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The Gambler | 2014 | R | - 6.4.10

An associate literature professor and obsessive gambler (Mark Wahlberg) tries to borrow money from his mother (Jessica Lange), and then from a loan shark to pay off another debt, when he begins to realize that his life is going nowhere. Also with Brie Larson, Sonya Walger, John Goodman, Cassandra Starr and Michael Kenneth Williams. Directed by Rupert Wyatt. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - We see topless dancers in a club wearing thong underwear and gyrating around poles as men watch (bare breasts, abdomens, legs to the hip, buttocks and backs are seen in the distance and close-up); one dancer talks to a man and seems to be trying to convince him of something and he pulls away from her.
 A man is shown sitting in a bathtub and his chest and upper abdomen are visible; the man's mother enters the room and he becomes upset. A bare-chested man zips up his pants and we see his chest, abdomen and back. A woman's dress is shown slit up the side to reveal her bare thighs. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. A man is shown in a sauna with a towel wrapped around his waist and his bare shoulders, chest, large abdomen and back are visible. A woman wears a robe that hangs open to reveal her bare upper chest. Cheerleaders where skimpy outfits that reveal cleavage, bare abdomens and legs during a basketball game.
 A younger woman and student of a professor kisses him and pushes him back onto a sofa in a hotel room (sex is implied).
 A younger woman and student of a professor pulls up in a car and says to the man, "If I have to pull you into an inappropriate relationship to get you out of your job" and the man gets in the car with her. A younger woman and student of a professor insinuates that she wants to go to dinner with the man and he declines saying that it would be inappropriate.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man is shown handcuffed and tied to a chair as another man hits him on the side of the head (the man in the chair falls over and moans while lying on the ground and we see that he has a bloody face and lip). A man walks into an alley where another man grabs him and shoves him against a wall and threatens him. A man throws another man into a bathtub. A man is shoved into a car and handcuffed. A woman slaps her adult son in the face and berates him. A woman grabs her adult son's arm and yells at him outside a bank and passersby seem concerned.
 A man is shown with oxygen tubes while lying in a hospital bed and we understand that he is dying. A man is shown losing large sums of money at roulette tables and black jack tables in several scenes.
 A man talks about a time when he "fell down and [scatological term deleted] myself." A man yells at a student for texting while in his class. A man yells at another man who doesn't give him a good price for something he is trying to sell. A man suggests to another man that he "stake" him and explains the "interest" and penalties on the loan. A woman refuses to loan her adult son money. A man approaches a college basketball player and tries to convince him to limit the number of points he scores during an upcoming game. A man says, "I'm gonna kill that pretty little blonde girl." A man makes a threatening remark about sending another man a part of another person's anatomy. A man in a hospital bed says, "I'm gonna die." A man says, "Dear me, I think I'm becoming a god." A man tells a younger woman to leave and she does. A man says, "Victory or death."
 A man dreams about torrents of water rushes down a hillside and washing the stilts out from under his house. A man takes a gun out of his freezer. A man shaves his head and we hear the razor scratching on his scalp.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 71 F-words and its derivatives, 2 sexual references, 17 scatological terms, 10 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, 2 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (upstart, stupid, prince of darkness, gambler, crazy, Mr. Crybaby), 2 religious profanities (GD), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Jesus, Oh My God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man says that tennis guys have the best weed. A woman drinks alcohol in a casino, and a man drinks alcohol in his home. People are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol in several gambling establishment scenes, a man smokes cigar, and people smoke in a casino.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Gambling, addiction, loan sharks, debt, rejection, narcissism, talent, collateral, suicide, ambition, freedom, fame, real love, driving under the influence, throwing a game.

MESSAGE - Being an obsessive gambler can ruin your life.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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