The Cooler

Rated 2.0 William H. Macy plays the title character in this one, a sad sack who can magically turn the luck of a gambling table simply by looking at it with a dour expression. Most of the film focuses on him, but you’ll wish his moping character were completely disregarded in favor of Alec Baldwin’s mean-ass old-Vegas casino owner, who fights the notion of his casino joining the ranks of the family friendly attractions popping up on the strip. Maria Bello is fine as Macy’s mysterious love interest, but the film’s crazy, messed-up tone drags down the proceedings. The premise is insane, but director Wayne Kramer plays it like reality. This film aspires to be darker, or more satirical, but instead winds up a routine love story. A completely botched ending and a bad supporting performance by Shawn Hatosy in a worthless subplot involving Macy’s long-lost kid seal the deal. This is an overrated movie.