Michael Sauter
March 01, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Prime Gig

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
Limited Release Date
09/14/01
performer
Ed Harris, Julia Ormond, Vince Vaughn
director
Gregory Mosher
author
William Wheeler

We gave it a B+

A faint existential chill accompanies the hardball sales pitch of ace phone hustler Pendleton ”Penny” Wise (Vaughn), who solicits high-end investors for a vaguely shady entrepreneur (Harris), while dallying after hours with the boss’ girlfriend (Julia Ormond). There’s never much doubt that Penny’s got caught up in a cutthroat con game — but that’s just a framework for the coolly absorbing portrait of a callous ”closer” who only loses his edge when he rediscovers his soul. Curiously, the film never got a full-blown theatrical release, despite the presence of multiple-Oscar nominee Harris. These days, not even the ”indies” seem to know a good thing when they’ve got it.

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