Eric Schroter
EW Staff
February 11, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Reindeer Games

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
99 minutes
Wide Release Date
02/25/00
performer
Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, Ashton Kutcher
director
John Frankenheimer
distributor
Dimension Films
author
Ehren Kruger
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it an C

”Reindeer Games” is 70-year-old director Frankenheimer’s twisty new thriller starring Affleck, Theron, and Sinise. And there’s a lot riding on it: It’s an important movie for Affleck, 27, who’s learning that the Best Original Screenplay trophy he shares with Matt Damon for 1997’s ”Good Will Hunting” will take him only so far in this town; he still needs to prove he packs enough star power to carry a movie on his own. For Theron, 24, a role in a hit action movie might give her career the boost it needs to reach A-list altitudes. And it’s a big picture for Dimension Films: The eight-year-old Miramax division is hyping the movie with its most lavish and expensive publicity blitz ever.

”Reindeer” certainly sounds commercial enough. An old-fashioned caper with modern-day sex appeal, it has Affleck playing a just-released ex-con who charms his way into Theron’s heart (among other parts) only to get suckered into a Christmas-day casino heist that ends with a pile of dead bodies in Santa suits. It’s got a sublimely sleazy bad guy (”I came up with the longhair look myself,” boasts Sinise), a steamy love scene (”My most explicit,” Theron promises), and a plot filled with more hairpin turns than a car chase from Frankenheimer’s ”Ronin.” BUZZ FACTOR: 8

Go to the official website.

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