5.8/10
36,276
222 user 70 critic

Reindeer Games (2000)

After assuming his dead cell-mate's identity to get with the other man's girlfriend, an ex-convict finds himself a reluctant participant in a casino heist.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writer:

Ehren Kruger
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Rudy Duncan
James Frain ... Nick Cassidy
Dana Stubblefield Dana Stubblefield ... The Alamo
Mark Acheson ... Mean Guard
Tom Heaton ... Ugly Staffer
Isaac Hayes ... Zook
Michael Sunczyk Michael Sunczyk ... Distant Inmate #1
Douglas Arthurs ... Distant Inmate #2 (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
Dean Wray ... Guard #1
Ron Sauvé ... Guard #2 (as Ron Sauve)
Ron Jeremy ... Prisoner #1 (as Ron Hyatt)
Hrothgar Mathews ... Exit Guard
Charlize Theron ... Ashley
Clarence Williams III ... Merlin
Donal Logue ... Pug
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Storyline

After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is days away from release as is his cellmate Nick (James Frain) who is is serving a two year sentence on a separate charge. Nick has a number of pictures from a romantic correspondence with a woman named Ashley he has never met but is waiting for his release. Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Nick is killed defending Rudy during a prison riot. When Rudy Is released the next day from prison he recognizes Ashley waiting outside the prison for Nick and Rudy takes his place and pretends to be Nick. Nick had spoken of his previous employment in security with an Indian casino and Rudy finds himself involved with Ashley's criminal gun runner brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Rudy is violently coerced to cooperate with a Christmas Eve casino robbery scheme that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick's casino knowledge as the key. Things... Written by Brian Orndorf

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The trap is set. The game is on.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deception See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,128,356, 27 February 2000

Gross USA:

$23,368,995

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,168,970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally planned for a Christmas 1999 release, but delayed until February 2000 after a poor test screening in mid 1999. See more »

Goofs

Monster throws a dart into the front of Rudy's shoulder, but in the next shot it is stuck in the back of his shoulder (shots of additional darts being thrown were cut from the final version so we never see this one land). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rudy Duncan: [Rudy narrating] To tell ya the truth, I never was much for the holidays. It's been forever since I'd known a holiday, since I'd seen my family, since I'd been with a girl, since I'd driven a car. You see, cars are what put me here - Iron Mountain, Maximum Security Prison. I was riding a hard five for grand theft auto. Meanwhile, most of my esteemed raping and murdering colleagues were up for parole in three. The world works like that sometimes. All the time, in my experience. ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the commentary on the "Director's cut" DVD it is mentioned that an alternate ending was filmed where Dennis Farina's character lives. It was later changed after they decided he would have been a witness to everything and it would not have worked. Also several scenes were mentioned to be changed or heavily cut. One of them being a big reshoot right as Ben Affleck is going back to his hotel room after he finds out about Monster and Ashley not being brother and sister. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Avengers (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Silver Bells
Written by Ray Evans (as Raymond Evans) and Jay Livingston
Published by Paramount Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Would've been better with just a touch of more action
27 February 2000 | by XophianicSee all my reviews

I though REINDEER GAMES was a pretty good movie, especially compared to some other movies of the year 2000 so far, but I think there should have been a little more action than there actually was. There was quite a lot of buildup to the casino robbery, but when it finally got there, not much happened. The ending was very good. Just when you think you've identified all the twists, there's another one right there.

Rudy (Ben Affleck), a car-thief, and his cellmate Nick (James Frain), a guy who killed another man while defending his girlfriend, are both about to be freed from jail when Nick is murdered during a lunch fight. Rudy decides to pretend to be him when his pen-pal-like girlfriend Ashley (Charlize Theron), who never met Nick before, comes to find him. The two really hit it off and things are going well, until Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) finds Rudy and threatens to kill him if he doesn't help them get into and rob a casino, which the real Nick previously worked at.

The plot is actually pretty cool, but it's hard to believe that this bunch of idiot-thieves would really believe that this was the real Nick, even after he told them time after time that he wasn't. There are many great twists at the end which leads to an unpredictable, although somewhat unbelievable, ending. The characters are pretty cool, about half of which turn out to be different from whom you originally thought.

Ben Affleck, new to the action genre, did a pretty good job. After proving himself to be able to play very different parts, like in Dogma, Armageddon and now this, I think he is really going places. Charlize Theron did an OK job as well as the mysterious girlfriend of Nick. Gary Sinise stole the show. I really like this guy. Boy can he act! He's played so many different characters very well. Gary doesn't do as well as the villain as he did in SNAKE EYES or RANSOM, but he still did a very good and believable job.

The main flaw in this movie was the lack of action until the end. The casino robbery itself should've been more action-packed, like it seemed on the commercial. Even in the ending there was more irony and surprise than there was action. But the story and was action was there was still very well done. I'd recommend this movie over many of the movies out now.


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