Clive Owen is criminally good in Croupier.
Clive Owen is criminally good in Croupier. Courtesy of Shooting Gallery
Sorting through our master list of Unstreamable films today, I discovered that column-favorite Croupier recently popped back onto streaming services. I'm taking the movie's streamability as an opportunity to re-publicize this neo-noir. Sometimes you just need to dig into a Clive Owen film. And boy, Croupier is a good one.

It introduced the brooding young English actor to an American audience as a tuxedoed croupier (card dealer) in a casino in London. Day is hard to come by in this film; most of the action occurs at night or in the windowless, underground casino, which has covered its walls in warped mirrors that resemble molten silver. The felt on the card tables is an unsettlingly purple-blue.

Owen, as Jack, a down-on-his-luck writer with a preternatural gift for dealing, is cool and immutable; a bit misshapen but attractive, observant, and deeply self-involved. He's a Gemini, so he's charming, the type of dude where women just appear naked before him. The seedy punters (gamblers) and a life lived at night are all fodder for the book he's writing, which Owen reads to the film's audience through voiceovers.

Support The Stranger

My favorite thing about Croupier is the sound of the different games: the chips stacked on the tables, the rattling of the marble ball spinning in the roulette wheel, the clip of the cards dealt in front of players. This movie is perfect for your post-Thanksgiving coma.

Stream Croupier on Hoopla, or rent it via Prime Video, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Seattle Public Library, or Scarecrow Video.