POKER FACE (2022) Reviews of Russell Crowe’s action crime thriller

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‘Everyone has a limit’
Poker Face is a 2022 American action crime thriller about a tech billionaire who hosts a high-stakes poker game between friends, but the evening takes a turn when long-held secrets are revealed, an elaborate revenge plot unfolds, and thieves break in.

Written, directed by and starring Russell Crowe (The Pope’s Exorcist; Thor: Love and Thunder; Unhinged; The Mummy 2017) based on a story by Stephen M. Coates.

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The movie also stars Liam Hemsworth, RZA, Aden Young, Steve Bastoni, Daniel MacPherson, Brooke Satchwell, Paul Tassone, Matt Nable, Benedict Hardie, Molly Grace, Elsa Pataky, Jack Thompson and Jacqueline McKenzie.

Release:
“In the US, Poker Face was released theatrically on November 16 by Screen Media. It will be released On-Demand (VOD) and Digital Platforms on November 22 with Blu-ray and DVD discs coming on January 10.

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Reviews:
“ …Poker Face only devotes minutes of screen time to competition, with the rest of the endeavor split between moments of antagonism and anguish. While it opens with some concentration and the early formation of an interesting mystery, the material (scripted by Crowe) eventually falls apart, trying to be too many things at once, presenting the helmer with a narrative juggling act he can’t handle.” Blu-ray.com

Overall it feels like a film written by someone who has never written a screenplay before. Which is true, but with Crowe’s weighty experience in front of the camera, you would think he would know better. Evidently not. This is a clumsy, awful mess from beginning to end, that has no idea what it is or where it’s going.” 2 out of 5, Boom

” …we gradually learn about Jake’s condition, his scheme, and the way these relationships have become strained over the years. It suggests a more intimate, character-based tale. For whatever reason within the script and movie’s developments, Poker Face definitively decides not to be that story, and the shift is jarring in a most confounding and disappointing way.” 1.5 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies

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“If you just want a diversion and aren’t in a fussy mood, Poker Face may work for you. The film certainly looks good, with cinematographer Aaron McLisky (The School, Mr. Inbetween) and art director Patrick James Howe (Nekrotronic, Below) giving the setting a convincing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” look. But as pretty as it all may look, it can’t hide the fact that it’s also pretty vacant.” 2.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

Poker Face is a title to be taken literally. This is a film that is reluctant to reveal its hand — not because it’s waiting to blow competitors and viewers away, but because it doesn’t want anyone to see just how little it has to offer. Crowe’s acting is fine, but he hasn’t done himself any favors with his by-the-book direction or paltry script. If you’re into fast cars and pretty women, just watch a Bond movie instead.” The Wrap

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