Runner Runner

First slide

Slick but forgettable cautionary tale in which a ruined Wall Street executive-turned-graduate student (Justin Timberlake) is recruited by a charismatic online-gambling tycoon (Ben Affleck) to help administer the mogul's burgeoning, Costa Rica-based betting empire. As the lad becomes increasingly disillusioned with his new mentor's shady ways, an FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) pressures him to collect incriminating evidence, while love comes calling in the person of the offshore company's fetching number two (Gemma Arterton). A decadent lifestyle is part of the lure by which our hero is seduced, and the frank portrayal of some of its details, together with the steadily recurring vulgarities that pepper the dialogue, makes director Brad Furman's otherwise acceptable drama too seamy for a wide audience.

Watch out for: Brief but disturbing action violence, fleeting graphic images of group sex, rear nudity, pervasive rough and crude language.

Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013