Boiler Room (2000) 3.57/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 72.5
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Duration: 102 mins
Director: Ben Younger
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long

Boiler Room is a surprisingly good tale of a young man seduced into the slick world of illegal stock-brokering only for it to inevitably blow up in his face. There’s lots to admire about this film. It has all the energy of a film aimed at a 20′s-something audience but with a more mature dramatic tension and subject matter. The idea of finding one’s way in a generation where ambition has been distorted by MTV attention spans takes a prominent place in this story with the authentically constructed world of fast and loose stock brokering providing a reflective background in much the same way as it did in Wall Street. In fact, Boiler Room could quite justifiably be regarded as a spiritual sequel to Wall Street, at least far more so than the disappointing 2010 Money Never Sleeps. Its cast is replete with a who’s who of turn of the century up-and-comers led by the excellent Giovani Ribisi proving he does indeed have the chops to carry a film. Vin Diesel and Nicky Katt are equally good as the high-flying brokers who take him under their wing and Ron Rifkin is his usual brilliant self in the role of Ribisi’s disapproving father. Writer/director Ben Younger deserves most of the plaudits though for not only crafting an edgy and riveting script but for also pulling off a rare blending of film-making styles in shooting it. There are a number of secondary dramatic plots playing out across the entire film but thanks to the hip hop infused energy of his direction, they all pull in the same direction. The result is a sharp and relevant drama that brushes up against some interesting themes while entertaining throughout.

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