Runner Runner: Poker Movie Review

Name Runner, Runner
Starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Artherton, Anthony Mackie
Director Brad Furmon
Written by  Brian Koppleman, David Levian
Release Date Oct 4, 2013

Runner 2Runner, Runner is a poker term which is a hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and the river. How the movie gets this title isn’t evident throughout this 100 minute movie. When I set out for the first show of this movie, I was upbeat about watching a thrilling round of poker games, some poker jargon and a whole lot of insight into the online poker industry. I didn’t get any. What I got was glossy locations, charming star cast and an over rated movie which is a long shot from being called a poker movie. The nearest it comes to being called a poker movie is its base story and the fact that it is written by the same guys who wrote the story of Rounders, the best poker movie ever made.

Justin Timberlake is Ritchie, a bright Princeton student who loses all his tuition fees to an online gambling site. He heads to Costa Rica where the website is based to confront the Boss Ivan Block played by Ben Affleck. Block gets so impressed by Ritchie that he decides to make him his wing man. From being the casino pit boss to parties on the boat to charming the boss’s ex-girl Gemma Artherton, Ritchie shows a lot of moves. 

While Ritchie is enjoying his new found money and fame, the bigger plot on Block’s mind is to move the website to Antigua and leave Ritchie high and dry in the hands of US Fed Anthony Mackie. The movie picks pace here as if it has to run around somewhere. Thus the title perhaps.

The script though has the background of online gambling written across it but nowhere does the whole look of the movie make you feel it is a poker movie. The lines thrown across the tables aren’t poker jargon they are quotes from Native American sayings. At the end of it all, the lay man goes back home with an average thriller-drama movie. The poker player goes back bored and unimpressed.

Verdict: 2.5 for the movie and 0.5 for the Poker title. A total of 3/5. 

Ben Affleck is smart and does his job of bad man quite well.

Justin Timberlake is average and lacks grit.

Gemma Artherton is good eye-candy.

Anthony Mackie is underused.

—– by Rupal Bansal


  1. Swapnil
    October 4, 2013 - 1:29 pm

    There are a few good moments, deserves one time watch. Climax is funny. Overall so so movie

  2. Abhishek
    October 4, 2013 - 1:36 pm

    Expectations were high from this movie , it couldn’t deliver the drama which was expected and portrayed in the trailers. Runner Runner starts off with a solid draw, then folds on the flop..Lol

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