Movie Review – Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians

One of the most interesting and well crafted documentaries I have seen at the festival and honestly, in a long while.  The concept was fantastic, a group of card counting Christians beating the odds at the casino and stealing from the hands of the rich.  We have all seen the casino heist movies where this genius teams all have a system and beat the odds, but while they do it because they want the money, the group called The Church do it for God.  This movie follows the story and growth of the card counters who all share a common faith and their need to do Gods work.  The group has developed a system in order to beat the odds at the casino and liberate the wicked money from the hands of the evil casinos and their sin along with it.  The Church group is successful in all rights, starting with only a few people and growing rapidly into this card counting business.  They have investors, managers, and players, each having a role in the backing of the card counting to maximize their revenue.  The documentary shows their commitment to the group and how their faith binds them in their work and overall goal.

The documentary is entertaining and one of the slicker looking documentaries to come out in a while.  It’s paced very well and the closer look at the people that make up the group shows a deep connection that they have to one another and with God.  It doesn’t bring to light a lot about religion, I mean initially it does as we learn about the group, but once we are at the meat of the documentary their trials and tribulations start to takeover.  Their faith never falters, as they believe that what they do is for God, so while some might call them hypocrites, they rationalize with faith that what they are doing is righteous.  Some might take offense to that (like the lady sitting next to me), but in the end, is card counting wrong even if you have Gods permission?

This was a great documentary with a lot of insight into the people behind the card counting group.  The documentarian really framed these individuals in a non-judgmental light and you see that they are doing this not only for their family, but their beliefs.  It kind of challenges you to think about what is moral and immoral with gambling.  It also makes you think about the inclusion of religion and if that makes what they do right.  Yes in essence, they are cheating, but they make themselves out to be these modern day Robin Hoods.

There were some things I don’t like about the documentary, namely what they actually do with the money they won.  If they are taking this money for God, it would have been nice to see them expand churches, start some programs to help those in need or maybe even just seeing them put it into the church.  Nothing of this nature was covered, other than watching them accumulate this money for their own gain.  At least we didn’t see them buy extravagant boats or giant houses.  Also, the overuse of the profile shots were we see them sitting at blackjack table, playing with chips and money with a stark black background.  It’s cool to use it to introduce the people of the movie, but when you use it like 50 times and mostly in transition shots, it gets tiring.

This is used too fucking much!

Overall I recommend that people go see this documentary.  Although if you hate both Christian and gambling, then you won’t like the movie as the lady next to me clearly hated both of those things and just couldn’t wait for the Q&A section to rip into the concept of religion and how gambling is evil.  Thanks you buzz kill.

Rating:4/5

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

One Response to Movie Review – Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians

  1. Pingback: Movie of the Day – Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians « Another Plot Device

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