Even Money

  • Review Date: September 10, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2007

Common Sense Media says

Mediocre gambling drama is a pretty weak bet.
  • Review Date: September 10, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2007

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters ruin their own lives -- and those of their loved ones -- for the sake of their gambling addictions or jobs.

Violence

Several characters are killed: One is shot multiple times in the chest, one is poisoned, another is shot in the head. Clyde is savagely beaten by bookies and their henchmen. Murph spars in the boxing ring.

Sex

A few kisses, plus one discreet love scene in which a wife says she's going to pay a visit to her husband's "little friend" before her head disappears below the screen. A very sexualized 13-year-old discusses sex and gets a nipple ring to please a boyfriend.

Language

Double-digit uses of "f--k" (including one with "mother"). Aside from that, all the usual suspects: "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "a--hole."

Consumerism

Starbucks, Dell and Apple computers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Casino, bar, and restaurant scenes feature patrons drinking beer, wine, and/or cocktails.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this crime drama revolves around gambling -- those addicted to it, those who enable it, and those who profit from it. The characters lie or act desperately for the sake of a big score or making good on a bad debt. Unpaid bookies and their goons beat men up and even have them killed. There are several violent scenes, especially in the last half hour; characters are shot, poisoned, and more. Plenty of swearing (particularly "f--k") and drinking, and some sex (nothing too graphic, though a sexualized 13-year-old character gets a nipple ring). On the one plus side, the film makes gambling addiction look every bit as serious as drug or alcohol addiction.

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What's the story?

Clyde Snow (Forest Whitaker, who made this indie drama before he was an Academy Award winner), is a down-on-his-luck handyman who desperately asks his college hoops star brother Godfrey (Nick Cannon) to shave points in big games so Clyde can pay back some aggressive bookies (Jay Mohr and Grant Sullivan). Carolyn Carver (Kim Basinger), is an esteemed novelist who squanders her teenage daughter's college fund at the slots instead of writing her new book. Unable to shake her habit, Carolyn befriends and becomes in awe of Walter, a has-been casino magician played by Danny DeVito channeling Ricky Jay. DeVito and Carolyn's relationship borders on the romantic after he becomes her lucky charm at blackjack. Eventually the individual story arcs come together in a climactic basketball game that will determine the life and death of various characters, including Victor (an overacted caricature of bloodlust and greed played by the master of such roles, Tim Roth), the megalomaniacal bookie who's been harassing nearly every person in the film.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

EVEN MONEY is a multiple-storyline drama a la Crash or an Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu film. Except that here, instead of human tragedy connecting all the characters, the glue is gambling. None of the characters gets a winning hand, of course, but with such flat characterizations (with the exception of Clyde and Godfrey), nobody's worthy of viewers' empathy anyway.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the consequences of addiction. Do you consider gambling to be as serious an addiction as one to drugs or alcohol? Why or why not? In most movies, gambling is depicted as glamorous and fun; how is it portrayed here? Which do you think is more realistic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 18, 2007
DVD release date:September 11, 2007
Cast:Danny DeVito, Forest Whitaker, Kim Basinger
Director:Mark Rydell
Studio:Yari Film Group
Genre:Drama
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, violence and brief sexuality

This review of Even Money was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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