Lucky You

Film
2 out of 5 stars
CHIP SHOT Bana knows when to hold 'em, fold 'em, etc.
CHIP SHOT Bana knows when to hold ’em, fold ’em, etc.

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

“Good skill,” you’ll sometimes hear serious poker players wish each other—as if luck didn’t enter into it. But even if you indulge their point of view, the stillborn Lucky You seems born under a bad sign; how else to explain the failure of such a preposterously talented team, including the director of L.A. Confidential, the consistently charming Drew Barrymore and America’s feistiest, crustiest supporting actor?

It would be too easy to blame Munich’s Eric Bana, who still hasn’t found a Hollywood role that best taps his quickness. Here he plays a professional card shark with the absurd name of Huckleberry Cheever—and we’ve just taken a big step closer to identifying a more plausible culprit, writer Eric Roth, whose dull evocation of 2003 Las Vegas feels like Showgirls without the tits or dancing. Huck has some serious lessons to learn about commitment (Barrymore), letting go of family rage (Duvall) and the slipperiness of false friends (Robert Downey Jr., in a one-scene cameo that comes off like an oasis). Things wrap up in a shockingly undramatic table tournament that simultaneously brings to mind bad TV and the dozen better gambling movies you’ll wish you were watching. Robert Altman goes all in with California Split; Curtis Hanson plays it way too safe. (Now playing; Click here for venues.) — Joshua Rothkopf

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