang of math whiz kids. Under the silky but chilling command of a math professor (Kevin Spacey), Jim and the others master card counting, i.e., the statistical analysis of cards dealt in blackjack games. The team lives a humdrum existence during the week, but on weekends in Sin City, the students are rolling in cash, going to exclusive clubs, and feeling on top of the world. (Ben even gets the girl: a comely, fellow counter played by Kate Bosworth.) Despite all that success, Ben feels ethically compromised, and indeed director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde), in the old tradition of American movies, plays it both ways where fun vices are concerned. On the one hand, it feels so good; on the other, ahem, we know it's wrong. That studied ambivalence proves wearing after a while, making the most interesting character in the film a casino watchdog played by Laurence Fishburne. A master at reading the emotions of gamblers beating the house with a scam, he's admirable for being good at his job, but repellent for wrecking the faces of counters in casino dungeons. He's all about moral complexity in the tradition of anti-heroes, and a truly provocative element in an otherwise superficial movie. --Tom Keogh

Beyond 21

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Read the book 21 was based on


Stills from 21 (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 21 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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HIT ME July 26, 2008
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Based on a true story? October 14, 2008
The movie is based on a true story, but the plot is changed so much from the book, it is hardly recognizeable. The movie captures the excitement of the team counting cards in Vegas, but the characters are unbelievable. Kevin Spacey plays a vindictive professor who organizes the team. Spacey does a competent job, but the character's motivations are so over the top that it is unbelievable he's never been caught or he can keep his job as a professor at MIT. Sturgess plays a very smart student trying to make some money because he was accepted into Havard Med. School. The timeline is very confusing. Is the whole story a flashback? However, I thought the essay is what kicked the plot off. The love story is not very convincing or interesting. Also, these Vegas trips were business trips for these students. According to the accounts I read, they did not regularly go to strip clubs. They went on overnight trips. They did not have time to for all the partying in the movie.

The aspects of the movie I liked best was how they showed the signaling and card counting working. The gambling was done well. The scenes of college life were good.

In summary, it is not a horrible movie, but it could have been so much better. The real story is fascinating. The movie only partially generates that excitement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasical Adventure May 22, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatful November 10, 2010
By Madisen
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie and a lot of fun
Great movie, great screenplay writing, great acting. Also really informative about blackjack, card counting, and other interesting subjects. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Daylight Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
was nice A+++++
Published 6 days ago by Randall A. Black
4.0 out of 5 stars OK movie. Interesting cocept.
OK movie. Interesting cocept.
Published 8 days ago by Kenneth W. Clough
5.0 out of 5 stars Always watch Kevin Spacey films, including this outstanding example.

21 is the story, based on true events, of some smart kids from MIT who take on Las Vegas. The collegians are card counters. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Andy McKinney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good drama nice eye candy.
Published 21 days ago by stix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by restes
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not a must see
21 is about the journey of a poor, genius MIT student, Ben Campbell, who aspires to go to Harvard. His only problem is the college tuition. Although his SAT scores and 4. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Grace Black
4.0 out of 5 stars Based on a true story.
Amazing what card counting and partners can do in Vegas. Based on a true story and loved the ending.
Published 1 month ago by L. Gaggini
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh...
Meh... This movie was alright. It grings back memories of a different time.
Published 2 months ago by Mark W. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Movie
My Favorite Movie!!
Published 2 months ago by Mitchell Feikes
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