Runner Runner

Rated 4.0

A Princeton University student with a penchant for online gambling (Justin Timberlake) lands a job with the kingpin of one such site operating out of Costa Rica (Ben Affleck)—then begins to suspect he's being set up to take some kind of fall, and learns that everything is easier to get into than out of. Brian Koppelman and David Levien's script is smart and taut, and director Brad Furman serves it up with an eye for the murky shadows of film noir updated to the 21st century. Furman gets sharp performances from all concerned, including Gemma Arterton as Affleck's arm-candy assistant, whose own motives and priorities remain unclear until the end. Timberlake slides smoothly from smug to desperate to determined, while Affleck has seldom been better: He makes a villain of ingratiating charm straight out of a Hitchcock flick.