Saddled with a stinker of a title (although the alternative was the bland Deception), the yuletide-set Reindeer Games is nevertheless a little piece of cinema history, it being the final theatrical feature of redoubtable American director John Frankenheimer. It’s not in the same league as his French Connection II, Black Sunday or The Manchurian Candidate (the original version), but there’s nothing fundamentally wrong about this tale of an affable ex-con (Ben Affleck) who, along with pen pal Charlize Theron, is duped into a Michigan casino heist. Gary Sinise, Danny Trejo and Dennis Farina bulk up the diminishing series of reveals and twists, Frankenheimer whips things along, and the threat is tempered by Affleck’s cheeky-chappie shtick. Theron has called it her worst film. She’s forgetting Sweet November.
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