When you've got a movie centered around poker and gambling, like Runner Runner, there's one sure bet: The Hack Stamp-ing references will be the big stack at the table.
While the lost-in-space adventure Gravity might seem a likely candidate for "out of this world"-type comments, the critics appear to have been inspired to better things by its quality. Runner Runner, on the other hand, simply inspired stuff like this:
“ … feels like learning the rules of a card game you don’t want to play.” – Greg Evans, Bloomberg News
“…it’s a losing bet for all concerned.” – James Rocchi, Geek Nation
“By the end of the movie, you might feel swindled yourself.” – Kurt Loder, Reason.com
“The cast are excellent but the script reveals its hand too soon.” – Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express
“Be aware, poker fans. Runner Runner is bluffing. … [A]ccording to Hoyle — as poker players would say — the film really just does boilerplate Hollywood drama.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
“Runner Runner is card dead … You should be able to see straight through the weak, smiling poker face that is Runner Runner. As the song goes, you gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. This one should have folded long ago.” – Anders Wright, San Diego Union-Tribune
“Fold and walk away.” – Paul Chambers, MovieChambers.com
“It’s a story about gambling that doesn’t take enough gambles, holding onto its hand and making little bets along the way instead of going all in for the big pot. It’s a trip to the tables where you walk away a few dollars up, but regretting you didn’t make a bigger play. … you see Runner Runner’s hand before its played, and there’s nothing to keep you playing.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News
A website called Schmoes Know provided a delightful tag-team of predictable references:
“ … don’t bet on this to be a worthwhile experience at the theater.” – Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know
“Runner Runner comes up short of being a full house at the movies.” – Mark Ellis, Schmoes Know
Finally, while the gambling gags were most common, one critic went in a slightly different direction. Unfortunately, she also went in the same direction twice.
“When it comes to this movie and the other direction, run run — don’t walk walk. … Runner Runner is a bummer. Bummer.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post