The Cooler
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Writer/director Wayne Kramer offers a glimpse into the aging Las Vegas casino world with the romantic drama The Cooler. Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) is extremely unlucky at gambling, and he owes the Shangri-La casino over 100,000 dollars. He is so unlucky that he is hired as a "cooler," someone to gamble next to high rollers and give them some of his bad luck to stop them from winning. This arrangement works out for awhile, until Bernie has almost paid off his debt and meets cocktail waitress Natalie Belisario (Maria Bello). The two start to fall in love and Bernie's luck… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"In reconstructing Macy's equal-opportunity loser persona as a romantic winner, The Cooler forgets what made its star so winning in the first place."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"A movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"A sweet underdog romantic dramedy..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Alec Baldwin se encarga de que Shelly sea por lejos el personaje más interesante de esta historia (...)"
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"The Cooler is too earnest a morality tale, saddled with derivative characters, to heat up much sympathy or interest."
‑ Jay Antani, Los Angeles Alternative
"A B-movie in the best sense: Unpretentious. Raffish. Just trashy enough to be six kinds of fun without making you hate yourself in the morning."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"It's pretty winning for a long way, reminding us that everything in life is a kind of gamble, and if you don't play, you'll never win."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"What elevates this Vegas-set drama above the routine is the high-caliber acting of William H. Macy, Maria Bello, and especially Alex Baldwin, who received a well-deserved Oscar nomination."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A pointless, money-depleting waste of time to be avoided at all costs."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"... a postmodern noir that relies as much on audience complicity as the cleverness of the scam."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Kramer has gotten strong performances from his cast (Baldwin is particularly good as the strangely likable, but still horrible, casino owner)."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
""The Cooler" is a complex 'small' movie that packs a big punch."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Avoid this film. It will eat your soul and vomit black bile in your face."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"A curious mix of thug violence, romance, and whimsy."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Not the most thrilling nor plausible story you'll ever see, but it does have an earthy charm."
‑ Mark Sells, Oregon Herald
More reviews for The Cooler on Rotten Tomatoes