a critiQal film review Boiler Room (2000)

Plot: Seth Davis (Ribisi) has a successful, if illegal, business: he runs a small-time casino out of his home. Then his whole life is turned around when he meets George (Katt), a successful stockbroker at a small firm, JT Marlin. Seth is convinced to get a job at JT Marlin. He’s good at what he does there. The only problem: it may not be entirely legal.

519 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 35s)
  • ...Ribisi's leading man helps get the viewer in the thick of this one right from the start.

With an amazingly large cast of characters, including the never-lead man Ribisi (Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)) as a leading man, and a well-developed script, Boiler Room brings you right into the thick of things and doesn’t let up ‘till the end. Like Seth Davis, you don’t know you’re trapped until the trap is sprung, or the movie over, as the case may be.

The cast of characters is incredibly varied. Everyone plays a good part, and there’s a large cast of central characters, so that’s amazing all by itself. Along with Ribisi, there’s Vin Diesel as a man who’s become rich and doesn’t want to know if it’s illegal; Nia Long, the overpaid secretary who’s got a mom to take care of so isn’t asking questions; Nicky Katt, who could care less about anyone but himself, including his ex-girlfriend (Long); Scott Caan, a guy with a major temper and quick fists who’s finally found a place to fit in; Ron Rifkin, the judge who’s a little too concerned about his record and not enough about his son, and Ben Affleck, the hard-nosed go-getter loving every minute of it. And that’s just to name a few!

With good performances by all, but no amazing standouts, this is one of those movies that is more than just a sum of it’s parts.

The plot is very well done, and is an amazing beginning for first-time writer/director Ben Younger. Since I haven’t heard of him since, it’s one of two things: either I’m just not in the know, or he used up all he had for this movie. I’m hoping the first one is the right one, because I would definitely be interested in the next thing he had to say. With a first like Boiler Room, there could be no stopping this guy!

The plot itself has a lot of twists and turns, and some great scenes showing the amazing amounts of wealth these guys are making in so short of a time. The scene where Seth goes over to one of the guy’s houses for a party, and the only thing’s he’s put up are a tanning bed, a couch, a huge TV, and a table for the beers. They’ve got so much money they don’t even know what to do with it!

A scene like that brings it home so much faster than a dialogue describing it. As they always say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This movie has enough of those pictures, the words would fill an entire encyclopedia set! With Younger’s ability to write and direct like this, it’s amazing I haven’t heard from him since.

With it’s well-written plot and the good performances given by such a plethora of actors, this film should be on your must-see list.

If you haven’t seen Boiler Room yet, what are you waiting for? The stock is high, and the rates are cheap. Get in on the ground floor now!

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