Life's a gamble...

Drama Thriller
94 min     6.769     1998     Germany


Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer who to make ends meet, takes a job as a croupier. Jack remains an observer, knowing that everything in life is a gamble and that gamblers are born to lose. Inevitably, he gets sucked into the world of the casino which takes its toll on his relationships and the novel he is writing.


John Chard wrote:
Croupier deals with interest. Jack Manfred is a struggling writer who is set up by his gambler father for a job dealing at a London casino. Catching inspiration from the seedy setting of his employment, Jack starts to write about his experiences. But although it makes for a good story, the reality is that his life is spiralling out of control. Croupier is known for two main things outside of being a good and interesting film. Firstly is that it launched the career of Clive Owen, lifting him out of the TV mainstay league and into the Hollywood subconscious. Secondly is that it was largely ignored on release in its homeland of Britain, but after America took a liking to Mike Hodges tantalising tale, it scored a re-release and Owen and the film have not really looked back since. Though not quite deserving of the sleeper gem reputation it has, Croupier none the less is a strong London based thriller set amongst the ducking and diving world of the all night casino. Led by an engaging Owen performance, the characters are meaty, with Hodges and his writer Paul Mayersburg creating a nice line in paranoiac mystery. There's a bit of an overdose of twisters in the final straight, but in the main Croupier comfortably holds the attention span for the 90 odd minutes run time. 7/10