Molly's Game

Dec 28, 2017

A different kind of Wonder Woman and almost as daring.

Molly’s Game

Grade: B+

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Screenplay: Sorkin (The Social Network—Oscar), from titular Molly Bloom book

Cast: Jessica Chastain (The Zookeeper’s Wife), Idris Elba (The Mountain between Us)

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hr 20 min

by John DeSando

“I don’t trust People . . . . I have no heroes.” Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain)

That pretty much characterizes the heroine of Molly’s Game—a brilliant woman, Molly (Jessica Chastain), who, after suffering an Olympic skiing career-ending accident turns to running high-end gambling nights only to be indicted on illegal gambling charges. However, the real interest in this story is in the gutsy, implacable woman, based on Molly Bloom’s book of the same name, who never flinches from her self regard and principles that remain constant throughout her life.

She was Hollywood’s “poker princess” who at 26 ran games as pure as the snow she used to ski except at the end of her career when she deviated from her norms and became entwined with the feds, who hounded her into court. Chastain, together with Idris Elba as her smart lawyer, have moments of interaction that could be straight out of a 40’s screwball comedy, typical from the pen of writer/director Aaron Sorkin, except that there’s nothing amusing about the years in prison she was facing in the court room,

What pleases me so much is we have, not a Wonder Woman, but a real woman with unusual intelligence maneuvering in a man’s world of wealthy poker players. Besides stretching the rules a small amount of time and extending credit when she shouldn’t, she shows a fortitude and intelligence that could be wish for anyone’s daughter.

Molly’s game tells a true story with a modern, flawed heroine. She has four Aces to Lara Croft’s two of a kind. Be a winner and see this commanding biopic portrayed by an actress who could be anyone’s heroine.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at