Reindeer Games

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, Gary Sinise, Dennis Farina, James Frain, Donal Logue

Director: John Frankenheimer

REINDEER GAMES is a very clever little movie from director John Frankenheimer, about car thief Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) who when released from prison impersonates his ex-cell mate Nick Cassidy (James Frain) to form a relationship with a girl Ashley Mercer (Charlize Theron) who has been writing letters to Nick for years but never seen him.

Everything goes well at first as Rudy spends some ‘hot’ time with Ashley in a cold snowy lead up to Christmas, but very soon things turn sour when a gang of criminals believe he really is Nick and force him to help them in their plans to rob a casino on Christmas Eve, because the real Nick used to work as a casino security guard before he was sent to jail.

But is Rudy, who is impersonating Nick, the only one hiding secrets?

There are twists and turns in the storyline right the way through this movie, to the degree that the audience could easily believe the chain of events are too carefully worked out to be believable, but even this is very amusingly pointed oout by one of the characters in a scene towards the end of the film so as to cover its tracks.

The final outcome really is a surprise and the actors are well cast and give good performances. Charlize Theron looks great and it’s well directed. Overall this is a very enjoyable movie.

Footnote: REINDEER GAMES is released under the title DECEPTION in the UK. DECEPTION certainly is a more descriptive title, but we like REINDEER GAMES better as it’s more subtle and more fun!

4 out of 6 stars