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A watch watcher
By MARK BAZER  |  April 23, 2008
1.0 1.0 Stars
Burt Reynolds

If you’re going to make a movie about a subject as non-cinematic as professional poker, you might as well go all in. In other words, how is the game at this level really played? But Gil Cates Jr.’s Deal offers little beyond a few clichéd lessons about “tells” — as in, “He rubs his face when he has a bad hand!” Burt Reynolds’s Tommy, a retired player who never won it all, is the dispenser of such knowledge, as he mentors Alex (Bret Harrison), the youngest star on the pro circuit. Their relationship is the movie’s, uh, ace in the hole, and Alex’s vulnerability (he’s no good with the ladies) is a nice touch. But of course they have a falling-out, and after you know it, they’re facing each other in the finals of the biggest tournament. Which calls to mind Burt’s #1 lesson: “You don’t play the cards. You play the players.” And you don’t watch Deal. You watch your watch. 100 minutes | Boston Common + Fresh Pond + suburbs
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