The Cooler
The Cooler (2003)

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.… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: November 26, 2003
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
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Critic Score: 77% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A small movie elevated by superb performances.

Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star

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.

Full review…
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

A movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.

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Cole Smithey

"The Cooler" is a complex 'small' movie that packs a big punch.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

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.

Eleanor Ringel Cater
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

A sweet underdog romantic dramedy...

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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

Kramer has gotten strong performances from his cast (Baldwin is particularly good as the strangely likable, but still horrible, casino owner).

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Had The Cooler stuck to its dark guns and not turned into a treacly, love-conquers-all fairy tale, this movie might have gone somewhere.

Emanuel Levy

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.

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More reviews for The Cooler

Flixster Audience Score: 69% Flixster User Reviews
paul oh
In some ways, the film can be seen as a fairy tale. The protagonist is weak but at the end becomes something beyond human with the help of his muse. Beautifully… More
Gordon Anderson
Macy at his best supported by Bello as her star was rising and Baldwin at his scene stealing sinister peak. Just short of classic on account of the flimsy… More
Chris Weber
From co-writer/director Wayne Kramer (but not the guy from the MC5) comes this stylish, charming, and underrated little gem of a movie about a professional… More
Ken Stachnik
I can't help but say the name of this film like the German's in the great escape.
Cynthia S.
Yet another good William H. Macy movie. Very well made and well acted movie. Seems like this would really be something that casinos do.
Cassandra Maples
A "cooler" is a guy who stands next to you in a casino when you are having a winning streak that is suddenly interrupted. It is someone who has such a… More