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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. DaveR
    Apr 10, 2008
    4
    Not like the book, which was excellent. Fun to watch if you just let your mind go for a while and take what comes. The comments about racism? Give me a break. I lived in Asia for over 9 years, a place where you can see some real racism. The producers can be accused of selecting poor actors, but I do not see racism in Hollywood (After all is that not where the ever so enlightened ones live Not like the book, which was excellent. Fun to watch if you just let your mind go for a while and take what comes. The comments about racism? Give me a break. I lived in Asia for over 9 years, a place where you can see some real racism. The producers can be accused of selecting poor actors, but I do not see racism in Hollywood (After all is that not where the ever so enlightened ones live and work?....and tell us how to live and think?) Anyway it is a fun movie if you are willing to open your mind and use your imagination....and yes I read the book as well Expand
  7. 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
  8. GregoryR.
    Apr 5, 2008
    7
    Strays pretty far from the book, but gives you enough twists to serve it's purpose.
  9. ChristineD.
    Mar 28, 2008
    3
    A vanilla movie. For starters, the MIT campus looks just like Boston University (since the campus scenes were shot there) and many of the Asian kids from the original MIT crew have been replaced by normal white kids. So much for realism. But the movie just throws too much Vegas "glitz" at the viewer as the movie teeters down this predictable path as if it's saying, "Did you think A vanilla movie. For starters, the MIT campus looks just like Boston University (since the campus scenes were shot there) and many of the Asian kids from the original MIT crew have been replaced by normal white kids. So much for realism. But the movie just throws too much Vegas "glitz" at the viewer as the movie teeters down this predictable path as if it's saying, "Did you think that scene was predictable? Well, here is a casino with a beautiful blonde woman. And look: money--lots of it. Oooh" Someone should have aimed higher here. It will be a decent DVD rental some day. Expand
  10. Jack
    Mar 29, 2008
    7
    This movie is fresh, witty, and has good acting from kevin spacey. it may be a cliche vegas scene, but the fact that it overdoes the glitz is to show the chaos of their situation. not to mention its not predictable. its worth 9 bucks, but is it amazing? no
  11. BobK.
    Mar 31, 2008
    9
    Good flick, it required a little suspension of disbelief but it was twisted enough to be enjoyable. Kevin Spacey was excellent, but the rest of the cast could have used some improvement.
  12. CozmikMonkey
    Mar 30, 2008
    5
    I see all the user reviews giving this movie high ratings--saying things like the movie is steady and the critics are simply wrong. These comments, in fact, are fairly inaccurate. The movie is the absolutely predictable, it can't decide who is good or bad, and there are simple, though ultimately trivial, plot wholes. If you think the movie is great, you need to watch real film. It I see all the user reviews giving this movie high ratings--saying things like the movie is steady and the critics are simply wrong. These comments, in fact, are fairly inaccurate. The movie is the absolutely predictable, it can't decide who is good or bad, and there are simple, though ultimately trivial, plot wholes. If you think the movie is great, you need to watch real film. It can have it's moments, but this movie which started out as having cheap thrills, ended with having nothing but the typical, everyone is happy ending. Expand
  13. Jackie
    Mar 30, 2008
    7
    Overall I definitely enjoyed the movie. I have never played blackjack in my life, but I found myself interested in the game while watching the film. Ive head complaints about character development and complaints about how the students are supposed to be smart and not make stupid decision. BUT--this is a game theyve never played before until they got swept up in the money--they may have Overall I definitely enjoyed the movie. I have never played blackjack in my life, but I found myself interested in the game while watching the film. Ive head complaints about character development and complaints about how the students are supposed to be smart and not make stupid decision. BUT--this is a game theyve never played before until they got swept up in the money--they may have brians but that doesnt mean they're not gonna be naive--they dont have the life experience. i wasnt concerned about the lack of character deveopment because i thought they set a good enough stage for Ben (sturgess). I thought it was kind of obvious what each character's personality was like--to have to spell it out would have been tedious. Sorry critics! I liked it! Expand
  14. Asingles
    Apr 3, 2008
    6
    Escapist fun, but not much else. I didn't expect better because the book it's based on didn't impress either. Great story, just poorly executed. Also, many of the original team from MIT were NOT asian, so cool your jets before you play the racism card.
  15. EmileF.
    Apr 4, 2008
    9
    A really good movie. There is all the things that I like: -Nice girl -Cool guy -Action -Blackjack -And it's a true story Better than those Jumper or Golden compass creapy things...
