Molly’s Game – Our Review of the Iconic Gambling Movie

James Matthews
02/06/2020

Molly’s Game finished 13the at the box office on its first full weekend. The movie grossed $28.8 million in the United States and $59.3 million worldwide. This is Aaron Sorkin’s debut as a director and we have put together a comprehensive review of the movie.

Synopsis

Molly’s Game is a 2017 film based on the true story of Molly Bloom, a world-class skier who reinvents herself as the brains behind an exclusive underground high-stakes poker operation. Her clientele includes Hollywood elites, sports stars, and even the Russian mob. Things come to a head when Molly is arrested by FBI agents in her home in the middle of the night.

The Plot

If you know the story of Molly Bloom, or have read her memoirs, the general plot of the movie is pretty familiar. The movie starts with the devastating sporting accident that leads Molly Bloom to give up her ambitions of becoming an Olympic skier. Without revealing too much, the movie takes us through her struggles to extricate herself from her overbearing father and the series of events that eventually led her to start one of the most exclusive and lucrative underground gambling rings in the country. The main story revolves around her subsequent trial.

The Movie

The film is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the man behind The Social Network, The West Wing, and The Newsroom among other great works. As you might expect, the writing is in this film is exemplary.

The choice of cast is equally good. Jessica Chastain does an amazing job of portraying the ambitious Molly Bloom who will stop at nothing to conquer a world of affluence, glitz, glamour, and high-stakes gambling. Kevin Costner is another notable performance as Molly’s father.

Idris Elba plays Molly’s attorney Charlie Jaffey and brings his best self to the role. In all, the star-studded cast ensemble, well-written dialogue, and flowing narrative make for a dramatic and captivating film.

The Good

The narrative style is probably one of the best things about the movie Molly’s Game and is certainly a hallmark of Sorkin. The audience is taken back and forth through the various timelines during the movie, which certainly adds depth as the plot unfolds.

Sorkin once more does a great job with the dialogue and there is plenty of wit and monologues consistent with Sorkin’s style. The highpoint of the movie is the depiction of the poker games and the mind-boggling amounts of money that the celebrities and high-fliers spend in their battles for supremacy at the poker table. It is hard to watch the movie without thinking about The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Bad

There are only a few pain points in this movie worth talking about. Most have to do with the discrepancies between the memoir and the movie. One of these discrepancies has to do with the accident in the opening scene of the movie which didn’t happen as it did in the book. Still, Molly Bloom did suffer a serious back injury at age 12.

Also, In the book, the relationship between Molly and her father doesn’t quite seem to be as antagonistic as it’s portrayed in the film. Overall, Molly’s Game is a pretty accurate screen adaptation of the memoir, which isn’t a surprise considering Aaron Sorkin consulted with Bloom during the making of this film.

Conclusion

Molly’s Game is a brilliant film and poised to become an iconic poker classic. The movie is well written and directed, and the cast does a great job of bringing Molly Bloom’s memoir to life. The film is certainly worth watching.

James Matthews
James Matthews is a veteran journalist and a professional blackjack player with an extensive repertoire of published works on online gaming. Follow him for reliable information on the New Jersey casino industry.
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