It takes spectacularly bad judgment to make Jeff Bridges, Albert Finney, Nick Nolte, and Sharon Stone all look clunky and adrift. (Catherine Keener, a relative newcomer, emerges relatively unscathed, but then again she’s given much less to do.) Such misjudgment is usually the work of a committee, and even though this film was allegedly directed by one individual (Matthew Warchus), adapting with David Nicholls the work of another individual (a Sam Shepard play about a horse-racing scam), I can’t tell how much Warchus and/or Shepard can be blamed for the terminally awkward flashbacks, the unconvincing characters, the heavy-handed dramaturgy, and the overall dullness of what’s on-screen. Insofar as they’re allowed to be members of the committee, I assume they’re at least partially to blame, but it’s the whole contemporary system of picture making that probably has to be faulted for such an extravagant waste of resources. (JR)

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