Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Polite, mild-mannered Dan Mahowny (Hoffman) is an assistant bank manager with a head for numbers, a knack for making decisions, and a devastating appetite for gambling. Dan Mahowny is the unlikely hero who takes on two of the financial institutions everyone loves to hate, the bank and the casino, and, for a brief while, he wins. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    There have been many good movies about gambling, but never one that so single-mindedly shows the gambler at his task.
  2. Reviewed by: John Bentley Mays
    Unusual, as such movies go, in its disregard for busy theatricality.
  3. 80
    Kwietniowski has managed to create a surprisingly engrossing and suspenseful narrative without resorting to cosmetics, melodrama or hype.
  4. 75
    Owning Mahowny may at times feel futile in its colorless, disheartening subject matter, but that's the point -- to see how barren Mahowny's life becomes. Hoffman gives the film relevance.
  5. 70
    Owning Mahowny shares the earlier ("Love and Death on Long Island") film's crisp precision, but it's a far more rigorously sublimated and abstract account of l'amour fou.
  6. 63
    Hurt, who starred in Kwietniowski's earlier study in compulsion, "Life and Death on Long Island," is oily perfection as the devious Victor.
  7. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Hurt give compelling performances... But the coldly unrewarding drama is as distant and joyless as its protagonist, representing a disappointment for director Richard Kwietniowski.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. May 4, 2012
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver give painfully depressing, but outstanding, performances in this gritty film based on a true story of a banking executive, responsible and reliable in every way...except for a debilitating gambling problem. Dan Mahowny (Hoffman) uses his clout and trust to manipulate the system to keep his addiction going. The movie is hard to watch as the situations are very tense. The performances and direction are superb, though, engaging the viewer in the first few minutes of the opening scene. Expand
  2. JoanC.
    Feb 25, 2007
    I thought this was a thought provoking insight into the world of a gambling addict. Excellent acting by Hoffmann. Is Mahowny good or bad? Does he have an illness(addiction) or is he just greedy? Does he have a conscience? You tell me. A truly great movie. I was 'hooked' from beginning to end, but then again, I DO have an addictive personality. Expand
  3. Dec 12, 2012
    What transcends and carries this true story of the largest bank fraud case in Canadian history is the phenomenal central performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Dan Mahowny (Hoffman) is a bank manager with a serious gambling problem. With his position, he has access to a multi-million dollar account witch ultimately leads to him gambling $10 million dollars in a span of 18 months. The main focus of the screenplay is Mahowny's obsession and compulsion and it's devastating effects professionally and personally. It's Hoffman's ability to reveal to us that beneath his all consuming addiction lies a descent, desperate soul. Expand

See all 7 User Reviews