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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.


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Plot Overview

contractor's speechCivilian contractor Major John Gordo, Retired (Willem Dafoe) is giving a presentation at a law enforcement convention whose audience includes stalker Cirk Baufort (Tye Sheridan) out to revenge his father's suicide whom the Major had trained and then abandoned. By chance another of the Major's trainees in enhanced inter­ro­gation shows up, erst­while Pfc William Tillich, now William Tell (Oscar Isaac) there at the convention center to apply his prison-honed skills at blackjack & poker.

Gambler's Royal
FlushRather than join Cirk in his unholy quest, Tell stakes him for company on his gambling circuit traveling below the radar. Prison had put Tell out of touch with women—he used to be a ladies' man—but he agrees to get him­self laid once Cirk reconciles with his mom. Having this hunger awakened Tell allows his lady friend La Linda (Tiffany Haddish) to find some­one in her stable to stake him at poker. He wants to build a nest egg and then get out. Sounds like a plan.


Religion aside, this road trip of William Tell with Cirk “just going around and around until [they] work things out” reminds one of Moses trekking around the wilderness with God's people on their way to the promised land. How­ever, in the movie is intro­duced another character, a black chick Linda whom Bill seems about to take up with. Yet there's one in the story of Moses, too. Among his storied exploits he picks up a trophy wife.

(Jasher 73:28-34)
28 And Balaam the magician, when he saw that the city was taken, he opened the gate and he and his two sons and eight brothers fled and returned to Egypt to Pharaoh king of Egypt.
29 They are the sorcerers and magicians who are mentioned in the book of the law, standing against Moses when the Lord brought the plagues upon Egypt.
30 So Moses took the city by his wisdom, and the children of Cush placed him on the throne instead of Kikianus king of Cush.
31 And they placed the royal crown upon his head, and they gave him for a wife Adoniah the Cushite queen, wife of Kikianus.
32 And Moses feared the Lord God of his fathers, so that he came not to her, nor did he turn his eyes to her.
33 For Moses remembered how Abraham had made his servant Eliezer swear, saying unto him, Thou shalt not take a woman from the daughters of Canaan for my son Isaac.
34 Also what Isaaac did when Jacob had fled from his brother, when he commanded him saying, Thou shalt not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan, nor make alliance with any of the children of Ham.

(Jasher 83:31-32) “And whilst the children of Israel were in Hazeroth, the anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam on account of Moses, and she became leprous, white as snow. And she was confined without the camp for seven days, until she had been received again after her leprosy.”


  1. And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
  2. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
  3. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
  4. And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
  5. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
  6. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
  7. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
  8. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: where­fore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
  9. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
  10. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
  11. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
  12. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.
  13. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
  14. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
  15. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
  16. And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

The ancient name of Ethiopia was Cush for the Cushites who settled there. Cush was the eldest son of Ham, see Gen. 10:6, Cush being Hebrew for black. Evidently, Miriam and Aaron were espousing received lore, (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.” Cushites were supposed to be servants of the Semites, so why did Moses marry the help? God's response was that Moses is a higher order prophet than they or Noah whom Miriam and Aaron were speaking for.

We note that Miriam received the brunt of the discipline. She liked white skin, so God made her a leper. Miriam who'd looked after her brother Moses as a baby (Ex. 2:4-7) was supposed to guard his reputation now as a prophet and leader, (1Timothy 3:5) “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” She had the example of Noah's missus to follow who being a good wife made her­self scarce while Noah decom­pressed from a day's labor. She went off to visit her youngest son Ham telling him not to bother his father. Disobedient Ham came knocking and discovered Noah plastered. He went and mocked him to his two older brothers Japheth and Shem (Gen. 9:20-23). Ham was perturbed that his father had gotten naked with­out setting about to procreate as God commanded. He also didn't like his father taking a recess from rebuilding the wrecked world. Noah's rejoinder was along the lines of, “Oy! Vey! You want we should have children and work harder? Okay, your descendants (Canaan) can be slaves to your brothers. Oy! Vey!” (Gen. 9:24-27).

It pertains to a leader to be, (1Tim. 3.3) “not given to wine,” but this was just a one-off with Noah, not a habit. Similarly, William Tell availed him­self of Linda's provided backer for, “one year tops,” not as an ongoing service that would eventually result in loss and debt. He wasn't having sex with her except for one time to satisfy Hollywood's demand for a lame sex scene. When he had to walk away from his tournament poker table, the hostess covered for him (“House?”) she being another good example of professionalism.

Production Values

integrated pool” was written and directed by Paul Schrader. It stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan. Their performances were fair to middling. The casting of the extras was uniformly integrated even in the prisons that in the real world are segregated and 50+% black. There is a single confrontation at the mess hall where Tell nibbles on a nigger's crumpet and gets him­self socked for it. But he turns the other cheek like Moses the meekest man on Earth.

crucifiedMPAA rated it R for some disturbing violence, graphic male nudity, language and brief sexuality. This movie flows at a sedate pace except where it erupts in violence off screen or in flash­back. The only usable lesson at cards is how boring it can be.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is pretty much a ho hum film, but by the same token it's easy to follow. The main characters are plodders, not high rollers, although they might have had a different life in the military. See it if you can't make up your mind to see something else.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Translated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print.