21 – One Of Hollywood’s Best Blackjack Movies

In by MontiLee StormerLeave a Comment

With its high-level starring, "21" is seriously one of the most amazing examples of what the best Hollywoodian cinema production can do. "21" is a dramatic film dealing with a particular environment, the one of the hidden world of gambling betting mixed with the apparently normal life of a group of college students, starred by Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Jacob Pitts, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Kieu Chinh, and Liza Lapira.

Getting Closer To "21"

The film is inspired by a best-seller of 2003, "Bringing down the house" by Ben Mezrich, and it was released in 2008 for the joy of millions of casino-passionate gamblers. The movie is actually the true story of a group of MIT students, as described in the book, that will engage in an adventurous yet thrilling gambling affair.

The story starts with Ben, a mathematician at MIT, who is trying to get accepted into Harvard Medical School. However, he can't get the scholarship that will pay the tuition, so he is struggling to find a way to get that money. It seems that Ben is going to give his dream up as he gets back to MIT and a professor proposes to him to take part in a mathematics challenge. Ben solves the math problem of the challenge which rises his professor's admiration.

At this point, the professor invites Ben to join his blackjack team: this is a group of fellow students who play blackjack by using particular strategies that allow them to win more often. It's pretty common to find people who want to find the "golden" strategy to beat the house and win big at blackjack even nowadays. The best thing to do is to look for dedicated reviews and specialistic websites where you can get such information. Use this review How to play Blackjack to improve your blackjack playing quickly and increase your chances to win more often than you wish you could do. Card counting is anyway one of the most popular ways to win at blackjack and that's also the strategy the professor's blackjack team uses to make big wins.

Diving Into The Movie's StoryA scene from the movie

Now, the most intriguing part of the film deals with the blackjack team flying to Las Vegas to play in the world's most expensive and elegant casinos. Ben begins to like his new life as a high-roller big player. Las Vegas looks exciting and the casino life is also attracting like only a few things in the world.

One of the team members, Mickey, begins to feel jealous about Ben's great mathematics talent, which attracts the casino's head of security to focus on Ben's playing. In the meanwhile, Ben's new casino life seems to bring him away from his career. Ben is actually emotionally distracted and he is missing a good chance in an engineering competition for dedicating to blackjack games.

But Mickey's envy for Ben isn't over, not yet. He tries all he can to create obstacles for Ben for graduation (Mickey has several friends who help him). Finally, Ben's winnings are stolen from his dormitory room. Ben suspects there was Mickey behind that. So, the blackjack team has to get back to Vegas for playing and making new money. They decide to go to Planet Hollywood where they win a very impressive amount of money, $640,000. But Mickey flees with the bag of chips which reveals his dishonesty. Mickey is captured, so Ben and the other members of the team continue playing blackjack with the card counting strategy to win money.

We are about at the end of the story where Ben is telling the scholarship director about his story.

Critical Reactions

"21" is one of those movies that can attract both severe critics and enthusiastic reactions. In particular, according to Rotten Tomatoes (an American movie-review aggregation site), at least 36% out of 169 critics expressed a positive review for "21". Also, the movie ranked on a B+ grade, according to CinemaScore (a movie market research firm in Las Vegas).

However, one of the greatest features of "21" is not only to be entirely inspired by a real-life story but to include stunning soundtrack pieces that were released along with the movie. Songs like "You can't always get what you want" by The Rolling Stones, "Time to pretend" by the MGMT, "Big Ideas" by LCD Soundsystem, "Giant" by D.Sardy, "Shut up and drive" by Rihanna are the top cherries on the cake and one of the reasons why "21" is always attractive, thrilling, and exciting to watch at any occasion.

Finally, keep in mind that MGM casinos in Las Vegas contributed to financing "21" as they saw that the movie could bring more gamblers to go to Vegas and visit local casinos.


Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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