Literature professor and gambler Jim Bennett's debt causes him to borrow money from his mother and a loan shark. Further complicating his situation, is his relationship with one of his students. Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?


Rupert Wyatt


William Monahan (screenplay), James Toback
3,897 ( 1,001)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Wahlberg ... Jim Bennett
George Kennedy ... Ed
Griffin Cleveland ... Young Jim
Jessica Lange ... Roberta
Omar Leyva ... Valet
Steve Park ... Number 2 (as Stephen Park)
Brie Larson ... Amy Phillips
Chil Kong ... Blackjack Dealer #1
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Neville Baraka
Da'Vone McDonald ... Neville's Muscle
Amin Joseph ... Neville's Bookkeeper
Cjon Saulsberry ... Neville's Posse
Teebone Mitchell Teebone Mitchell ... Neville's Posse
Jasmond Carroll Jasmond Carroll ... Neville's Posse
Ria Wilkinson Ria Wilkinson ... Neville's Posse


Jim Bennett is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank, a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett's future. As his relationship with a student deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance. Written by Paramount Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Only way out is All in.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In this movie, Mark Wahlberg's character is Jim Bennett. While in Ted (2012) and Ted 2 (2015), his character is John Bennett. See more »


When Jim is watching his mother's tennis game in the referee's chair, we see alternating shots of him from the front and the back. In the frontal shots he's wearing black shoes, but in the shots from behind (probably a different actor) his shoes are brown. See more »


Jim Bennett: I'll do the best I can. You can go knowing that, okay?
Ed: You're me now... if you'll have it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening titles, as the classic Paramount logo appears onscreen, we hear the sound of a roulette as the stars are aligning over the Paramount mountain. See more »


References The Wire (2002) See more »


Crucify Your Mind
Written by Rodriguez (as Sixto Diaz Rodriguez)
Performed by Rodriguez (as Sixto Rodriguez)
Courtesy of Light In The Attic Recordings/Hey Day Entertainment, LLC/Legacy Recordings
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

Good attempt at going for the Oscar, Mark.
27 December 2014 | by bbickley13-921-58664See all my reviews

I like Walhberg as an actor, and I think he's a good actor. This role was a different step for him. I would not have imagined Mark as a one hit wonder novelist turned lit professor from a wealthy background who seems on the road to self destruction due to his gambling habit. He's pulling on his ability to drive a movie, and it works.

It's good that Wahlberg's performance was great (despite being very out of content form what we'd expected from him). The movie in itself was not really that good. I felt it acted too much like a sitcom with all our problems being fixed and wrapped up in a thirty minute format (or in this case two hours). Mark Wahlberg made you believe in how real this guy's problems were only for the story itself to contradict that.

Mark was not alone in carrying the movie as he also had help from the always great John Goodman, who could have used a lot more time in the film, and Micheal Williams who played a great antagonist to Mark's protagonist

For the most part, the movie was humorous and charming all thinks to the acting chops of Markie Mark. I don't know if the academy will take notice, but we all should.

25 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

25 December 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los Altos See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,129,999, 28 December 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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