Mike Hodges, best known for the lean and mean Get Carter (1971), returns to form with Croupier. This polished throwback to the wit and economy of British thrillers from the late '60s and early '70s certainly has style to spare, but like its smooth operator protagonist, it lacks a soul.

Down on his luck novelist Jack Manfred (Clive Owen, handsome and angular as a young Sean Connery) is forced to make ends meet by taking a job at a high stakes casino. He's a croupier, or dealer, operating with cold precision. He sizes up gamblers who line up as the roulette wheel to try their luck.

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