A casino employee (William H. Macy) falls for a cocktail waitress (Maria Bello) and crosses the house director (Alec Baldwin) while trying to ruin the luck of winning gamblers.
" A winning drama that's only slightly too pleased with its own playful conceits, The Cooler features strong performances and flows with the grace and assurance of a Sinatra song. "
" The Cooler mixes character and milieu with a hustler's ease. "
" The kind of low-key work that was prominent during television's Golden Age. "
" It's pretty winning for a long way, reminding us that everything in life is a kind of gamble, and if you don't play, you'll never win. "
" While it does occasionally shortchange its characters, it provides plenty of moments for the actors to shine. "
" Kramer has gotten strong performances from his cast (Baldwin is particularly good as the strangely likable, but still horrible, casino owner). "
" A safe bet. "
" Baldwin bites into his role as if it were a 3 a.m. cheeseburger after a night of blackjack and booze. "
" A movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone. "
" If you're really in the market for seasonal inspiration, The Cooler could be your best bet. "
" A surprising, ingenious film. "
" A B-movie in the best sense: Unpretentious. Raffish. Just trashy enough to be six kinds of fun without making you hate yourself in the morning. "
" A carefully assembled supporting cast gives The Cooler the grit that sells the magic. "
" In reconstructing Macy's equal-opportunity loser persona as a romantic winner, The Cooler forgets what made its star so winning in the first place. "
" Had The Cooler stuck to its dark guns and not turned into a treacly, love-conquers-all fairy tale, this movie might have gone somewhere. "
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