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Directed by David Mamet

United States 1987 102 mins.

Having won the Pulitzer Prize for his play Glengarry Glen Ross, Mamet turned his attention to the silver screen with this no-nonsense, elemental peek into the world of con men—centered around card games specifically—for which he wrote the screenplay and directed. Margaret (Lindsay Crouse) is a successful psychiatrist who becomes drawn into this shady yet tantalizing world after one of her patients confesses that he’s deep in debt and in trouble, beholden to Mike (Joe Mantegna), a hustler at the House of Games. As Margaret’s curiosity about Mike’s world gets the better of her, she sets off down a path that may be irreversible. “A welcome throwback to the primacy of character and careful story construction, at a time when narrative intricacy was in short supply on American movie screens.”—Kent Jones.