Aaron Sorkin is a man with a magic touch. The creator of The West Wing is one of the greatest writers of the modern age, but it turns out he can also direct a great movie too. Of course, it helps when you're giving direction to some of the finest actors in the business, Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba chief amongst them. If that recipe has you intrigued, you need to head to Prime Video before the end of the month, when Molly's Game leaves the platform.
A brilliant crime drama based on the real-life story of Molly Bloom, a serial overachiever. Molly was a prodigious skier (pushed too hard by her father) who saw her Olympic hopes disappear after injury. But not just an athlete, Molly is all set to go to a prodigious law school, not a bad backup plan. Unfortunately, her brain is too smart for her own good.
Instead of pursuing academia, Molly finds herself hosting underground poker games, frequented by the rich and famous. These big tippers leave her wanting more and more. Striking up a partnership with an unnamed celebrity card shark (named Player X), who takes pleasure in wiping out unsuspecting gamblers, the cards finally seem to be going Molly's way. But not for long.
Of course, Aaron Sorkin is known for his dialogue, and in that regard, Molly's Game doesn't disappoint. Chastain's voice-over is witty and cutting but also full of personality, while there is of course plenty of super slick poker chat. I never thought of Michael Sera as cool, but he shines as Player X. It's a glamorous world, but there's a constant undertone of shadyness that Sorkin manages to balance perfectly.
This is before we get to Idris Elba, I won't go into detail about his character, but the scenes he shares with Chastain just leap off the page. It's really refreshing coming from the like of Luther and Apple TV+'s Hijack to see him in a less action-packed but equally tense role.
If you're worried about not knowing anything about poker, don't be. Going into this movie I thought a royal flush was reserved for the toilet at Buckingham Palace and it didn't hurt my enjoyment at all. This movie's 82% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is good, but it really should be much higher. If you do miss this movie's time on Prime Video, don't worry, it's on Netflix too!