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Overall Rating
3.9

Awesome: 23.13%
Worth A Look47.76%
Just Average: 26.12%
Pretty Crappy: 1.49%
Sucks: 1.49%

13 reviews, 56 user ratings


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Boiler Room
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by Erik Childress

"Boiler Room's knowledge makes it a worthy copy"
4 stars

Boiler Room (***) – The opening scene to Boiler Room is a disturbing one. Three large buses transport a group of young professionals to a hotel where they maul a buffet table like animals and act like kings of the world, all the while listening to rap music as the narrator quotes lyrics from the Notorious B.I.G. Any film that starts by quoting a dead rapper signals trouble and the vision of these guys looking like the Hell’s Angels in business suits makes you pray for a terrorist attack in their presence. But then the film gains its composure and impresses us with its knowledge of the material it presents.

It treats us as novices (which most of us probably are in terms of the stock market) and takes us through the process of learning what it takes to be a broker who is on the phone to the tune of a $400,000 phone bill. The small resemblance of a plot here works as all we’re really fascinated with is the way these guys conduct business and becomes millionaires by the age of 27. We learn the ropes along with the film’s narrator played by Giovanni Ribisi who, in a nice touch, ran an underground gambling arena before being recruited into the world of the bears and the bulls. Since both markets provide an element of risk in order to make money, it makes a nice counterpoint and even suggests that blackjack may be more respectable. And give the film credit for at least recognizing it’s lifting ideas or characters from other films – unlike some rapper/samplers we know. Ben Affleck’s motivator is an obvious inspiration from Alec Baldwin’s Glengarry Glen Ross character. Seems like a blatant ripoff until another broker asks Ribisi if he saw Glen Ross and remembers the ABC philosophy of that film – Always Be Closing. And if the film itself sounds like Wall Street 2 – well, these characters know that film by heart, taking turns quoting Gordon Gekko’s philosophy while watching it. There’s a great scene where our lead criticizes a salesman over the phone for making a half-assed attempt to pitch him a newspaper subscription. A lot of selling goes on in Boiler Room, so much that we almost seem ready to sell ourselves upon leaving the theater. Unfortunately, with the illegal angle the film takes, it reduces the characters to Amway salesmen with venom. I’m not quite understanding of the heavy rap element that blasts from reel to reel. There’s an underlying string of racism spread throughout, mostly harmless interaction between friends and colleagues, but little to none is directed at the black community. In fact the only black actor I can remember plays the secretary/love interest. Is the soundtrack suggesting a comparison between rap artists and stock brokers – the similar nature of rags-to-riches stories? It’s never quite clear so I’ll chalk it up to an easy way to sell a few more soundtracks. All the actors here do a good job. Giovanni Ribisi is a decent actor, not a great one. He gets to play against type here (comic relief/weird guy) and pulls it off nicely, save for a late breakdown scene that recalls his performance in The Other Sister. Vin Diesel, Nicky Katt, Tom Everett Scott, Jamie Kennedy and Affleck all make credible young Republicans. Katt’s motivation for his feud with Ribisi is never quite explained reasonably past relationship jealousy, but it doesn’t take away from his performance.

Boiler Room is far from a great film. It’s “Firm”-like subplot and quick resolution leave something to be desired, but its energy and know-how make it an entertaining and sometimes scary film.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1715&reviewer=198
originally posted: 02/28/00 12:59:11
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User Comments

