The documentary All In—The Poker Movie is currently running at a theater in Lansdowne, Delaware County, at Cinema 16:9 through April 26. The film has had a limited run on the big screen but starting Tuesday, April 24, it will be available through Intenet download.
The movie is described promotionally as “the story of the worldwide poker boom that started in the underground clubs of New York City and went on to be played at homes and casinos all around the globe.”
In fact, the film engages in considerable exploration regarding the prohibitions on Internet poker that were effectively enforced about year ago on April 15, 2011 in a federal crackdown.
What may be of most interest to poker enthusiasts is the wide range of personalities who contribute their thoughts about poker, in historical and cultural contexts. There are the folks who are given credit for sparking the poker boom, from obscurity-to-legend Chris Moneymaker to Rounders star Matt Damon. There are the poker celebrities, such as Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth. And even more interesting are the not-as-well known but still extremely influential poker figures, such as Henry Orenstein and Steve Lipscomb. And of particular irony to many in poker will be the righteous-sounding words of former poker icon and Full Tilt Poker principal Howard Lederer, who is currently discredited in the poker community.
The film, which largely treats poker glowingly, has received a range of reviews.
Generally, the poker press—which is usually hard on poker films—liked the movie. Poker News said it was “destined to emerge as a state-of-the-art overview of poker’s place in society today. … One of the most comprehensive collections of poker archive footage and film/TV references seen in such a history of the modern game.”
Predictably, the New York Times ripped it. “The film … is so padded with cheerleading that it doesn’t have time for a serious exploration of poker’s place in the broader culture or the consequences of its rapid rise and global reach,” the Times sniffed.
As always, you should be the judge.
Photos: Courtesy All In—The Poker Movie