After taking the fall for a heist gone wrong, thief-for-hire Ray Burns is back on the streets. Looking to settle the score, he must get back in the game one last time to take down his enemies. In this gritty look at London... more »'s criminal underground, Ray learns the hard way not to get PLAYED.« less
"It's a story about a small time thief being fingered by the crooked cop who arranged the deal. He does the time and keeps his mouth shut. When he gets out, he ends up in LA to take care of business. Whoops, he has trusted the wrong people in his plans for revenge. I kept watching this movie hoping it would get better, it never did. As another reviewer already noted, the best bits were Val Kilmer on screen. Okay, so five minutes were great and rest was just there. For a caper movie, it had no real edge of your seat moments. With all the great actors (Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Bergin, etc.), I was expecting a great film but it never delivered. I recommend watching Circus or The Criminal for a great UK caper flick, not this one. Avoid it at all costs."
On the fence
Jeffery Brookshire | Los Angeles | 01/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to like this one. Great cast. Love UK gangster flicks. Intrigued by the improv/lack of script but, ultimately was not moved by Mick Rossi. The big names are good but the story fizzles a bit. Still, it's an experiment worthy of watching for students of film."
Indie Crime film Scores on Shoestring Budget...
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 02/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Played" demonstrates what independent films do best, creating involving, character-driven tales on a budget that would make a television commercial! This crime drama, set in London and L.A., offers enough twists to keep viewers guessing, a cast of 'A-List' actors at the top of their game, and production values that bely the microscopic budget.
A heist gone wrong, set up by a crooked London cop (Vinnie Jones) and his fixer (Patrick Bergin), lands the small-time crook who led the thieves (Mick Rossi) in prison for eight years. Upon his release, he is recruited to fly to L.A. to track down and kill Bergin, by the gangster father (Roy Doltrice) of another member of Rossi's team (Trevor Nugent), who had been murdered. But there is far more going on than he realizes...
Working from a script outline (by Rossi and director Imran Ahktar), the dialog is frequently improvised, by an amazing array of talent, including Gabriel Byrne, Val Kilmer, Anthony LaPaglia, Joanne Whalley, Patsy Kensit, and Bruno Kirby (in his final film role). The result is an edginess and heightened sense of reality that a polished Hollywood script could never have achieved. As Rossi says, in the 'Making of' Special Feature, this was "guerrilla film making" in it's purest form, and it succeeds, extremely well.
Take a chance on this little gem; I think you'll be hooked!"
Good Cast, Bad Movie
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 03/04/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The documentary on the Played DVD got it right, the only thing this film really had going for it was the unbelievable amount of talent that signed on. Beyond that the cinematography, sound, and script all reek of amateurism. Played wants to find a way into the gangster movie hall of fame but it falls short in far too many ways.
When a drug heist goes awry, Ray Burns (Mick Rossi) finds himself imprisoned for the better half of a decade. Upon getting out he has a few scores to settle and gets things lined up to take down Reilly, the gangster responsible for the death of his childhood friend who supposedly overdosed on heroine while Ray was doing time.
While Ray attempts to stay below the radar of the local dirty cop (played by Vinnie Jones) he finds that the road to kill Reilly is filled with a few unexpected twists, turns and shady characters (Gabriel Byrne among them). Many stars make meaningless cameos and it all would have worked well but for want of a better script. Vinnie's character is a two-dimensional cardboard stand-up of every "dirty cop" that's ever appeared in any film. Val Kilmer's brief part in the film has him jabbering as an obnoxious American whose funny lines simply come across as noise to fill the entire film's void of worthwhile dialogue. Anthony Lapaglia and the late Bruno Kirby also appear as two Los Angeles police officers - once again some of the film's best talent is brushed to the side and given minor parts.
The cinematography, this is all I'll say on the subject, looks like a student film for a major university. All of the angles are clever but clearly an attempt to prove oneself capable as a filmmaker. Played may have worked best by taking on the simple tried and true angles and leaving the experiments for students still trying to make their voices heard.
Played offers nothing new or incredible to make it worth your purchase. Perhaps as a rental Played will be a satisfying two hours of mindless, genre-conforming entertainment. But don't expect too much more - there's not much there. Mick Rossi both wrote and plays the lead of Ray, but I think the writing should have been left to more talented folk. His acting was fine, not bad but not noteworthy.
The Special Feature, that's singular, is a documentary that shows all the stars putting in their courteous two cents as to why they decided to slum and put their time into this film. Experimental. Really different. Refreshing. These three descriptions come up more often than not from the big names as they justify appearing in a film as sloppy as Played. I understand the intention was to showcase how independent filmmakers can make films on shoestring budgets - but the documentary feature comes across as Mick Rossi tooting his own horn for a job well done.
Nothing special here folks, but if you're a huge fan of gangster flicks and Played is the only one at your video store you haven't seen - go for it! Otherwise, don't pick it up unless you're curious about seeing so many big names flounder under the poor leadership of a bad script."
Good actors in an awful movie
Eddie | 01/31/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The cast is quite good, and includes Gabriel Byrne, Vinnie Jones (Snatch), Anthony LaPaglia, Val Kilmer, Patsy Kensit, Bruno Kirby, and others, but even they can't save a movie that is poorly written and directed. It felt quite formulaic, and is not in the same league as films like Snatch, Heist, Usual Suspects, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, etc. Fortunately I saw it on TV and didn't spend any money on it. It wasn't so bad that I turned it off, but it's far from being a good movie. I finished watching since I did like some of the actors (if not always the acting). The movie felt like a school project that could have been polished into a decent film. Some movies are meant to be watched again and again (e.g., The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, etc.). In the case of Played, once is more than enough. 2-stars is a generous rating."