Croupier ★★★½

Deep cut limey export that proves to be that rare unheralded movie that shows up on Netflix worth watching. A slicker-than-oil Clive Owen stars as Jack, a struggling writer that takes a gig as a croupier (no idea what this was until the film) to make ends meet and mine material for his unwritten book. The gig succeeds in reanimating many of his dusty, bygone skills and addictions and begins to take on a charged life of its own with uncertain destinations. To paraphrase Jack: I rediscovered my addiction. The addiction of watching people lose.

I had a fun time with this one. The neo-noir vibe, third person character-within-a-character narration and Owen's ice cold performance - the kind of guy who only says "thank you" if you've earned it - offset the stubbornly flat lighting and an ending that, while being a nice shake-up in one respect, left me more confused and irritated than anything. Regardless, Mike Hodges' Croupier is a suave customer cloaked in the dingy cigarette smoke that was late 90s independent cinema and worth a spin on the ever-expanding radius of the Netflix roulette wheel. Lord knows, the choices are too many, too many, too many...