House of Games

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MGM Released 1987

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Movie Summary

Director:
David Mamet
Released:
1987
Rating:
R
House of Games is a 1987 suspense thriller about a psychologist getting pulled into the world of con men and underworld gambling. Dr. Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse) specializes in addiction issues. One of her patients racks up a gambling debt and fears he will be killed. Margaret visits Mike (Joe Mantegna) at his poker den, the House of Games, to try to convince him to forgive the debt. Mike negotiates a trade; he wants Margaret to use her expertise to help him read the body language of the players. They successfully make the deal, and Margaret helps Mike make a huge win. Though she originally came for her patient, the next night Margaret returns to the poker room for her own curiosity. Mike invites her to become part of another scheme, and usually the reserved doctor finds herself keeping company with con men, gamblers and criminals. Playwright David Mamet ("Glengarry Glen Ross") made his directorial debut with this crime drama.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This movie is awake. I have seen so many films that were sleepwalking through the debris of old plots and second-hand ideas that it was a constant pleasure to watch House of Games,...

  • 100

    Slant Magazine

    His meticulous, largely self-taught directing style—dazzlingly showcased in House of Games, a master class in dramatically functional compositions and camera moves—should be ma...

  • 88

    Chicago Tribune

    Directing his first feature film, playwright David Mamet has accomplished the seemingly impossible: His dark and gripping House of Games is at once perfectly faithful to the world ...

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Themes

Crime