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Mississippi Grind


Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Alfre Woodard, Robin Weigert, James Toback, Susan McPhail

Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

This road movie-style tale, with its echoes of The Gambler, starts well, drawing us neatly into its account of Gerry (Mendelsohn), a compulsive gambler and, it seems, perpetual loser, who runs into Curtis (Reynolds), who plays poker for fun - and seemingly wins almost all of the time.

But Gerry owes a fortune to a loan shark (a role in which Woodard hardly seems at home) and Curtis stakes him on a trip to New Orleans, with a visit to his ex-wife along the way.

Gerry, however, who will bet on anything, constantly proves a liability as their grubstake dwindles.

The film gets darker (and unfortunately less interesting) as it goes on, seeming to be about to end two or three times before it does. And why does Curtis get himself beaten up for welshing on a bet when he has thousands on him? I couldn't figure it out, but by then the film has virtually ground to a halt.

Reynolds is good, though, and so is Australian actor Mendelsohn, although a shade too twitchy for my liking. Despite the breezy beginning, however, this is a film that all too soon lives up to its title.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne. Technicolor.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Oct 2015