Reindeer Games (2000) torrent download

Reindeer Games

2000

Action / Adventure / Crime / Drama / Family / Fantasy / Romance / Thriller

5.8

Synopsis

After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is days away from release as is his cellmate Nick (James Frain) who is is serving a two year sentence on a separate charge. Nick has a number of pictures from a romantic correspondence with a woman named Ashley he has never met but is waiting for his release. Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Nick is killed defending Rudy during a prison riot. When Rudy Is released the next day from prison he recognizes Ashley waiting outside the prison for Nick and Rudy takes his place and pretends to be Nick. Nick had spoken of his previous employment in security with an Indian casino and Rudy finds himself involved with Ashley's criminal gun runner brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Rudy is violently coerced to cooperate with a Christmas Eve casino robbery scheme that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick's casino knowledge as the key. Things...

Director

John Frankenheimer

Cast

Ben Affleck
as Rudy Duncan
Gary Sinise
as Gabriel Mercer
Charlize Theron
as Ashley Mercer
Dennis Farina
as Jack Banks

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bayardhiler 8 /10

Decent, Underrated Heist Flick by the Late Master Frankenheimer

"Reindeer Games" may not go down as one of the best written or brilliant films ever made (and truth be told be it not for the fact that it was directed by the late, great John Frankenheimer, and starred Ben Affleck or Charlize Theron, it wouldn't have nearly been as noticed on this site as it is), but that doesn't mean it's without its merits. At heart, it's a simple story: prison convict Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck)and his cell mate Nick Cassidy (James Frain) are two days away from being released around the holidays when Nick is killed in a prison riot. Saddened and distraught, Rudy ends up being released but not without assuming Nick's identity when he steps out of the prison gates to impress the beautiful and hot Ashley (Charlize Theron) that Nick had been writing to and intending to shack up with. Rudy tells himself that it's only until after New Year's but unbeknownst to him, he gets a lot more than he bargained for when Ashley's brother, Gabriel (Gary Sinise with Lt. Dan's hippie hairstyle) and his crew of gun running thugs force him into robbing a Indian casino (disguised as, of all things, a group of Santa Clauses!) because they think him to be the actual Nick Cassidy, who, just happened to have worked for that very casino as a security guard. Gee, what are the odds! From there, it's a race against time as Rudy tries to stay one step ahead of the sadistic Gabriel and some how escape with his life in time for Christmas. But along the way, Rudy will see there are a couple of twists and turns and despite his best efforts, he may spend Christmas in the morgue.

What makes "Reindeer Games" as watchable and decently entertaining as it is would primarily be the direction of the master thrill maker John Frankenheimer. With his eye for the camera, he's able to squeeze the most tension out of any performance or script, no matter how convoluted it might be and under his supervision, the atmosphere is tight, fast spaced, and the story never stalls. It also helps that the movie has decent performances, even from Ben Affleck himself. Though I can't say Ben Affleck is the greatest actor in the world, under the right set of circumstances, he is capable of doing good work, and under Frankenheimer's tutelage, he does pretty decent here. Also noteworthy is Charlize Theron as the seemingly innocent Ashley, Gary Sinise's performance as gun running truck driver turned robber Gabriel, who does a decent job of being the bad guy of the film - even if the character is one dimensional - as well as the fact that there are a couple of note worthy actors playing his henchmen, such as the always dependable Danny Trejo, the underrated but solid Clarence Williams III, and good old natured Donal Logue. Plus, you'll notice a few notable cameos like Isaac Hayes as a fellow convict, a really random one of Ashton Kutcher as a casino patron (huh?), and a small but noteworthy performance of the late Dennis Farina as a sleazy casino manager. "Reindeer Games" may not reinvent the wheel, but with Frankenheimer's direction (his final feature film), some good acting, decent action, and few decent plot twists here and there, it's not a bad way to waste some time. Merry Christmas!

Reviewed by MovieAddict2016 N/A

Frankenheimer's Rosebud...

I can imagine the pitch for "Reindeer Games" being thrown at the execs behind the picture...

"Okay, it's about this guy, who's not who he says he is, who everybody thinks he is, who fools these guys who thinks he is, falls in love with this girl who thinks he is, even though he isn't, and they try to pull a heist with his expertise, even though he has none."

Nick (Ben Affleck) has just been released from jail for defending his girlfriend in a fight prior to being thrown into the slammer. Upon his release, a long-time pen pal named Ashley (Charlize Theron) greets him and they immediately hit the sack. However, her brother (Gary Sinise) wants Nick to help them pull a heist on Christmas Eve at a local Indian casino, which is run by a money hungry wannabe (Dennis Farina). Her brother kidnaps Nick, holds a gun to his head and commands him to draw up a sketch of the security points in the casino, since he used to work there and knows all there is to know about the casino. There is one minor detail, however, that may hinder their plan.

