User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
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  1. AbbeB.
    Jun 4, 2004
    10
    Thank you, William H. Macy,thank you, Alec Baldwin, thank you Maria Bello, and thank you, Wayne Kramer (especially you for creativity here). You have truly made played the lead in a film that looks like a real, live 'movie'. They say a good movie, a really good story is one that hooks you long after the end credits. This film has been a real pleasure. My Dad lives in Las Vegas. Thank you, William H. Macy,thank you, Alec Baldwin, thank you Maria Bello, and thank you, Wayne Kramer (especially you for creativity here). You have truly made played the lead in a film that looks like a real, live 'movie'. They say a good movie, a really good story is one that hooks you long after the end credits. This film has been a real pleasure. My Dad lives in Las Vegas. He asked me to see "The Cooler" because he said that Mr Baldwin had nailed the role of the wiseguy Casino Boss down cold. My Dad palled around with guys like Shelly. But my Dad did not tell me about the plot, which is mystical in a sense, about the transformation love can bring. Real, true grand-mall love. What a surprise for me! I do not rate ANY films a "10". But if a film moves you, you rate it a "10". Abbe B. Expand
  2. MarcK.
    Apr 30, 2004
    7
    This film's now on DVD, and there are so few "User" reviews, including when this was released in the theater? Amazing! I thought most of those on MetaCritic were a savvy bunch, and would have seen this movie, and felt moved enough either way to comment on it. In any event, I can see why Baldwin got the Supporting Actor nomination...he does a great job. But so does Bello, Macy, and This film's now on DVD, and there are so few "User" reviews, including when this was released in the theater? Amazing! I thought most of those on MetaCritic were a savvy bunch, and would have seen this movie, and felt moved enough either way to comment on it. In any event, I can see why Baldwin got the Supporting Actor nomination...he does a great job. But so does Bello, Macy, and Livingston. However, there were too many things about this film that made it maddeningly implausible. Sure, the ending is implausible, but if that were the only implausible part, I'd be fine. Instead, it was like the 30th implausible part. Expand
  3. Uter
    Jun 18, 2004
    8
    Definitely well acted and well done, but the idea of a cooler could have been more fun. Instead, it's somewhat dark and slow.
  4. ScottB.
    Feb 6, 2004
    9
    I saw this movie weeks ago and it still is fresh in my head. Go see this one...
  5. BobbetteS.
    Mar 20, 2004
    9
    Fresh, unexpected, funny tale of redemption and the hope for change most of us cling to.
  6. Rico
    May 6, 2004
    9
    We need more original movies like this with few special effects to distract from human comedy and drama. This was a breath of fresh air and had some plot twists that I didn't see coming. Very nice!
  7. SeanA.
    Jun 9, 2004
    9
    This film will grab on to you and not let go tell the end. A very unique plot with the flavor of Fargo. Each character is extremely believable which helps absorb you in.
  8. CraigB.
    Jul 13, 2004
    8
    There were some logistical gaps and I was a little unclear of the motivations behind some of the characters' actions, but generally I agree with all of the positive comments about this film. The film could have done more with its premise. For example, there is a film entitled "Intacto" that does a great job of examining the concept of "luck", and I would highly recommend that film to There were some logistical gaps and I was a little unclear of the motivations behind some of the characters' actions, but generally I agree with all of the positive comments about this film. The film could have done more with its premise. For example, there is a film entitled "Intacto" that does a great job of examining the concept of "luck", and I would highly recommend that film to anyone who enjoyed this film. Expand
  9. JoeC.
    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    This movie was what I would consider a comedy/drama. I rather enjoyed it. Very strong performance by Alec Baldwin; should be a best supporting actor nomination for this one.
  10. Fantasy
    Jan 19, 2004
    10
    I saw the movie this weekend with my main squeeze and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The three lead actors, especially, Maria Bello, were outstanding. The movie starts out as a romantic comedy in which you care for all of the characters. Bill Macy, the lovable loser. Alec Baldwin, a dinosaur of his time trying to protect his turf. And Maria Bello, the femme fatale, who unexpectedly finds I saw the movie this weekend with my main squeeze and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The three lead actors, especially, Maria Bello, were outstanding. The movie starts out as a romantic comedy in which you care for all of the characters. Bill Macy, the lovable loser. Alec Baldwin, a dinosaur of his time trying to protect his turf. And Maria Bello, the femme fatale, who unexpectedly finds real love. Then the movie takes a dark unexpected twist? It builds to a real climax which will have you holding on for dear life. Kudo's to all for making such an entertaining film. It's definitely a sleeper hit and worth the watch. Expand
  11. GilH.
    Dec 22, 2003
    10
    A very cool movie indeed. One of the best films about Vegas. And a wonderful, old fashioned love story -- but still very sexy! Great twist at the end!
  12. Smenkharon
    May 19, 2004
    7
    Predictable yet enjoyable. Great acting all around and a nice mix of plausible realism with improbable fantasy.
  13. PatG.
    Nov 28, 2003
    8
    Is this a perfect movie? No. But it is worth seeing for several reasons. Mainly for William H. Macy's performance. He can do more with his face than Carol Burnett and Jonathan Winters put together--but Macy doesn't need to mug. It's all in the eyes and the soul. He is really something; he doesn't need words to break your heart or make you smile. The other actors are Is this a perfect movie? No. But it is worth seeing for several reasons. Mainly for William H. Macy's performance. He can do more with his face than Carol Burnett and Jonathan Winters put together--but Macy doesn't need to mug. It's all in the eyes and the soul. He is really something; he doesn't need words to break your heart or make you smile. The other actors are also excellent. This movie is certainly worth two hours of your time. (But be prepared to hide your eyes a few times if you don't like violence.) Expand
  14. MichaelR.
    Dec 17, 2003
    8
    The cooler is definitely a well put together movie, yet it is nothing groundbreaking. Bello, baldwin, & Macy's performances make this movie a good watch. Baldwin's character was one of those bad guy's that you can't help but like. Bello & Macy put in solid efforts with a determined love story. The occasional mild scene twists make this movie worth watching.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Alex Kranz
    75
    Driving the plot, Baldwin gives an inexorable, career-marking performance.
  2. 88
    Wayne Kramer, who co-wrote the scrappy script with Frank Hannah, makes a potent directing debut and strikes gold with the cast.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Wayne Kramer's sexy and often humorous feature directorial debut surrounds its sweet center with the energy, flash and risk of the gambling capital. Sterling performances by William H. Macy and Maria Bello as the long-shot lovers and Alec Baldwin as a temperamental casino operator.