Boiler Room

Director: Ben Younger
Screenwriters: Ben Younger

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


In Ben Younger's testosterone-laden film, the "boiler room" is an investment bank where white-hot greed rolls violent and unchecked. It is also the searing conscience of a young man on the wrong side of the law, struggling to gain the love and respect of a disapproving father.
Seth Davis (outstandingly performed by Giovanni Ribisi) runs a backdoor casino for local college kids. It is a tidy and efficient operation that Seth is proud of, but it angers his father, Judge Marty Davis. So when a clean-cut banker, Gregg offers him a job at his new up-and-coming firm, Seth takes him up on it. Jim (Ben Affleck) supervises his breakneck job training at JT Marlin, and Seth learns to reel in new customers aggressively and sell stock to investors, big and small. He eventually makes an enormous amount of money and falls for the company's attractive secretary, Debbie (Nia Long).
But there is something ominous about his investment bank, located off Exit 53 on the Long Island Expressway, far away from Manhattan's financial district, where the executives wear Italian suits, carry themselves like football players, and do business like thrashing sharks hungry for prey.
In the tradition of Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men, Younger's bankers are bad men with detestable values and malignant personalities who deify the dollar bill and engender the same sexist machismo as the raging hip-hop sound track. Boiler Room is a study of the attenuated struggle between conscience and corruption on the battleground of masculinity.

Screening Details

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