Moneyed literature professor Jim Bennett indulges in a pattern of self-destructive gambling after the death of his grandfather. Complications from the astronomical debt, which he ends up owing to several autonomous gangs, are exacerbated by his relationships with students. This slow-brewing psychological thriller builds up expectations, which are ultimately left unsatisfied. Despite Wahlberg and Lange’s truly tour-de-force performances and at times witty dialogues, the result is only lukewarmly entertaining.
The Gambler | Directed by Rupert Wyatt (USA 2014) with Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Brie Larson. Starts January 15
Originally published in issue #134, January 2015.