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Based on 36 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Wayne Kramer, who co-wrote the scrappy script with Frank Hannah, makes a potent directing debut and strikes gold with the cast. show more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Sly, sexy Las Vegas fable. show more

  • 75
    Mike Clark USA Today

    Grabber sub-plots further boost a story that is basically made by its three leads. show more

  • 88
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    The Cooler is small-scale moviemaking about small-scale lives. But it's big in all the right ways. show more

  • 63
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    When you realize The Cooler is not a comedy but a dark and violent love story, it's hard to reconcile its premise with its mood. The saving graces are the performances of William H. Macy as Bernie and Maria Bello. show more

  • 90
    The Hollywood Reporter

    A refreshing throwback to another era of moviemaking: This movie was poured from the bottle, not one of those bar regulator machines. It's got the kick, style and flavor of a straight-up story, before movies were watered down with the opinions of marketers, lawyers and committee heads. show more

  • 100
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Look for realism, and you'll find The Cooler disappointing. Look for a far-fetched yarn that's as unpredictable as a throw of the dice, though, and you'll find it engaging fun. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The acting is on the money, the writing has substance, the direction knows when to evoke film noir and when (in a trick shot involving loaded dice) to get fancy. show more

  • 88
    Mark Caro Chicago Tribune

    The movie boasts one of those rare twist endings that strikes the right emotional chords, and it deserves credit for laying its bets on a sexy, sympathetic Macy. Sometimes long shots pay off. show more

  • 88
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    The best thing Baldwin has done in years, and a triumph of low-budget storytelling by a director to watch. show more

similar movies

  • Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

  • Rounders (1998)

  • Crazy Heart (2009)

  • Her (2013)

  • Rust and Bone (2012)

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