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Molly's Game


Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Chris O'Dowd, Bill Camp, Graham Greene, Jeremy Strong

Director: Aaron Sorkin

The story of Molly Bloom (Chastain), a one-time champion skier who 'graduated' to running high-stakes poker games for the rich and famous, is talked to death in this lengthy adaptation by Sorkin, who was unfortunately allowed to direct his own screenplay - although it does contain some crackling dialogue here and there.

I'd like to tell you the story, but really there isn't one.

Soon an integral part of her boss's game, Molly strikes out on her own when he attempts to reduce her pay; an enormous success, she ultimately falls foul of poker ace Player X (Cera, in a thinly-disguised version of Tobey Maguire) and has to start over.

When she takes a rake from her game for the first time (and is beaten up by protection thugs), the FBI moves in.

Interlocking past and present are the exchanges between Molly and her straight-arrow lawyer (Elba) as she awaits trial.

All the acting is good, specially an evilly-grinning Cera (welcome back), but 15 years ago the two leading roles could have played by Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington with no discernible difference - or surge in our interest. Even the poker games are not that exciting.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: EntertainmentOne . Technicolor.
140 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 24 Dec 2017