  16. FredG.
    Apr 4, 2008
    5
    Movie is too shallow to be taken for anything more the 2 hours of escapism. It could have been so much more if it didn't get diverted from it's main story. I can't recommend it for more than a rental.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. [Anonymous]
    Mar 28, 2008
    9
    Despite what the critics say, this film is actually really good, at least imo. It may be somewhat predictable, but it still is interesting to see how the plot twists turn out. It definitely has a great deal of character, and the cast gave remarkable performances, esp. Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, and the always-engaging, Kevin Spacey. Definitely check this out, you Despite what the critics say, this film is actually really good, at least imo. It may be somewhat predictable, but it still is interesting to see how the plot twists turn out. It definitely has a great deal of character, and the cast gave remarkable performances, esp. Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, and the always-engaging, Kevin Spacey. Definitely check this out, you won't be disappointed! Expand
  21. RobertM.
    Mar 29, 2008
    10
    Great movie... Entertaining and captivating the whole way through. The critics are simply wrong.
  22. Michaelr
    Mar 31, 2008
    1
    The biggest travesty is people will see this and think they know the story of the MIT blackjack team. Everything after the training was completely fabricated. Imagine the movie without the beating, Lawrence Fishburne character, and surprise ending because none of it ever happened. I think people are responding so well to the movie because they are assuming it is a true story. Had I not The biggest travesty is people will see this and think they know the story of the MIT blackjack team. Everything after the training was completely fabricated. Imagine the movie without the beating, Lawrence Fishburne character, and surprise ending because none of it ever happened. I think people are responding so well to the movie because they are assuming it is a true story. Had I not read the book I probably would feel the same however I did read the book and remember thinking how amazed I was they could ruin such an amazing story. The casinos fought back but in LEGAL ways. No one got beat up or had their money stolen. Jeffrey Ma made and kept over a million dollars but he gets audited routinely thanks to the casinos. Amazing true story, too bad the producers decided to be more inspired by Oceans 11 than the book Bringing Down The House. Read the book. Expand
  23. JJD.
    Mar 31, 2008
    0
    21 is not exactly racist. The re-working of the details to appeal to a broader audience was NOT racist. These were simlpy business decisios. All else being equal, 21 is probably a decent movie. However, the presuppositions upon which the casting decisions were made were indeed RACIST: These business decisions were based upon the presupposition that box-office success of a film is achieved 21 is not exactly racist. The re-working of the details to appeal to a broader audience was NOT racist. These were simlpy business decisios. All else being equal, 21 is probably a decent movie. However, the presuppositions upon which the casting decisions were made were indeed RACIST: These business decisions were based upon the presupposition that box-office success of a film is achieved when you have white leads with Asian supporting characters, rather than Asian leads with white supporting characters. Have you thought for a minute about why that is, and what that means in a broader, social sense? Have you thought about what that could mean for your children? Is that something you're willing to accept? Pause here, and think about that for a minute... Collapse
  24. BruceS.
    Apr 1, 2008
    0
    Terrible, terrible film. I saw this at a screening in the UK before it came out, and what a waste of time. If you are an intelligent person who likes to watch films for interesting characters, stimulating logical plots and unforeseen twists then DON'T go see this film. It was basically oceans eleven remade for easy to please teenagers who wouldn't know a good film if they sat Terrible, terrible film. I saw this at a screening in the UK before it came out, and what a waste of time. If you are an intelligent person who likes to watch films for interesting characters, stimulating logical plots and unforeseen twists then DON'T go see this film. It was basically oceans eleven remade for easy to please teenagers who wouldn't know a good film if they sat through an all night alfred hitchcock festival. Morpheus and Keyzer Soze felt completely out place amongst all the bland young actors, and didn't really seem to give a shit about anything except their check for the movie. And the bland young actors? Well they were bland, especially the lead boy, who was a wimpy little brown noser. Also, the real card counters, who this movie is based on were actually of Asian descent, and the ONLY Asian guy in this film had about 2 lines. It is obvious that the people behind the film didn't think it would sell if they hired Asian actors, and that should tell all you need to know about this film. A manufactured piece of crap, and a fine example of racism in Hollywood. All the people on this forum who gave this movie above 5 are obviously taste-impaired/13 years old. That is all. Expand
  25. 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
  26. Tikaysha
    Apr 6, 2008
    0
    This was the first time I've ever walked out of a movie. I'm all for easy-going fun films, but this bludgeoned you with every stupid idea the writers and director had. When I wasn't annoyed at how heavy-handed and obvious they were with things like signaling other members of the team (something that ought to be subtle), I was annoyed with how heavy-handed they were with the This was the first time I've ever walked out of a movie. I'm all for easy-going fun films, but this bludgeoned you with every stupid idea the writers and director had. When I wasn't annoyed at how heavy-handed and obvious they were with things like signaling other members of the team (something that ought to be subtle), I was annoyed with how heavy-handed they were with the rest of the meager plot. Expand
  27. LiamH.
    Jun 3, 2008
    7
    Pretty good movie, the end drags on for a bit tho.
  28. 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!
  29. JillD
    Jul 25, 2008
    10
    I loved this movie. it was funny and exciting.
  30. 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
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.