House Of Games details
|Starring:||Lilia Skala, Lindsay Crouse, Mike Nussbaum, Joe Mantegna|
House Of Games
|Run time:||1 hour 38 minutes|
|Rental release:||02 Feb 2004|
Most helpful review
Mamet's directorial debut is one of his bestBy Philip Concannon from London , 24 Nov 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]Snappy dialogue - check. Amoral characters - check. Double-crosses - check. Stagey direction - check. That's right folks, we're in David Mamet territory here.
Mamet's 'House of Games' was his first time behind the camera and it stands up as one of his better efforts. Tricky and slick, it proves the con movie is probably the genre best suited to Mamet's style. The story concerns an uptight psychiatrist named Margaret(Lindsay Crouse), who discovers one of her patients is suicidal because of a gambling debt to Mike(Joe Mantegna). Acting beyond the call of duty, Margaret visits Mike's bar in an attempt to persuade him to call off the debt. Mike is rather taken with this strong and attractive woman and soon she's caught up in his world of con-men and tricksters.
Mamet has written some smart screenplays but this is one of the few times when his direction fully complements it. His trademark rythmic dialogue - a combination of musical rhythm of stopping, backing up, repeating, emphasizing - fits well with a group of characters who live by a shorthand or code, indecipherable to outsiders.
The casting is strong with the underrated Mantegna giving an absorbing performance. The scenes where Mike explains the psychology of the con to Margaret are the best in the picture. His analysis of the tell-tale signs and type of characters to go after makes for compelling viewing. Crouse, however, is a weak link. She seems uncomfortable with Mamet's style and her method of playing an uptight, conservative character is stiff and awkward.
I'm not the biggest fan of Mamet's work but this is entertaining stuff and, despite requiring a few leaps of logic, it holds together pretty well. Mamet's characters not only manage to con each other, they also fox the audience, and it's fun to try and keep up. A witty and sly look at a netherworld where people only live for the next con, sting or hustle.
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David Mamet at his bestBy Loiseau (18 reviews) from Wirral , 17 Mar 2013I saw this film on its release and thought it a brilliant film got it out from love film as my husband had never seen it and I was immersed in the twisting con tricks and understated wonderful acting particulary from Joe Mantegna, my husband also was very impressed and thought it one of the best films he's seen recently, a bored frustrated woman who wants to have total control of her life finds the underworld of confidence tricks gives her the excitement her life is lacking and is irresistibly drawn into that world, this is a must for anyone who likes an exciting film without the violence and gimics today's directors are obsessed with
Good for a double headerBy a customer , 11 Apr 2011Good believable characters.
Unlike others I didn't think it was dated.
Good 'B' movie accompanying something like one of the 'Bourne' trilogy.
If there be such a thing.
The Mamet Chronicles begin...By JHawk (102 reviews) from Edinburgh, Scotland , 22 Feb 2011The pretty awful eighties stylings apart, this is pure class. A tale of conmen and their lives, Mamet weaves a gripping yarn with his screen directorial debut.
Lindsay Crouse is the gullible writer who falls for Joe Mantegna's conman, who inevitably pulls her into his world, or rather, she becomes addicted to his lifestyle. The ensuing story is so twisting and turning I can't do it justice here, and I would probably ruin it for you.
In short, it is amazing and well worth your time.
Joe Mantegna steals all the shots!By Jazzman (35 reviews) from Ruthin , 05 Jan 2010Lindsay Crouse plays a dull, bored doctor suckered into the world of confidence tricksters led by gang leader Joe Mantegna, who is outstanding throughout - leaving Crouse to look frozen faced and monotoned in reading her lines (perhaps she never heard 'Action' after the slate clapped!).
Mantegna steals everything around him, including all the scences. The film gives a good A-Z lesson on how 'Cons' are played out on an unsuspecting public. Nothing is what it seems - or is it?. The doubel-double-crosses get a bit tedious, but Mantegna acts his socks off and all his gang members give first rate
performances. The end is laughable - but Mantegna has won us over by then and more than earned his fee. Pacey and well directed.
House of GamesBy skinnylizzy (9 reviews) from Shrewsbury , 28 Aug 2009This is the first film I've watched from this particular director and I was not disappointed. A very intelligent and believable film which gradually builds in suspense. Just when you think you've got it sussed there is another twist. Very enjoyable!