Nick is not Nick.

Nick is really a car jacker who overheard his jail cellmate, Nick, reading his letters from a penpal named Ashley aloud. Nick was killed before his release in the jail cafeteria, and so Nick took his identity so that he could meet up with the infamous Ashley he kept hearing about, forming a mental picture of her in his head.

If you stop to take the time and think through all the minor details of the film's plot (especially given the "twist" ending), you'll probably arive upon the conclusion that it's all a bunch of bull. It simply doesn't make sense if you really take the time to think it through.

If you don't put your brain to work, however, you'll find yourself having fun watching director John Frankenheimer's last film. Frankenheimer was a talented director, the man behind such films as "The Manchurian Candidate," "Seconds" and "Ronin." His last feature was one of his most stylish and brutal, fast-paced, funny, and often just fun to sit through.

Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump," "Ransom") is his usual villainious self, while the real surprise comes from actress Charlize Theron, who switches character a lot through the film, especially towards the end, and is a real beauty and delight to watch. She's the film's high point, and though people criticize the plot, I found "Reindeer Games" mildly inventive with its shifting twists and turns, even if they aren't always so believable.

The film's downfall is its ending, which feels as if the filmmakers got caught up in all their twists and turns and unconsciously wrote themselves into a wall, then suddenly slapped on a cheesy, cliched ending with a sentimental good guy closing scene. It's rushed, silly, and doesn't fit in with the rest of the film.

Irregardless of its uncountable flaws, "Reindeer Games" (or "Deception" as it is called in the UK) is a fun film, John Frankenheimer's final movie. "Reindeer Games" is often linked as Frankenheimer's long-time dream picture, much like Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America." Like a dying man's final words, perhaps it conveyed some hidden meaning to Frankenheimer. Or, maybe everyone was wrong. Maybe "Reindeer Games" is nothing but another Frankenheimer film, this one not as good as most of his others.

But "Rosebud" didn't mean anything to anyone except Charles Foster Kane. Maybe "Reindeer Games" meant something to John Frankenheimer. However, as anyone who has ever seen "Citizen Kane" probably knows, it's not likely that we'll ever find out what it means, even if we try.

3/5 stars. Enjoyable if you don't put your brain to work.

  • John Ulmer

Reviewed by NateWatchesCoolMovies 7 /10

Underrated bit of mean spirited pulpy fun

I really like John Frankenheimer's Reindeer Games. Which is a turnaround for me, because when I first saw it years ago I wasn't too impressed. Last year I saw it on vacation around the holiday season on TV though, and found myself enjoying it. It's not the greatest movie, and much of it is ludicrous, but it's packs a mean spirited, sleazy punch and keeps up a nice wintry atmosphere to keep you warm on a cold night, whether from the booze or the bullets. The film gets shat on a lot, especially by star Charlize Theron who famously said she only did it to work with Frankenheimer, but I think it's way more fun than people give it credit for. Ben Affleck back in the sordid chapter of bis career, plays a recently paroled convict who's on his way to meet his cell mate Nick's pen pal girlfriend, pretending to be him. Nice guy. She turns out to be a sweetheart in the form of Theron, and things look up for old Ben. Until, however, her volatile, psychotic gangster brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) shows up with a pack of thugs who have a notion to rob a casino that Nick used to work at, using him as an inside man. Only, he isn't Nick, and has no idea about the casino, forcing him to think on his feet and stall his way through the dangerous predicament. Sinise is a guy I'm usually indifferent too, or bores me, but here he's a wide eyed, brutish lunatic and really has fun with the role. Theron is appropriately sexy and enigmatic, and there's standout work from three tough guy actors I really enjoy, playing Gabriel's henchman, sporting the delightful monikers Pug (Donal Logue), Merlin (Clarence Williams III) and Jumpy (Danny Trejo). They're like the three ill tempered elves to Gabriel's raving Santa, and steal the film. Dennis Farina plays loudmouth, dirtbag casino owner Jack Bangs, James Frain has a silly bit, and there's a demented cameo from Isaac Hayes ("monsters in the gelatin!!"). It's a loud, dumb flick and it knows it, but it also knows how to have a good time in style. Even when the third act erupts in a cascade of increasingly laughable double crosses and perplexing plot turns, it never stops having fun. Nothing says the holidays like jail time, casino robbery, backstabbing sociopaths, Santa suits and shotguns, and a little murder.

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