Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds are terrific as a pair of mismatched gamblers in bittersweet buddy movie Mississippi Grind, one (Mendelsohn’s Gerry) a hangdog loser oozing desperation from every pore, the other (Reynolds’ Curtis) a glib, seemingly carefree charmer.

Against the odds, they win our interest, possibly even our sympathy, when they hook up and hit the road together, the superstitious Gerry convinced that Curtis is his lucky charm, the ‘big handsome leprechaun’ who will help him pull off a big win at a mythical high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.

Channelling the freewheeling spirit of 1970s Robert Altman, writer-directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden deliver a very loosely strung plot, but Mendelsohn and Reynolds keep us enthralled, waiting to see what the next turn of the cards will reveal.

Certificate 15. Runtime 104 mins. Directors Ryan Fleck,
Anna Boden.

 Mississippi Grind is available on DVD & Download, courtesy of Entertainment One.