Movie Review

Smokin' Aces

May the best hitman win
Smokin' Aces Movie Poster

US Release Date: 01-26-2007

Directed by: Joe Carnahan


  • Ben Affleck
  • Jack Dupree
  • Jeremy Piven
  • Aces Israel
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Richard Messner
  • Andy Garcia
  • Stanley Locke
  • Alicia Keys
  • Georgia Sykes
  • Taraji P. Henson
  • Sharrice Watters
  • David Proval
  • Baby Buzz Padiche
  • Chris Pine
  • Darwin Tremor
  • Ray Liotta
  • Donald Carruthers
  • Alex Rocco
  • Serna
  • Peter Berg
  • Pete Deeks
  • Martin Henderson
  • Hollis Elmore
  • Kevin Durand
  • Jeeves Tremor
  • Maury Sterling
  • Lester Tremor
  • Jason Bateman
  • Rip Reed
  • Matthew Fox
  • Bill
  • Wayne Newton
  • Himself
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: June 26th, 2007
Jeremy Piven in Smokin' Aces.

Jeremy Piven in Smokin' Aces.

Smokin' Aces is an all-star ensemble movie like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Cannon Ball Run. The scenes in the movie constantly change from one cast of characters to the next. Each story line is headed in the same direction and each segment stars some recognizable faces.

A Las Vegas stand-up comedian, Aces, has decided to squeal on the mob. He is holding out in a Lake Tahoe casino as the deal with the Feds is finalized. A mob boss has meanwhile put a one million-dollar bounty on his head. This brings out every assassin in the country, and they, as well as a couple of FBI agents race to Lake Tahoe to get Aces.

Whereas the above-mentioned movies were for the most part family friendly, Smokin' Aces is decidedly R rated. It contains all kinds of adult dialogue. "Get out of my fucking sight." "Are you a Colossal fucking idiot?" "Faggot-ass redneck." "Sometimes, fate just up-and-fucks you for no-good reason." The best line belongs to Jason Bateman when he is referring to himself, "Thanks God, A dog pile of piss poor physique on top of a small cock and hereditary alcoholism, I appreciate it! ... I'm babbling. I do that drunk."

Even if the language was not enough to make this an adult movie, the blood certainly is. Many characters die and die in bad ways. Most of the cast ends up in puddles of their own blood. The most intense scene is a shootout between two people alone in an elevator. Smokin' Aces is not big on plot but it is big on action and body counts.

Reviewed on: September 11th, 2008
This is an ugly movie that I was just glad when it was over.

This is an ugly movie that I was just glad when it was over.

The difference between this movie and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Cannon Ball Run is that those two movies were comedies. This movie, while having a few (very few) amusing moments, is definitely not a comedy.

I actually watched this movie expecting it to be one thing and finding out that it was something quite different. The trailers marketed this movie as fast paced and stylish, with a dash of wit. In reality, it's just one long action scene that I didn't find entertaining at all. There wasn't a character in it that I liked or cared whether or not they lived or died.

It is also an ugly movie. Some violent movies couch their violence with artistic style, not so this one. Also, this movie is star-studded as Eric said. It features a great many good-looking people. However, it goes to great length to make sure that none of them look good.

The only way this movie makes sense to me is if writer/director Joe Carnahan is making a statement about how ugly violence is. Nothing else explains to me why he included a scene in the middle of the movie featuring an idiotic, violence-addicted, hyper-active child. Is he trying to say something about those people who find violence entertaining? Or am I just grasping for straws?

I guess this is just another case for truth in advertising. If I had gone in to it knowing just how dark it really was, I would have been better prepared and perhaps have enjoyed it more. As it was, I was just glad when it was over.

Reviewed on: March 26th, 2014
Alicia Keys in Smokin' Aces.

Alicia Keys in Smokin' Aces.

Not only does it include a scene featuring an idiotic, violence-addicted, hyper-active child, but this teenaged boy is shown getting a clearly visible erection through his sweatpants, while menacing a grown man who's missing the fingers of one hand, in a bathtub. This movie is all types of fucked up.

Yes it has an all-star cast and plenty of bloody action, but like Scott, I was bored with this hot mess of a wannabe Quentin Tarantino movie. The plot is just an excuse to gather a bunch of low life psychopaths in once place and have scene after scene of unrealistic carnage. The FBI agents are all idiots and the bad guys get away with shit that would never work in real life. They even use the old mask-that-looks-so-real-no-one-can-tell-it's-fake trick.

The cast of famous faces all seem to be having a good time at least. Alicia Keys and Common both made their movie debuts with Smokin' Aces. A pre-stardom Chris Pine has a small role as one of the three lunatic neo-Nazi brothers. Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds seem to be in a different movie altogether. They alone seem to be playing it straight, as if they're in some prestigious Martin Scorsese crime thriller, while everyone else seems to realize what an over-the-top Pulp Fiction on steroids, black comedy this really is. Or I should say is trying to be. It never hits the mark since a comedy needs some actual wit and not just ignorant people spouting derogatory remarks at each other in-between gun battles and other forms of violent mutilations.

In case you have any doubts about my opinion, let me reiterate as succinctly as possible. Smokin' Aces sucks.