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Reviewer's grade: B

 

Blackjack may be one of the easiest casino games that exists, but the odds of winning remain stacked in the house's favor. That didn't stop a real-life group of MIT students from figuring out how to reverse that equation by secretly counting cards, thus cleaning Las Vegas out of millions.

 

Jim Sturgess stars as the idealistic collegian whose fast track to Harvard Med seems assured when he joins the unofficial team and proves quite the buck-raker, but eye-in-the-sky security officer Laurence Fishburne is all too eager to show the young punk how the town deals with cheaters.

 

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas "¦ except the black eyes you take home. Although too long, the film is entertaining, especially when it serves as a how-to primer for beating the house at its own game. Half a letter grade gets deducted, however, for included an overhead shot in which Kevin Spacey throws money up in the air, directly toward the camera. PG-13

 

-Rod Lott 

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