4 Dogs Playing Poker
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It's not a question of who will turn on each other so much as when in this trust-game thriller. Four friends who fancy themselves art thieves suddenly owe a million dollars to a powerful thug (Forest Whitaker). The solution they come up with is morbidly ingenious: one will die to save the others. But that's never the sort of pact you can expect people to follow through on, and therein lies the suspense. While it isn't Hitchcock (or even Tarantino), it isn't half-bad and it maintains a compelling pace. With the exception of a cartoonishly written druggie character, the plot holds together fairly well, and the four young leads (including Olivia Williams from Rushmore) are suitably dodgy. Veterans like Tim Curry and Whitaker drop by to help out, and just to make sure you know it's an art-house movie Four Dogs Playing Poker carries the hallmark of all movies with edgy aspirations: onscreen vomiting. Don't think too hard or you'll figure it out early. But if you sit back and relax, you'll have a good time. --Ali Davis
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