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Boiler Room

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Boiler Room

Starring: Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Affleck
Director: Ben Younger
Rated: R
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: February 2000
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Brad Rowe, Emily Procter, Ron Livingston, Amanda Peet, Sean Patrick Flanery

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

If you've ever responded to a telephone solicitation, be prepared for an eye-opener! This disturbing, cautionary story about a stock scam takes you into the infamous "boiler room" where twentysomething millionaires are made overnight. They're Gen-Xers who want the adrenaline rush of easy money. So when Seth, a 19 year-old college dropout played by Giovanni Ribisi (Saving Private Ryan), realizes that his father, a judge (Ron Rivkin), has caught onto the illegal casino he's been running out of his Queens apartment, he's recruited into the inner sanctum of a fly-by-night Long Island brokerage firm named J.T. Marlin (a name chosen because it sounds like J.P. Morgan) by Ben Affleck (Dogma). After a glimpse of his boss's 355 canary-yellow Ferrari and an eye-popping indoctrination, he becomes a stockjock-in-training, learning how to hustle unsuspecting investors over the phone. "Never pitch the bitch," he's instructed, meaning that women ask too many questions. Seth's a money-hungry natural - glib and greedy. And he enjoys hanging out with his foul-mouthed cohorts - "They could sell bubble-gum in the lock-jaw ward in Bellevue" - not to mention the firm's enigmatic receptionist, Nia Long, his "chocolate love." But soon his insatiable curiosity gets him into trouble with the law, as he discovers exactly how his colleagues are getting richer as their customers are getting poorer. First-time writer/director Ben Younger was intrigued by the remarkable statistic that one out of every 36 working Americans is a millionaire, so he created this timely, high-wire drama about today's mega-fortune-hunters. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Boiler Room heats up to a searing, shocking 7. Just remember: when a stranger calls, trying to sell you stock, hang up!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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