The Indies: House of Games

House of Games (David Mamet, 1987)

With Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantenga.

It is amazing how much one performance, either good or bad can effect a film.  A great performance, like that of Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, can make an otherwise mediocre movie quite enjoyable.  The opposite case holds true in House of Games.  Joe Mantegna’s performance is good, but Lindsay Crouse’s acting is so stiff and unnatural that I’m convinced she only got the part because she was married to David Mamet at the time.  It is honestly one of the worst lead performances I have ever seen in a major Hollywood film.  It’s a shame, too, because the movie is well written and immaculately lit, even if the big “twist” was a bit predictable.

Rating: 6/10

RIYL: The Grifters, The Sting, Blood Simple.


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