Mississippi Grind

Mississippi Grind

In Theatres: 
Oct 02, 2015
Running Time: 
108 minutes
Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) is a gambling addict whose charm has worn thin through all of the loan sharks in town. HIs debts are moving from financial to quite possibly physical and he really needs a way out. Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) is a charming loner who seems to be made of good luck and empathy, but is directionless. When the two meet they decide to help each other.
After Gerry is stabbed in a parking lot over fake winnings, he decides he needs to get out of town and hit every casino on the Mississippi to make his money back and regain some control. Curtis? Well, it’s never really clear what Curtis gets out of this other than a journey to have and a trip to that will make a good story some day. 
Curtis doesn’t seem to have much depth or past and is always saying undergraduate philosopher phrases turned possible beer advertisements like, “It’s Machu PIcchu time.” He’s upset that girl he loves is a sex worker. Instead of coming to terms with the knowledge of that’s how she survives, he fights with her about her profession. One minute, he’s planning romantic getaways with her, the next, he’s closed off; angry that she dare ask how is she supposed to make the money to survive. He wants her to live in his dream and he can’t stand the light of her reality. He continues down the river with Gerry, because Gerry refuses to wake-up.
However, Gerry, while in the throes of addiction, does some very contemptible things that makes it hard for me to believe that anyone who values their legal freedom would continue with him. After receiving some texts from a strange man who is threatening the life of his cat, Gerry grows more desperate and out of control. It is not until he loses everything that he begins to focus.
There are several moments in the film were you can feel a bud of magic in their relationship, but I spent most of the cringing about something Gerry or Curtis did or about the high stakes, that I could not enjoy it. For such a story of hard won redemption, there isn’t much heart. There was very little I could care about or connect to (outside of the brief cameo of Alfre Woodard).
Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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