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poker face


starring: russell crowe, elsa pataky, liam hemsworth, and jack thompson


REVIEWER: lyall carter

A tech billionaire gathers his friends at his home for a high-stakes poker game. Things go awry when his mansion is invaded by a dangerous killer.

Set in the world of high stakes poker, Crowe stars as tech billionaire and gambler Jake Foley who gives his best friends a night they’ll never forget, a chance to win more money than they’ve ever dreamed of. But to play, they’ll have to give up the one thing they spend their lives trying to keep… their secrets. As the game unfolds, the friends will discover what is really at stake.


I’ve gotta admit I’m a Russell Crowe fan from wayback. From L.A. Confidential to Cinderella Man and everything in between, a film with Russell Maximus Decimus Meridius Crowe in the cast will always have me lining up to grab a ticket. Unfortunately Poker Face doesn’t reach the heights of Crowe’s previous outings. While Poker Face does have some entertaining moments, the tale suffers from a lack of cohesion and characterization. 


Part gambling heist and part criminal riddled thriller with a bit of midlife crisis and a dash of existential pondering, Poker Face appears to have taken inspiration from everything from Clooney’s Ocean 11 franchise to a Guy Ritchie gangster flick. And this is where Poker Face begins to falter. There isn’t a real clear direction to proceedings as the story seems to quickly move between a number of themes. 


Because of the large cast of characters and the ever changing plot, there doesn’t appear to be enough time to fully flesh out the characters who mostly exist merely in one dimensional form. However, while there are some key components of the story that are lacking, Poker Face does have some entertaining moments of action throughout that make it more than watchable. 


While Poker Face does have some entertaining moments, the tale suffers from a lack of cohesion and characterization.


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