User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 152
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  1. Jul 8, 2014
    7
    While the first half of 21 is interesting, fresh, and gives us a glimpse into the minds and everyday lives of this card-counting team, the second half resorts to melodramatics, Hollywood clich├ęs, and a very "movie-like" ending. The one saving grace of the movie is, of course, Kevin Spacey. In fact, he's the reason I watched it in the first place.
  2. Mar 5, 2014
    6
    As far as true story gambling movies go, it is pretty good. Even though the plot is predictable and a little dry, the acting and the direction is well done. The explanation of exactly how the counting cards system works is helpful in understanding what is going on in the movie. Overall, the movie doesn't pretend to be anything that it isn't. Kevin Spacey is excellent and Jim Sturgess doesAs far as true story gambling movies go, it is pretty good. Even though the plot is predictable and a little dry, the acting and the direction is well done. The explanation of exactly how the counting cards system works is helpful in understanding what is going on in the movie. Overall, the movie doesn't pretend to be anything that it isn't. Kevin Spacey is excellent and Jim Sturgess does a good job playing an innocent youth that is corrupted for the first time. Expand
  3. Nov 30, 2013
    10
    this movie was good and interesting.But it does some miss directing.but Jim Sturgess i liked his acting.So,I gave it ten because i liked it very much and i dazzled me
  4. Nov 13, 2013
    6
    21 has a few tricks up its sleeves.
    The movie is smart, interesting, and inventive. The acting is poor, but the script is pretty good. I could have wished for a better ending, but the film is sound.
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    6
    It's definitely interesting, but It desperately lacks an element of relatability within its lead and supporting characters.
  6. Mar 27, 2012
    10
    This film is so interesting, the trama, characters, story, is wow, a bigger sorprise the performance of Kevin Spacey is amazing, I think that this film is like the others. 21 is a classic.
  7. Feb 9, 2012
    8
    21: Jim Sturgess stars in a stacked tight cast in this delightful, thoroughly entertaining, mysterious dramatic film experience alongside Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey and Aaron Yoo. A math professor, Mickey Rosa, takes 5 M.I.T students under his wing to count cards to make some money in Las Vegas. Remember, it is not illegal, it is only frowned upon. When a brilliant21: Jim Sturgess stars in a stacked tight cast in this delightful, thoroughly entertaining, mysterious dramatic film experience alongside Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey and Aaron Yoo. A math professor, Mickey Rosa, takes 5 M.I.T students under his wing to count cards to make some money in Las Vegas. Remember, it is not illegal, it is only frowned upon. When a brilliant student has to earn cash to find his way to Harvard Med, he takes a chance on the elite mathematician team. Lucky enough for him, a spot has just opened up. With ruthless casino bosses, ignorant teammates and romantic flares, all make for a great story of luck, romance, betrayal, impulse and of course genius capabilities. What would you do to get into Harvard Medical School? Expand
  8. Dec 15, 2011
    4
    Interesting enough to watch but it didnt do well to hold interest through out and it got really boring. Acting was ok but I expected better from the experianced cast. Just wasnt that good.
  9. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    This movie is simply average. The acting isn't really mind blowing even though Kevin Spacey does do a very good job. A lot of the scenes are also very well shot but when it comes down to it the story was actually very predictable and the romance between Ben and Jill seemed very forced. The movie is worth checking out if you catch it on TV or can borrow it from a friend but don't spend aThis movie is simply average. The acting isn't really mind blowing even though Kevin Spacey does do a very good job. A lot of the scenes are also very well shot but when it comes down to it the story was actually very predictable and the romance between Ben and Jill seemed very forced. The movie is worth checking out if you catch it on TV or can borrow it from a friend but don't spend a lot of money buying the DVD. Expand
  10. Jul 3, 2011
    8
    A well story based on true events (although changed for obvious reasons). The MITs students do a good job and Kevin Spacey is showing his acting skills again in this film. Overall a suspensful film!
  11. Feb 27, 2011
    1
    Someone should remake this film. The book was amazing, but the movie didn't seem real, too Hollywood. Was the end slow walk shot with all the characters really necessary. It also seemed to ignore the whole part that he was still a student while this was going on.
  12. Sep 25, 2010
    8
    This true story is not only an intelligent movie, it also has a great cast, especially Jim Sturgess, playing the main character. It has a great twist ending, and deserves better critical recognition. It proves that a bunch of nobodies (and Kevin Spacey) can make a great movie. However, it's nothing like the book, which was a little disappointing.