7/05/10 PAUL SHORTT ENTERTAINING AND DYNAMIC 3 stars
6/10/06 William Goss 118 ways to sell bullshit and be a yuppie asshole. Meh. 3 stars
4/30/06 R.W.Welch Maybe a tad overdone but at least it's off the beaten path. 4 stars
12/13/05 Indrid Cold Cheesy but good ripoff of "Glengarry" and "Wall Street", both of which it quotes openly. 4 stars
4/17/05 Vince Ribisi totally rocked in this. All in all a solid effort, worth seeing. 4 stars
3/19/05 Tay Great film 4 stars
7/30/04 M If it wasnt for Vin this movie would go down hill.... fast! 4 stars
6/22/04 eivind it's good 4 stars
6/20/04 Rock Hound convinced me to open my own casino 3 stars
5/20/04 Sales God A fresh spin on an old idea. yeah its derivitive but well acted and executed (except Affle 4 stars
4/22/04 sealy Film was great, very fast, great stuff. Could have had more of a ending. 5 stars
2/22/04 s smith Premise is skewed, but characterizations are strong, sad thinly veiled lives. 4 stars
12/25/03 breadman DON"T pitch the bitch. I don't care if Nancy Sinatra calls. 5 stars
12/24/03 Tiffani Boiler Room is cool. It's Just so cool....The testosterone flows beautifully 5 stars
10/14/03 PJ Ribisi is the shit quit bangin on this film, great work by Ben Younger 5 stars
6/15/03 Boiler room guy I wish there were more movies like this. So real and yet not overdone 5 stars
6/09/03 R.W. Welch Stock scam pic has an authentic feel to it and is adeptly acted. Sort of educational too. 4 stars
3/02/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty involving until it piles on the contrivances. Vin Diesel is a standout. 2 stars
11/25/02 Stephen X - EXCELLENT - X 5 stars
10/26/02 MarktheShark6 The way they inserted Wall Street into the film revealed its roots, but it was good anyway. 4 stars
9/03/02 movie guy A GREAT FILM 5 stars
7/26/02 Matt Crav Fuck Vin. Well, hes awesome, but Ribisi is great. Inspirational flick. This movie is great. 5 stars
7/10/02 Interrog8 Great film! Provides a genuine look at the late-90's stock market greed 5 stars
2/18/02 alicia morris any movie with vin in it is worth watching! 4 stars
1/29/02 jessica fowler it's my favorite movie...great acting by everyone! 5 stars
1/18/02 Chrisaidis Georgia It was really cool, not to say for Vin Diesel he is really sexy. 4 stars
11/26/01 Kathleen Greene The only thing that makes this movie viewable is VIN DIESEL. 4 stars
11/25/01 Senor Pescolido Ya know, i really wanted to like it, but it was far too clean and cliche. 3 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean Vin and Ben were hot. The part where they were watching "Wall Street" was stupid. 3 stars
7/30/01 Robert Vin is the man 5 stars
7/15/01 NasTKasT My Favorite Flic of ALL Time. Very pimp movie! 5 stars
6/29/01 tinkerbell142@aol.com such a good movie, def worth watching :) 4 stars
6/16/01 Dominique Dixon Parts with Vin Deisel in it were the only ones worth looking at. Racist jokes sucked!!! 4 stars
3/22/01 Yanick Forget Very good movie, great acting. 5 stars
3/15/01 Gideon If you dont see it you are missing out on a tight ass movie! 5 stars
2/27/01 Soggy Bottom Boy All the ingredients are there: good concept, great actors; they could have done more w/it. 3 stars
2/19/01 joh rich, young white guys use the word fuck a lot. Deisel is a damn cool actor 4 stars
10/30/00 Matt Redmond You do not deserve to review movies. 5 stars
10/04/00 Jed An alright movie funny though a bit laughable. 4 stars
10/01/00 Robin Hot men in suits! Ben Affleck is a major ++++ 5 stars
9/25/00 Sully Ben Affleck is the worst actor of our generation. movie starts fine, ends terrible. 3 stars
9/02/00 jetcat repulsive display of greed and too-skinny men; compelling nonetheless 4 stars
8/01/00 Jed I may need a 2nd viewing but overall it was alright. 3 stars
7/28/00 Davis Intelligent, doesn't pull any punches. Ribisi is a perfect hero. Best Movie of the Year 5 stars
7/17/00 Monday Morning Great drama with comic balance, outstanding characters & dialogue. Ribisi bugged me, tho'. 4 stars
3/24/00 malcolm Nia Long was worth price of admission. Diesel and Affleck kicked ass. 4 stars
3/13/00 Chartsy Giovanni, you've come a long way since My Two Dads, baby! 5 stars
3/12/00 Jim NOT relevant to today's stock market: Internet, online, Wall St. Ben shot cameos in 1 day. 1 stars
3/03/00 jill Ben Affleck can suck my ass. 1 stars
2/27/00 Malbert Pretty cool, I liked it a lot 4 stars
2/24/00 Ben Ryan Worth watching just so you can see the stupidity. 2 stars
2/24/00 Allan Vogt Filthiest soundtrack ever. The secretary was worth the $9.50. Good audience interaction. 3 stars
2/22/00 Charles "Fight Club" in reverse. Loved the secretary! 3 stars
2/21/00 Alexis good acting and a plot that moved along at a brisk pace 5 stars
2/20/00 Jason Kallelis Damn good! Good acting and the plot can suck you in. 4 stars
2/20/00 frank some quality acting, but an average story line 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Feb-2000 (R)
  DVD: 04-Mar-2014

UK
  05-May-2000 (15)

Australia
  12-Oct-2000 (M)




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