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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 146 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
    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
    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
    Very little adds up in 21.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    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
    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
    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. Mar 27, 2012
    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. Expand
  3. Feb 9, 2012
    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 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
  4. Nov 28, 2012
    It's definitely interesting, but It desperately lacks an element of relatability within its lead and supporting characters.
  5. Mar 5, 2014
    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 does a good job playing an innocent youth that is corrupted for the first time. Expand
  6. Nov 13, 2013
    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. Expand
  7. Feb 27, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 51 User Reviews