Molly's Game ★★★★

Every movie that Aaron Sorkin has written since the turn of the 21st Century has been about a real person. On the other hand, it might be more accurate to say that none of the movies that Aaron Sorkin has written since the turn of the 21st Century have been about a real person. Sure, “The Social Network” effectively “Rashomon”-ed the myth of Mark Zuckerberg, “Moneyball” immortalized Billy Bean, “Charlie Wilson’s War” reintroduced Americans to a semi-forgotten Congressman, and “Steve Jobs” made sure everyone knows that the guy who invented our phones was a pretty shitty dad, but those films weren’t interested in capturing their respective subjects so much as they were in selling them for spare parts. Sorkin doesn’t want the life story, he wants the life rights. He wants to take the facts, sharpen them until they can cut through all the noise, and then run them through the particle accelerator of his manic imagination until things are moving so fast they blur into a single core idea that may not have even been there before he got involved. The truth can be fun, but there’s really only so much you can do with it.

“Molly’s Game” only seems to buck that trend. Sure, this absolute barnburner of a biopic likes to act like the same rise-and-fall crime story that you’ve seen a million times before — complete with the most incessant, self-aware voiceover track since “The Wolf of Wall Street” — but the subtly profound ways in which this movie distorts the recent past makes it one of the most radically entertaining things its iconoclastic scribe has ever written. Also, it’s about a woman, which is unfamiliar territory for him.

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