  13. Sep 3, 2010
    4
    If you think the plot of "21" sounds as if it was slyly brushed out of screenplay purgatory, just wait until you see how bland the movie actually plays out. For being a group of renegade college students, the characters really aren't very interesting at all and the actors constantly allow Kevin Spacey to steal the scenes, even when he's in the next room getting coffee. Props to JimIf you think the plot of "21" sounds as if it was slyly brushed out of screenplay purgatory, just wait until you see how bland the movie actually plays out. For being a group of renegade college students, the characters really aren't very interesting at all and the actors constantly allow Kevin Spacey to steal the scenes, even when he's in the next room getting coffee. Props to Jim Sturgess for giving some especially bad narrating, too. If anything, though, the movie's effective editing does do a good job of capturing the excitement and tension of counting cards as a team. Expand
  14. GeorgeM
    Sep 16, 2008
    5
    The style is definately there in this film....its glitzy and well polished, but thats about it for this movie....looks good but leaves a bad taste in my mouth. watching these characters work the system and win boat-loads of money is what fantasies are made of, who wouldn't want to do something like this and get away with it all the while living it up and having the time of your The style is definately there in this film....its glitzy and well polished, but thats about it for this movie....looks good but leaves a bad taste in my mouth. watching these characters work the system and win boat-loads of money is what fantasies are made of, who wouldn't want to do something like this and get away with it all the while living it up and having the time of your life??? unfortunately its the last half of the film that made me lose interest and how the story and ALL characters seemed to get dumber and dumber which in turn made the movie DUMB. i haven't felt so hollow and uninterested by the end of a movie in a while. Expand
  15. TylerD.
    Aug 31, 2008
    8
    A very entertaining movie. The ending was extremely clever and presented in a great way. 21 entertained throughout with its multiple twists and turns, great acting, and interesting plot. Highly recommended!
  16. BattleGlue
    Aug 21, 2008
    3
    Utter crap. Supposedly intelligent characters are ruined by the army of hacks that wrote or directed this. Imagine watching a documentary about Einstein, no picture the director making him struggle to open a milk carton. That is how simple the movie makers made this movie.
  17. CanaanB
    Aug 9, 2008
    4
    This movie certainly had some potential, and I didn't think it was a complete waste of time. But really, there is little substance here, and I cannot shake the anti-gender / race thing going on in terms of being the BIG player. The 'romance' in the film is lukewarm at best. Also, I wish I knew more about counting before going in, since you feel like an outsider desperately This movie certainly had some potential, and I didn't think it was a complete waste of time. But really, there is little substance here, and I cannot shake the anti-gender / race thing going on in terms of being the BIG player. The 'romance' in the film is lukewarm at best. Also, I wish I knew more about counting before going in, since you feel like an outsider desperately trying to figure out how they are doing it during the film. Expand
  18. LyleS
    Jul 29, 2008
    6
    It wasn't a complete waste of time or a waste of my red box dollar.
  19. DylanD.
    Jul 28, 2008
    10
    Excellent, excellent movie. A good showing from the young cast. Sure, it didn't stay to the book, although I really don't care because I don't sit and endlessly nit pick at stuff no one really cares about. And why am I not surprised that the race card was thrown in? I'm going to assume that there were more high caliber Caucasian actors than Asian actors. You would be a Excellent, excellent movie. A good showing from the young cast. Sure, it didn't stay to the book, although I really don't care because I don't sit and endlessly nit pick at stuff no one really cares about. And why am I not surprised that the race card was thrown in? I'm going to assume that there were more high caliber Caucasian actors than Asian actors. You would be a terrible director if you decided to take mediocrity over continuity. People grow up and learn to enjoy films for what they are. And this, was a good flick. Expand
  20. JustinC
    Jul 26, 2008
    4
    A poor movie. The camera work was...questionable at best. They tried to make something boring exciting, and it ended up giving me a headache. (I loved the Bourne movies camera work because the style suited that genre) The acting was bland, they should have gotten someone better to play Campbell. I think Jake Gyllenhaal would have been great as Ben. Spacey's performance was one of his A poor movie. The camera work was...questionable at best. They tried to make something boring exciting, and it ended up giving me a headache. (I loved the Bourne movies camera work because the style suited that genre) The acting was bland, they should have gotten someone better to play Campbell. I think Jake Gyllenhaal would have been great as Ben. Spacey's performance was one of his worst, perhaps because his character was boring. He just felt censored, as if he was holding back. Kate did fine. Overall a movie I'm disappointed I paid money to see. Watch only if you have nothing better to do. Expand
  21. HenryR.
    Jul 25, 2008
    9
    A very special story combined with great actors make this title a blockbuster nobody did talk about. Absolute secret recommendation!
