A dark, playful spin of the wheel, Croupier teases those unlucky fools who believe they know how to play the game--any game--and win. A wickedly cool Clive Owen plays Jack Manfred, a budding writer reluctantly returning to his old job as a casino dealer (or maybe he's a born dealer trying his hand at writing) who stares with icy disdain at the hapless gamblers crowding greedily about his table. Yet Jack (and his novel's alter ego Jake), who insists on playing by the rules, refuses to gamble. and prides himself on being able to spot a cheat anywhere, is a mass of contradictions, living with his security-guard girlfriend Marion (Gina McKee) while toying with both a fellow dealer and a mysterious, troubled customer (knockout Alex Kingston, known to U.S. audiences primarily for her role on television's E.R.). Directed by long-timer Mike Hodges (1971's Get Carter), Croupier takes no hostages and provides a smart, unexpected finish that will leave most grasping for their chips.