- 1 hr 28 min
"Bookies" is a comedic crime drama movie directed by Mark Illsley and released in 2003. The film follows Toby (Nick Stahl), Jude (Lukas Haas), and Casey (Johnny Galecki), three university friends who decide to start a bookie operation to make extra money. Initially, they only take small bets from their classmates, but they soon attract the attention of a professional gambler, a local mob boss, and the authorities.
The three friends, who are intelligent and entrepreneurial, are initially motivated by a desire to make money to afford a trip to Europe at the end of the semester. They quickly develop a successful operation, taking bets on sports games and other events. However, their taste of money and power leads them to take bigger risks and engage in more underhanded activities. The group's dynamic starts to shift, as Toby becomes more reckless and convinced of his own intelligence and success. He's also suave enough to charm young girl Claire (Rachael Leigh Cook), who catches onto the scheme and becomes entangled in their operation.
As their business grows, the trio finds themselves in dangerous territory. They're forced to confront the truth of their situation: that they're breaking the law and putting their lives on the line. Underlying their activities are themes of friendship, loyalty, and ambition, and the group is tested as they face difficult choices.
The performances of the actors are notable. Nick Stahl shines as Toby, portraying the character's inner conflicts and the changes he undergoes. He's charismatic and charming, yet vulnerable and lost under the pressure. Lukas Haas as Jude and Johnny Galecki as Casey also deliver solid performances, adding their own unique comedic touches to the characters.
The film's plot is engaging, with enough twists and turns to keep the audience guessing. The pacing is good, keeping the tension high and the story moving along nicely. Viewers who enjoy crime dramas, coming-of-age stories, and movies that explore moral dilemmas should find lots to appreciate in "Bookies."
Overall, "Bookies" is a well-crafted film with solid performances, an engaging plot, and a message about the dangers of youthful ambition. It's a coming-of-age story about friendship, greed, and responsibility, with enough humor and thrills to keep the audience invested until the very end. So, anyone interested in drama and crime-related movies can give it a try.
Bookies is a 2003 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.