The movie 21 is a black jack oriented drama based on the non-fiction book "Bringing Down the House", a true story about how a group of MIT students won millions of dollars betting on black jack in Las Vegas by playing a system and counting cards. The movie stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Jacob Pitts among others as the students, Kevin Spacey as the professor that teaches them and leads the way to Las Vegas, and Laurence Fishburne as the casino security officer on a personal vendetta to nail the MIT professor that has been scamming Las Vegas casinos for years.
The story revolves mostly around Sturgess' character Ben, a brilliant MIT undergrad who is struggling to get by financially while also wondering how he's going to pay his tuition for his upcoming entrance into medical school. Ben is recruited by Bosworth's character Jill to join the black jack team run by Spacey's character professor Micky Rosa. Ben is reluctant to join, but playing black jack is his ticket to fast cash and medical school, as well as a chance to pursue a romantic relationship with Jill.
Ben quickly becomes a star on the black jack table, helping to win the team large amounts of money in a brief period of time. However, that success comes at a price. Ben's quick success creates a rivalry with Pitts' character Fisher and also causes his ego to grow to the point where he no longer feels like the team needs Micky Rosa around. Ben ultimately ends up in over his head and being chased by Fishburne's character all over Las Vegas, and while he's in the midst of losing everything the genius is forced to come up with a desperate plan to save himself and his future.
The movie 21 is wildly entertaining and offers up a talented cast led by up and comer Sturgess and the veteran Spacey. It's an interesting story and rather educational for any aspiring gamblers.
- Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira
- Sony/Columbia Pictures
- Robert Luketic