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Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Ben Campbell is a shy, brilliant MIT student who, needing to pay school tuition, finds the answers in the cards. He is recruited to join a group of the school's most gifted students that heads to Vegas every weekend armed with fake identities and the know-how to turn the odds at blackjack in their favor. With unorthodox math professor and stats genius Micky Rosa leading the way, they crack the code. By counting cards and employing an intricate system of signals, the team can beat the casinos big-time. Seduced by the money, the Vegas lifestyle, and his smart and sexy teammate, Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), Ben begins to push the limits. Though counting cards isn't illegal, the stakes are high, and the challenge becomes not only keeping the numbers straight, but staying one step ahead of the casinos' menacing enforcer, Cole Williams. (Columbia Pictures) Expand
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. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    60
    The Ocean’s Eleven: The College Years mood makes for a breezy good time, even if there is, like Vegas, precious little substance beneath the glitz.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    50
    Very little adds up in 21.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    While not exactly a zero, 21 lags and fails to measure up dramatically.
  6. What a big cheat of a movie. Wanting to be everything to everybody – a tough gambling picture, a revenge-of-the-nerds fantasy, a Vegas caper flick, a sweet little romance, a simple morality tale – 21 is just a bet-hedger dealing from multiple decks, designed to leave you with an occasional tidbit to like but nothing at all to love.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    30
    A movie that wastes a lot of time and money and really, REALLY shoulda stayed in Vegas.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 51
  2. Negative: 12 out of 51
  1. 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 Expand
  2. 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... Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Nov 28, 2012
    6
    It's definitely interesting, but It desperately lacks an element of relatability within its lead and supporting characters.
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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 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
  7. 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 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

See all 51 User Reviews

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