Boiler Room movie poster
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Boiler Room movie poster

Boiler Room Movie Review

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Boiler Room takes a look at stock broking through the eyes of a man just trying to make a good amount of money. The man is played by Saving Private Ryan costar Giovanni Ribisi, a rising star who has had mixed career choices (look at The Mod Squad). He really brings everything he has with him, delivering a stellar performance among the many others demonstrated by the film.

The movie is about a man who is running an illegal casino out of his house who is just trying to make money, and is always being criticized by his dad, a federal judge. When he breaks into the stock broking gig he thinks everything is going to be okay when he begins to suspect that things aren't all on the level at his firm.

To say the least, Boiler Room gives a vivid portrayal of what stock broking firms are like (I have no idea if they are really like this, but I wouldn't be that surprised). The movie has a clever script, a clever collection of stories, good acting, and a great main character. The only flaw is that it is a little confusing.

As mentioned already, Ribisi delivers an all-star performance, but even he is shadowed by the small role of Ben Affleck. Affleck instructs the newcomers from time to time and basically swears his ass off, but he is so straightforward and perfect the scenes work great.

There are several classic scenes in the film, one of which being where Ribisi is sitting at home when he gets a sales call from a newspaper, and then gives the caller tips on how to sell his product. Then he hangs up.

The movie is confusing, however. You have to be fairly stock market aware to understand everything the characters say, because I got lost in the logistics of everything. The firm is scamming people but I can't figure out exactly how they're doing it. I get the basic gist but the characters explain it in depth with a lot of terms out of my league. I would have almost liked subtitles played out at the bottom of the screen for the layman.

Still, Boiler Room is a clever and intriguing film to watch. I really became involved in the story even though it doesn't seem like a movie that would do that. Boiler Room is a good watch, if not a hot one.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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