"High Rollin’ on the River"
What You Need To Know:
MISSISSIPPI GRIND aims to be a truthful look at a world that’s foreign to most Americans, the world of professional gamblers populating the shabby casinos and gambling dens down the Mississippi. As such, it’s fairly successful and well acted, but a bit episodic. MISSISSIPPI GRIND is not afraid to show the warts of its two lead characters. It also shows gambling is a bad lifestyle. However, at the end, it solves the plot problem with gambling. MISSISSIPPI GRIND also has a lot of foul language and drinking, plus some innuendo. Overall, therefore, it’s not acceptable viewing for moviegoers of any age.
(PaPa, B, LLL, V, S, N, AA, D, MMM) Strong pagan worldview ultimately promoting gambling, with some moral elements; at least 31 to 33 obscenities (about half of them “f” words), one strong profanity and five light profanities; fighting in one or two scenes and threats of violence from loan shark; implied fornication in one or two scenes and brief kissing; upper and rear male nudity in one scene, upper male nudity in another scene; lot cos alcohol use and some drunkenness; smoking but no drug use; and, lots of gambling, gambling solves the plot problem, man tries to steal money from his ex-wife but is caught, divorced man is irresponsible and not really involved with his daughter living with her mother, lying.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND is a drama about two struggling gamblers who decide to risk their futures on a gambling roadtrip down the Mississippi River to a supposed high-stakes poker game in New Orleans. This character study is engaging and well acted, but episodic, and has a lot of foul language, drinking and gambling.
One night on a gambling spree, a down-on-his-luck, divorced, sad sack gambler named Gerry meets a charismatic gambler new in town named Curtis. Curtis seems to bring Gerry a stroke of luck. So, Gerry and Curtis decide to journey down the Mississippi River to a legendary high-stakes poker game in New Orleans. Curtis agrees to stake Gerry and split the winnings.
However, as they get near New Orleans, Gerry loses the stake by making a bad bet. He tells Curtis he’d like to go see his ex-wife and their little daughter on the way down, but ends up trying to steal money from his ex-wife.
When they get to New Orleans, the poker game turns out to be an illusion. Gerry and Curtis decide to part ways, only to risk what little money they have left on some bets at a casino’s dice table.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND aims to be a truthful look at a world that’s a bit foreign to most Americans, the world of professional gamblers populating the shabby casinos and gambling dens down the Mississippi. It’s sort of a Huckleberry Finn story, but without the issue of slavery. In one sense, however, Gerry and Curtis are slaves to their particular gambling addictions. With Gerry, it’s poker. With the more extroverted and more optimistic Curtis, it’s the racetrack – dogs or horses.
With the above description in mind, MISSISSIPPI GRIND is fairly successful, though episodic. Helping cement the episodes together, however, are a compelling three-act structure and talented professional acting by Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds as Gerry and Curtis, respectively.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND is not afraid to show the warts of its two lead characters. It also shows that gambling is a risky, amoral profession that can lead to immoral behavior when bets don’t go your way. That said, at the end, the movie solves the plot problem for its two protagonists with gambling. So, the movie’s premise and its final positive attitude about gambling are immoral.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND also has a lot of foul language and drinking, plus some innuendo. Overall, therefore, it’s not acceptable viewing for moviegoers of any age, despite its dramatic success.