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Runner Runner

Play. Or be played. 

Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Brad Furman 
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake  
An image from Runner Runner

If you’re looking for a smart, sexy and sultry thriller, look no further. Runner Runner brings as much brains as it packs a punch.

Justin Timberlake plays Richie, a former Wall Street suit and victim of the financial crisis, now funding his way through Princeton by winning his tuition playing online poker. When he loses, but suspects he was cheated, he heads to a remote island to confront the website’s boss, the less-than legitimate Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Impressed by his balls of steel, Block gives him a job, but Richie soon finds there are some ropes he doesn’t care to learn. The deeper Richie gets, the seedier his world becomes.

Given that Ben Affleck is now a well-renowned filmmaker he’s clearly going to be very selective about the acting roles he carves for himself. The always-gorgeous Gemma Arterton plays the femme fatale love interest Rebecca who the audience can never be too sure whether she sides with Affleck’s Block or Timberlake’s Richie. Many of the scenes lean towards being lengthy and dialogue heavy, reflecting the languid atmosphere created by the oppressive heat of the Costa Rica setting.

Oh, and in case you’re not a poker aficionado, Runner Runner is a reference to a long shot poker draw that’s only made when you get the cards you need on the turn and the river. So it’s not just Timberlake running around a lot like I originally thought.

Raghav Bali

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Autumn Term (digital)