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Mississippi Grind

7/10
Drama
 

Gerry is a talented but down-on-his-luck gambler whose fortunes begin to change when he meets Curtis, a younger, highly charismatic poker player. The two strike up an immediate friendship and Gerry quickly persuades his new friend to accompany him on a road trip to a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. As they make their way down the Mississippi River, Gerry and Curtis manage to find themselves in just about every bar, racetrack, casino, and pool hall they can find, experiencing both incredible highs and dispiriting lows, but ultimately forging a deep and genuine bond that will stay with them long after their adventure is over.

 
Actors: Anthony Howard , Yvonne Landry , Teri Wyble , Lauren Gros , Justin Lebrun , Stephanie Honoré , Robin Weigert , Alfre Woodard , Analeigh Tipton , Sienna Miller , Ben Mendelsohn , Ryan Reynolds
Directors: Anna Boden , Ryan Fleck
Country: USA
Release: 2015-08-13
More Info:
  • A.O. Scott

    Mississippi Grind itself may be a bit of a throwback to the lived-in, character-driven, landscape-besotted films of the 1970s, but it’s less a pastiche or a homage than the cinematic equivalent of a classic song, expertly covered.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Calvin Wilson

    There’s less a sense of hitting plot points than of capturing life on the fly, and Mendelsohn and Reynolds ride that vibe brilliantly.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Katie Walsh

    Reynolds and Mendelsohn could not be more different actors, but in this pairing they are perfect.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Mississippi Grind is the cinematic equivalent of the unassuming, quiet player at the poker table who allows you to believe you have him pegged — and that’s when he springs the trap on you and shows you something you never saw coming.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    It's bracing in its simplicity. It's a character portrait, period.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The movie needed great performances, and it gets them from Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Tricia Olszewski

    Mississippi Grind winds up being that rare beast: the buddy comedy where you’re not tired of the buddies well before the credits roll.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    From its unshowy script on down, Mississippi Grind is content to rumble along as a character piece, keeping its storytelling loose and unpredictable, like a repeat flick of the dice.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Staff (Not credited)

    While it’s a bit of a slow burner, Mendelsohn is so compelling, there’s really no need for things to speed up.

    Empire Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Mendelsohn manages to make us simultaneously feel sorry for him and hope, against what seem like steep odds, that he somehow succeeds.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Australian Mendelsohn (sporting a pitch-perfect American accent) and Reynolds are terrific, each wrapping himself up in the material like a well-worn favorite sweater.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    A film that turns on this kind of ambiguity would ordinarily be cold, grim, paranoid. But Boden and Fleck give this world texture and warmth; their widescreen interiors glow, and it’s hard not to be lulled into them by the siren song of conversation and clinking drinks and possibility.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    A sweet, shambling, supremely enjoyable road movie about two compulsive gamblers of very different stripes.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Simon Abrams

    Bitterly funny gambling comedy Mississippi Grind transcends its generic lovable-losers-on-a-bender plot by foregrounding exceptionally well-developed skid-row protagonists and weirdly charming dive-bar ambiance.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Rooney

    The filmmakers' reluctance to over-explain character motivations has mostly kept their films out of the mainstream and will continue to do so here, but there's no shortage of impressions that resonate. And the performances of both Reynolds and Mendelsohn are fortified with deep feeling, working in admirable tandem.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    For all the impressive authenticity of the various settings, it’s Gerry and Curtis’ continually evolving push-pull dynamic that deservedly takes centerstage here, in a picture driven far less by narrative incident than by its gently pulsing comic undercurrents and vivid contemplation of character.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Writer-director team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (It’s Kind of A Funny Story, Half Nelson) must be applauded for refusing to let their shaggy dog tale line up with any predictable storyline.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    This low-budget indie has a unique ambiance and surprising depth, both in the performances of its two leads and the writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson”).

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    So long as the film focuses on that spiky rapport, and on the authentic, lived-in textures of the American Midwest, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, the grittiness and weary pathos ultimately gives way to a disappointingly pat finale, undermining everything that came before.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    One thing Mississippi Grind has in spades is soul, and that's a better bet than narrative mechanics any day.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    Filmmakers Boden and Fleck don’t appear interested in eliciting your full-out sympathy for these low-rollers, though the happyish ending seems somewhat a sellout (albeit a satisfactory one). Who’s to blame them? After all, everybody loves a winner.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Gary Thompson

    The movie is a snapshot collage of flyover America, but also, perhaps, an homage to the soon-to-be-lost world of brick-and-mortar gambling.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Mississippi Grind winds up being an improbably satisfying, even heartwarming character study.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Christopher Gray

    Ryan Boden and Anna Fleck convey an engagingly low-key atmosphere, pervasive with wayward souls haunted by poor choices.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, and their casting in the lead roles pays off in spades. In fact, they're the primary reasons Mississippi Grind works as well as it does.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Fleck and Boden certainly have strong filmmaking smarts. They understand restraint, have terrific observational eyes, and know how to coax honest performances out of actors. So it’s perhaps a shame that Mississippi Grind is ultimately too underwhelming to stake with any confidence.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Sterlin Johnson

    Part road-film, part-gambling excursion, and part-bromance, the film does show the influence of its talented directors. But falters when it comes down the story itself.

    indieWIRE Full Review
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