The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe.
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Release Date: Dec 25, 2017
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d'Arcy James, Chris O'Dowd
Rated R for language, drug content and some violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 20 min.
Genres: Biography, Drama
Molly’s Game, the directorial debut of renowned screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, is a crackling dialogue driven legal thriller. Sorkin’s move behind the camera is fairly effortless as he directs his film with a confident steady hand. His style isn’t overly flashy, outside of an expertly crafted opening sequence, he keeps a steady and measured hand allowing his actors and script to do the heavy lifting. The script is everything you’d expect from Aaron Sorkin, the snappy dialogue is as plentiful as the extended monologues. The film carries a sort of Social Network feel to it, especially in the first act, before it settles into its own rhythm. Molly Brown’s story is a fascinating perversion of the American Dream. Jessica Chastain is electric in the lead role and she’s nearly always the most magnetic person on screen. It probably helps that she’s glam vamped for the better part of the film as her character routinely transformed herself into the “Cinemax” version of herself. Chastain’s talent is on full display as she simultaneously displays sexuality while still radiating an intrinsic intelligence and unbridled drive throughout the entire film. There’s a running theme about an overbearing father that feels slightly off especially in its resolution even though Kevin Costner turns in decent work in an undercooked role. Idris Elba spends the most time with Chastain in the post arrest scenes and he’s just ready made for Sorkin’s writing. He and Chastain share solid chemistry together, making their mutual intellect and respect believable. A few of the courtroom scenes in the third act do feel a bit clunky and convenient when compared to the majority of the film that came before it. Still, Sorkin’s first foray into directing is an impressive and entertaining success.