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"THE GAMBLER"
(2014) (Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Moderate
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons Minor
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) Mild
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Heavy
Smoking Heavy
Tense Family Scenes Moderate
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A college professor thinks he can gamble his way out of his huge gambling debt, but his addiction to that, lack of common sense, and continuation of borrowing more money from the wrong people puts him in harm's way.
PLOT:
Jim Bennett (MARK WAHLBERG) is an English lit professor in Los Angeles who spends his off hours gambling. While he occasionally gets hot at blackjack and roulette, he never knows when to stop and thus ends up losing everything he gained and then some. As a result, he now owes $240,000 to Mr. Lee (ALVIN ING) who runs an underground gambling operation where one of Jim's students, Amy Phillips (BRIE LARSON), works as a waitress.

While he tries to impart wisdom to her and other students in his classroom, including highly ranked tennis player Dexter (EMORY COHEN) and soon to turn pro basketball player Lamar Allen (ANTHONY KELLEY), he's not smart about his gambling or where he gets his money to keep playing. His latest $50,000 comes from loan shark Neville Baraka (MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS) who's fully aware of Jim's habits and track record.

So is Frank (JOHN GOODMAN), a dangerous mobster who doles out free advice to the professor but cautions against borrowing any money from him lest he deal with the ugly consequences of not repaying the loan. Also unhappy about the potential of loaning money to Jim is his mother, Roberta (JESSICA LANGE), who has family money to do so, but hates her son's addiction. With time running out to repay Mr. Lee, Jim does what he can to get his hands on more money that he intends to use to gamble his way out of debt.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some older teens might be, especially if they're fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language throughout, and for some sexuality/nudity.


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