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70

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

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 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 thePolite, 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
    88
    Unusual, as such movies go, in its disregard for busy theatricality.
  3. 80
    Kwietniowski follows up his impressive debut feature, "Love and Death on Long Island," with this equally absorbing study of a compulsive personality.
  4. Kwietniowski turns up the tension so incrementally, we don't realize the scope of Mahowny's moral wreck until it is too late.
  5. Hoffman has his specialty, though, and it’s not inappropriate here: He always looks supersmart and yet his reactions to what goes on around him are superslow.
  6. Hoffman is a fine actor in a rut, working on a string of socially alienated characters who are variations on the same theme. That's too bad, because the story being told around his static presence is amazing.
  7. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    50
    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: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. May 4, 2012
    10
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver give painfully depressing, but outstanding, performances in this gritty film based on a true story ofPhilip 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
    9
    I thought this was a thought provoking insight into the world of a gambling addict. Excellent acting by Hoffmann. Is Mahowny good or bad? 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
    8
    What transcends and carries this true story of the largest bank fraud case in Canadian history is the phenomenal central performance ofWhat 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. Collapse
  4. Dec 27, 2014
    7
    This film is a success for one major reason and that is Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is no shocker he turned in a great performance here,This film is a success for one major reason and that is Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is no shocker he turned in a great performance here, considering he always did so in his career, but he truly carried this film. The plot is interesting, yes, and the other actors here, such as Minnie Driver and John Hurt, are also strong, but boy oh boy does Hoffman ever stand tall. Luckily, the storyline is also very captivating and hooks you right in as you realize what Mahowny has been doing and how deep he is in the hole that makes him do what he does. The struggles facing this man are perfectly portrayed by Hoffman and the struggles facing his girlfriend are brilliantly and beautifully portrayed by Driver, who is a close second to Hoffman here in terms of performance. Overall, Owning Mahowny paints a sympathetic and understanding picture of a man of a man who embezzled more than $10 million and is a success thanks to the acting and solid story. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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