  22. DavidB.
    Jul 25, 2008
    0
    Terrible acting, terrible script, plot hole after plot hole after plot hole: not a good formula for a movie, is it? Kevin Spacey should be ashamed of himself for this one. Can you say "career killer". The scene where he is being chased while in his urban cowboy costume is beyond silly. And the producers want us to think these kids are smart? They do NOTHING correctly to keep from getting Terrible acting, terrible script, plot hole after plot hole after plot hole: not a good formula for a movie, is it? Kevin Spacey should be ashamed of himself for this one. Can you say "career killer". The scene where he is being chased while in his urban cowboy costume is beyond silly. And the producers want us to think these kids are smart? They do NOTHING correctly to keep from getting caught. I am a mathematics instructor and I was particularly offended by Spacey's math "lectures". His topics meandered aimlessly with no connections to each other. And the math he was discussing is covered in high school...not in an upper level MIT course. And for supposedly being an MIT professor, he certainly seemed pretty clueless in avoiding being caught, too. Pathetic film. Expand
  23. JillD
    Jul 25, 2008
    10
    I loved this movie. it was funny and exciting.
  24. PaulR.
    Jul 23, 2008
    0
    Really sad that they felt they had to change the story to make it marketable. And yes, most of the original MIT blackjack team on which these characters were based was indeed Asian American, save for like two people. Leave it to Hollywood to turn that ratio inside-out. It's not playing the race card to say that. It's just fact.
  25. Ogest
    Jul 22, 2008
    3
    I walked out after an hour. The beginning was ok, but then the story evolved into some rubbish, it was very clear what was going to happen. And Kevin Spacey, who plays "mr. I-know-everything" really irritated me all the movie.
  26. JayH.
    Jul 8, 2008
    6
    Jim Sturgess is terrific, but getting tired of Kevin Spacey in the same cold and heartless character. It's getting old. Good story, not great, but good. It held my interest at least. Well made, good score.
  27. LiamH.
    Jun 3, 2008
    7
    Pretty good movie, the end drags on for a bit tho.
  28. KindredPaul
    Apr 30, 2008
    7
    I liked this movie because it wasn't some stupid thing like other movies, it was different, and i truly never expected the ending, it was a curve ball
  29. NathanB.
    Apr 19, 2008
    7
    21, whilst appearing to target the more intellectual and academic amongst us, fails in that respect. However, this a film that differs from your usual mediocre films that have hit the Box Office in recent weeks. 21 is different in the respect that this film is simply fun to watch, and at times enthralling. Spacey, on first impressions, appears to become a decent actor in future 21, whilst appearing to target the more intellectual and academic amongst us, fails in that respect. However, this a film that differs from your usual mediocre films that have hit the Box Office in recent weeks. 21 is different in the respect that this film is simply fun to watch, and at times enthralling. Spacey, on first impressions, appears to become a decent actor in future productions and despite being effectively cast in a lead role with relative expertise, at times he single-handedly pulls this film to a more bearable level. The acting, in short, is solid enough and the plot twists is effective with well-captured cinematography. The sad thing is, despite the morals that inevitable accompanies any sort of wrong-doing film aimed towards a 12A audience, is that you want to be as good as Maths as our on screen counterparts and take Vegas by storm. Expand
  30. RyanS.r
    Apr 18, 2008
    3
    I saw 21 when a friend told me it was awesome and to go see it. I'm questioning whether or not to stay friends with him. This movie was predictable, shallow, glitzy and everything else people hate about these stupid popcorn movies. It took serious willpower to sit through this factually inaccurate, and ethnically stereotypical movie. I'm offended that people say this movie is I saw 21 when a friend told me it was awesome and to go see it. I'm questioning whether or not to stay friends with him. This movie was predictable, shallow, glitzy and everything else people hate about these stupid popcorn movies. It took serious willpower to sit through this factually inaccurate, and ethnically stereotypical movie. I'm offended that people say this movie is for 13 year old, because even I, who am thirteen, don't deserve a movie as bad as this. Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. 75
    21 drags itself to a climax that puts credulity in splints. So what? In a multiplex of dumb-luck hits, it's a kick to watch Spacey and a gifted young cast use smarts to deal audiences a winning hand.
  2. 60
    Spacey's engaging for a while in one of his patented double-edged, sharky roles.
  3. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    70
    Escapist moviegoers happy to live out a flashy fantasy get a brief comeuppance and still walk away from the table with a little something in their pockets.