It's not charity work
Boiler Room
Review by Ross Anthony

An excellent narrative lead-in brings us up to speed on our main character's motivations. Giovanni Ribisi isn't about to slip into the conventional work week only to trudge the rest of his life for a livable salary. Nope, he's a sharp New York kid and he's going to find a way to make a million bucks some other way. Even if it's slightly below legal standards.

Enter Ben Affleck (briefly anyway) who can "sell bubble gum to the lockjaw patients at Bellevue." Giovanni takes the bait, diving into a stock-selling brokerage of sorts paying larger than seemingly possible commissions to its obsessed new recruits. It's a young industry as Ben says, "I'm 26 and I'm a senior citizen."

The bland looking Giovanni is puppy-dog perfect with his attentive, yet skeptical, always-thinking plain-faced appearance. A very good actor he.

Giovanni's folks aren't so easy to please. The best scenes of the movie are between he and his judge-dad, "I'm not your best friend, I'm your father." Giovanni desperately tries to explain his side, his father interrupts, "What side? You're wrong!"

Vin Diesel also gives a fine performance as the senior partner who takes Giovanni under his wings.

Backed by rap music, a pretty good script faulters a bit when it rushes the progress and consequences of one of Ribisi's clients. Still ... quite entertaining.

  • Boiler Room. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Ben Affleck, Jamie Kennedy, and Ron Rifkin
  • Writer/Director Ben Younger.
  • Produced by Team Todd at NewLine.


Copyright © 1999. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:22 PDT