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Movie Reviews

Boiler Room  

Cast
Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi)
Chris Varick (Vin Diesel)
Michael (Tom Everett Scott)
Debbie (Nia Long)
Marty Davis (Ron Rifkin)
The Recruiter (Ben Affleck)

Written and Directed by Ben Younger

Rated R for language and some drug content
Running Time: 116 minutes Distributed by New Line Cinema
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Boiler Room is an average film about the highs and lows of being a stockbroker. The film centers around Seth Davis (Ribisi), who is a college drop out that runs a illegal casino out of his apartment in Queens, New York. Seth's father, Judge Marty Davis (Rifkin), disowns Seth after learning of his illegal underground casino. Now driven to prove he is something to his dad, Seth joins J.T. Marlin, which is a company of young stockbrokers. Seth is immediately absorbed into the fiery "boiler rooms" of J. T. Marlin. After making a name for himself at the firm, Seth accepts that everything is terrific. He is on his way to becoming a millionaire, he has new friends, a new love in his life and most of all he begins to regain the respect of his father. However, the more Seth learns of the corrupt world of greed and jealously that surrounds J.T. Marlin, the more he realizes that the whole company is a fraud that is selling stocks to virtually no one.

Boiler Room has some very nice moments in it and the film is also filled with terrific young actors. The film does become somewhat mild because of its weak ending and little sequences that maybe should have been left out of the film.

Boiler Room was first time writer/director Ben Younger's project. Younger's script has problems with some of the characters' actions that didn't work well for me. Yes, the story is full of hotheaded testosterone driven stockbrokers. However, I believe the Younger sort of brings the characters down when everytime they are out after work, they get in a fistfight. Maybe Younger was aiming at showing their dedication to one another, but I saw it as a vague decision. The only other aspect I saw wrong in the script was that the end was complicated and it should have been taken a little more to the edge. The last line and scene in the film seemed very stale. All the other aspects, such as development and plot points are fine in the script. Younger's direction is pretty efficient. I liked the atmosphere that the director created around the workers in the "boiler room". The workplace was loud, fast, competitive and crazy.

The whole cast of Boiler Room is filled with young and upcoming stars. Giovanni Ribisi holds his own and proves he is leading man material with his strong performance as Seth. Ribisi's previous credits include Saving Private Ryan and The Other Sister. Another Saving Private Ryan star, Vin Diesel, gives an admirable performance as Seth's stockbroking mentor, Chris. Also, Tom Everett Scott gives a slick posture performance as J.T. Marlin founder Michael. The standout of the whole cast is defiantly Ben Affleck. Affleck is flat out awesome as J. T. Marlin's fast-talking and hard nosed job recruiter. Affleck brings simple calm but furious actions to his character. Affleck gives one of his best performances, which is hard to say when everything that he has done is pretty good. Also, Ron Rifkin and Nia Long deliver good supporting performances in the film.

The film's good acting and strong scenes pace Boiler Room. However, I found some that some areas of the writing to bring the film down. It is an okay movie that I do recommend. Boiler Room is better adult drama than what I have seen lately (Eye of the Beholder, The Beach).

Boiler Room might draw an audience or might lose ticket sales due to the busy opening weekend of three other films.

Report Card Grade: C+

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