The Cooler

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Released 2003

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Movie Summary

Director:
Wayne Kramer
Released:
2003
Rating:
R
The Cooler stars William H. Macy and Maria Bello in a film that shows the darker side of Las Vegas. Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) is one of the unluckiest men around, and he brings his luck with him to anyone who crosses his path. A former gambling addict, Bernie now works for the man who "cured" his habit with a baseball bat to the kneecap. Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin) runs the Shangri-La casino, one of the last old-school casinos in Las Vegas. He has hired Bernie as a "cooler," someone who turns a person's luck from good to bad in an instant. It seems to be the role that Bernie was born to play, but when he falls in love with a cocktail waitress (Maria Bello), his luck changes for the better. Unfortunately, Bernie's good luck spells trouble for everyone involved. Shelly will do anything to get the old Bernie back, and the new Bernie will have to do everything he can to keep it from happening.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Wayne Kramer's sexy and often humorous feature directorial debut surrounds its sweet center with the energy, flash and risk of the gambling capital. Sterling performances by Willia...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Director Wayne Kramer and co-writer Frank Hannah pull off a sleight-of-hand trick here, playing a gritty surface reality against dark Vegas mythology and getting away with it throu...

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Luckily this picture is rescued from cliché by the quality of the acting, and Mr. Kramer wisely gives the actors room to work.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Romantic Comedy, Love & Romance