The windy heist caper has been a cinematic staple for a long time, and the subgenre can usually be counted on to pull in a crowd, even if the reviews turn out to be less than stellar.
Watching a cast of disparate characters band together to execute a seemingly impossible plan is a simple escapism, and 2008’s surprising hit 21 on Netflix this weekend is further proof that high-end heists captured on celluloid will never go out of style.
According to FlixPatrol, Robert Luketic’s twisted tale jumped 79 spots in the viewership charts overnight, and it’s ironically and deservedly equal parts the 21st most-watched title on the platform. However, the film has caused some controversy and has nothing to do with the presence of Hollywood exile Kevin Spacey in a starring role.
The story centers on genius-level MIT student Jim Sturgess, who teams up with his peers to earn the money needed to pay those high tuition fees by using their penchant for problem solving to earn a streak. of high-stakes card games, under the tutelage of Spacey’s maverick professor.
The controversy came from the fact that the adaptation of the 2003 book Knock down the house (which was inspired by real events) was hit with accusations of money laundering, while the majority of the subjects that were considered in the source material were of Asian descent, with one of the producers even publicly addressing the problem.
it didn’t bother 21however, after grossing nearly $160 million off a $35 million budget, despite a lackluster response from critics.