A thriller set against the dark backdrop of London's gambling world. Clive Owen is Jack Manfred, an aspiring writer, forced to take a job as a croupier to make ends meet. The job gradually takes over his life, affecting his relationship with lover Marion (Gina McKee). Jack is approached by Jani (Alex Kingston), a gambler who is down on her luck, to be the inside man during a heist at the casino where he works. Jack carefully considers the odds; it all looks so simple, but even a professional like Jack cannot anticipate what the final turn of the wheel will bring...
Known for the Michael Caine led crime classic Get Carter (which I haven’t seen yet), Mike Hodges’ nineties Croupier is as lustrous as movies come. Starring Clive Owen as our titular croupier (a casino dealer to the less intellectual of us) otherwise named Jack Manfred, Croupier details the life and soul of a character tormented and disinterested by all that come across him. Jack wants to finish his novel and through some riveting narration by the man himself, it becomes apparent (or seems to be) that the story we are watching is the very same story Jack, or Jake as the protagonist in his novel is named, is writing. Croupier is a devilish film. It analyses a character whose motivation…
Welcome back Jack, to the house of addiction.
It's easy to see why Clive Owen was once rumored to be the next James Bond. Here he plays Jack, a struggling writer who's working as a croupier at a casino, the farthest thing from being a spy and yet he still displays the characteristics we'd associate with 007. It also feels like a warm up for Sin City, as this neo-noir has a running voice over from Owen from beginning to end. This one is in third person however as we're inside his head as he's writing a book about his experiences.
One of the best neo-noirs made since Body Heat. Mike Hodges knows the genre and knows how to bend its rules to create something fresh and exciting.
A magnetic anti-character study which mixes the painted squalor of Britain's casinos with a potboiling neo-noir script.
I expected more but feel moderately rewarded. Not exactly a noir--no danger, tension, anxiety, moral ambiguity. Not particularly clever either. Low budget in fact. However, well-played and unique perspective. No regrets.
An interesting little noir film without the world-weary private eye, but with enough style to keep it watchable. Clive Owen gives a pretty strong performance and his constant narration is constantly interesting to listen to. However, I do think the story gets a little too cluttered and formulaic towards the end. Still, this is a solid-enough film and worth a watch.
The croupier watches. He waits. He knows. He observes the crowd before him, silently judging the faces of anxious card players as they place their bets. He relishes their expressions as they leave the table one by one, empty-handed.
Directed by Mike Hodges, Croupier isn’t so much a film about plot as it is about atmosphere. There is little in the way of narrative structure or tangible action, but the acting and writing are so strong that they more than make up for it. But be warned: those looking for an exciting or exhilarating motion picture should look elsewhere.
Croupier is not exactly about what it delivers; it’s about how it delivers. It is about gambling, yes, and a heist…
Kind of gets too cluttered in the final third, but a fun, suspenseful film with a great Clive Owen.
A pleasant surprise, since I wasn't fond of Hodges's later, disappointing I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. The unbelievably suave and enviable Clive Owen commands the screen in a clever little Brit drama that's as entertaining a casino portrait as it is a shady character study with the gambler/croupier metaphor as a philosophical backdrop. It was so easy to watch, so wittily written and stylishly directed, I'm wondering why it doesn't get more recommendations.
A good film nearly becomes a very good one thanks largely to Clive Owen.
@Camdun_Roar: Being a blackjack dealer has never been this intense. Clive Owen does not look good with blonde hair. Great twist ending 6.5/10
[Seen in 2000, not sure when, neglected to date stamp back then]
Magnetic and contrived; Surprising and disappointing; The gimmicky 'Croupier' is a magic trick: It's full of it's own deceit. Clive Owen's chillingly assured performance as a gambler in denial (heightened by the effective voice-over) is nearly wasted as Hodges burns up his fuel in excess, robbing us of truly savoring the final product.