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March 23, 2008


21 Based on Ben Mezrich's book "Bringing Down the House," about a coordinated group of MIT students that used card-counting techniques to win a fortune at Las Vegas blackjack tables, "21" relies too heavily on music video montages to connect its cardboard characters. British actor Jim Sturgess plays Ben Campbell, an MIT student trying to save up enough money to attend Harvard Medical School. Ben’s knack for numbers catches the attention of his cheeky math professor Mickey (played by Kevin Spacey) who entices Ben to join a secret study group of Blackjack sharks. It doesn’t hurt Mickey’s cause that Ben has a crush on the group’s eye-pleasing member Jill (played by Kate Bosworth). The story works best when it gives a peak into the counting system at work, but the screenwriters don’t share enough details to bring the audience inside the action.

Rated PG-13. 96 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)


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