The Cooler

February 27th, 2004


more trailers The Cooler

Still of William H. Macy in The CoolerStill of Alec Baldwin and William H. Macy in The CoolerStill of Maria Bello in The CoolerStill of Alec Baldwin and Ron Livingston in The CoolerStill of Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy and Maria Bello in The Cooler

In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.0/10 (21,637 voted)

Critic's Score: 69/100

Director: Wayne Kramer

Stars: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin

The unluckiest man in Vegas - a guy whose bad luck is contagious - is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers' action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets "lady luck," which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance.

Writers: Frank Hannah, Wayne Kramer

William H. Macy - Bernie Lootz
Alec Baldwin - Shelly Kaplow
Maria Bello - Natalie Belisario
Shawn Hatosy - Mikey
Ron Livingston - Larry Sokolov
Paul Sorvino - Buddy Stafford
Estella Warren - Charlene
Arthur J. Nascarella - Nicky Fingers Bonnatto
Joey Fatone - Johnny Cappella
M.C. Gainey - Highway Officer (as MC Gainey)
Ellen Greene - Doris
Don Scribner - Lou
Tony Longo - Tony
Richard Israel - Marty Goldfarb
Timothy Landfield - The Player

Taglines: When your life depends on losing... the last thing you need is lady luck.

Release Date: 27 February 2004

Filming Locations: Landmark Hotel - Convention Center Drive and Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,200,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $128,973 (USA) (30 November 2003) (11 Screens)

Gross: $8,243,880 (USA) (21 March 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Bernie's Room 104 is located at the Town House Motor Lodge, 303 West Second Street, in Reno, Nevada. The film crew put another motel sign ("Bettor Life") over the Town House sign for filming the movie. The EZ Mini Market where Bernie shops is also at the Town House Motel. The Room 104 interiors were shot at the studio. The pool is still empty, even in the summers. The Town House is a quarter mile from the Golden Phoenix, at Second Street and Arlington in Reno.

Crew or equipment visible: In the motel, when Shelly confronts Natalie, the camera and its operator are reflected in the upper right-hand corner of the mirror.

[first lines]
Casino employee: Where's Bernie, they're killing us. Yeah, we need him right away.

User Review



The Cooler is worth seeing just for Alec Baldwin's performance alone. An old style casino boss, his inability and unwillingness to accept the new Vegas sends his volatile nature over the edge. Baldwin has always been an underrated actor- at the start of his career, the big studios made the mistake of trying to market him as a star, rather than as the quality actor that he is. He is also helped by working alongside another great actor, William H Macy, who can do more with a look than most can do with 6 OR 7 pages of dialogue ( See the scene when he realizes Maria Bello is still in his flat ). See this film for the acting. It's good to see that films like The Cooler and 21 Grams are doing well and being recognised - it is a triumph for acting and strong scripts as opposed to continual FX and CGI in modern cinema.