The Cooler

Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    Strong performances -- Baldwin's smoothly vicious Shelley is a revelation -- and Kramer's eye for the striking detail give the familiar material its own distinctive flavor.
  2. Had The Cooler stuck to its dark guns and not turned into a treacly, love-conquers-all fairy tale, this movie might have gone somewhere. In the end, you're only watching this with a sort of mercenary interest in the actors.
  3. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    60
    The crud and petty desperation of The Cooler is enjoyable as atmosphere, and the movie is passionate. [12 January 2004, p. 86]
  4. It was also a miscalculation to make the film so sexually explicit. It doesn't particularly serve the story and, for all his gifts, Macy is just not the kind of actor most people want to see in a whirl of sweaty, naked sex.
  5. 50
    What's frustrating is that the movie should be so much better, or at least more entertaining. With Baldwin, Macy and Bello, director Kramer is holding three of a kind.
  6. It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's a gangster flick. The Cooler is all of that and much, much less. This is a movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
  7. 40
    First-timer Wayne Kramer brings pathos to Bernie and Shelly's fraught relationship, but his film never amounts to more than a cute idea stretched to poker-chip thinness.
  8. Lost me early on with its show-offy shooting and editing, portentous metaphysical conceits about winners and losers, and exaggerated displays of evil, violence, and deceit.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. MatthewB.
    Apr 19, 2010
    4
    Awful film. While Leaving los vegas was revolutionary, this pursues the same situation, if not the same story, with little realism or Awful film. While Leaving los vegas was revolutionary, this pursues the same situation, if not the same story, with little realism or panache. Alec Baldwin's actin is good, and won a few awards, but William Macy seems off-key in his attempt to portray lovable loser Bernie. The romance seems improbable to say the least, and the dialogue is both boring and entirely predictable- add to that the offense of a main character with seemingly supernatural unluckiness, and you have a near-disaster. If it weren't for the sex scenes- which were brave, if overly improbable again - I wouldn't've felt the slightest amount of thrill at this unhappy loser of a dvd. Good luck would be to avoid it. Full Review »
  2. Riren
    Feb 26, 2007
    4
    The leftovers of Casino, served up with a side of morose independent movie spirit. Its so-called love story is half-hearted, an excuse for The leftovers of Casino, served up with a side of morose independent movie spirit. Its so-called love story is half-hearted, an excuse for some uninteresting and brazen sex scenes. William Macy is an amazing actor who I'd watch doing anything, but doing a blonde and frowning at a poker table are a waste of his talents. The movie seals its fate by throwing a dozen false endings at you, none more creative or plausible than the last. I guess they thought they were being clever. They were wrong. Full Review »
  3. PValentine
    Jan 27, 2006
    2
    The whimsy is undercut by the violence and the sex and while it got the whole aura of a dusty casino and dusty people down what was The whimsy is undercut by the violence and the sex and while it got the whole aura of a dusty casino and dusty people down what was interesting about it? The "love" story was NOT believable to me at the "I'm willing to lose my life for him" level. Full Review »