November 13, 2012

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Rated PG-13
123 minutes

view trailer

format: 35mm

A FREE screening and talk with Ben Mezrich and Jeff Ma!

21 (2008)

November 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm in 26-100


Listen to an introduction to the film, by Ben Mezrich and Jeff Ma (3 MB mp3)
Listen to the Q&A with Ben Mezrich and Jeff Ma (30 MB mp3)

Ben Mezrich and Jeff Ma will introduce the film, and answer questions afterwards!

Ben Mezrich is the author of the best-selling book "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions," which was adapted for the screenplay of 21. Jeff Ma '94 (SB Course 2) was a member of the MIT Blackjack Team in the 1990's, and is the inspiration for the character Ben Campbell in 21 (named Kevin Lewis in the book). You can follow Ben and Jeff on Twitter: @BenMezrich, @JeffMa.

Director Robert Luketic adapts Ben Mezrich's best-seller "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions" to tell the true-life tale of six genius students who used their brains to beat considerable odds. Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) may be shy, but his wallflower reputation belies his inner brilliance. As smart as Ben may be, however, if he can't scrape together $300,000 he won't be able to go to the med school of his dreams. Fortunately, the answer to all of Ben's problems is right there in the cards. Recruited to join a team of extremely gifted students who have used their mastery of numbers to beat the odds at blackjack, Ben procures a fake identity in order to join the casino scammers and their brilliant leader -- eccentric math professor and stats genius Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) -- in some highly profitable weekend excursions to Las Vegas. Counting cards isn't illegal, and by using a complex series of signals, this team has cracked the code. Of course, it doesn't take long for Ben to become seduced by the glamorous Las Vegas lifestyle, and the attention afforded to him by his sexy teammate Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth) finds him pushing his luck to the absolute limits. Laurence Fishburne stars as Cole Williams, the Sin City security chief who catches on to the group and makes it his mission to expose their lucrative blackjack scam. []

A breezy, fast-moving romp that trades well on its appeal as a glitzy caper movie about high-end scam artists without losing sight of its simmering greed-is-not-so-good theme.
      -- Jim Schembri, The Age. Read this review.