Director: Mark Illsley
Screenwriters: Michael Bacall

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Mark Illsley, whose feature debut, Happy, Texas, reaped critical and audience praise and became one of the hot films at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, returns with another comedy/drama about small-time college bookies who run into trouble when their operation becomes a little too successful. Illsley, who again displays a superb directorial touch, sets a welcome pace in this tale of three college friends who run a fledgling bookmaking enterprise out of their dorm room and quickly begin to enjoy the substantial fruits of their illegal activities.

Toby (Nick Stahl), Petra (Johnny Galecki), and Casey (Lukas Haas) merge their diverse talents in setting up computerized spreadsheets, taking the bets (nothing over $500), and making the collections, but despite their mutual vows about discretion, their indulgences and party-hardy lifestyle soon attract attention from the local mob bookmaker, whose turf they've invaded. When Hunter (Rachael Leigh Cook), Toby's love interest, realizes what they're up to and voices concern, the boys face a Hobson's choice: can they simply survive, much less preserve their friendship or manage to keep their profits?

With terrific performances and a tightly woven script, Bookies is a bet that filmgoers will be glad they made.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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