Runner, The

Stars:  Ron Eldard, John Goodman, Courteney Cox

A young man with a gambling problem takes a job as a runner for a high stakes bettor. Little does he know that the bettor has turned the game on him.

Edward (Ron Eldard) is a sweet but not so innocent loser who is recruited by his uncle Rocko (Joe Mantegna) to help place bets for a bigwig gambler named “Deep Throat” played by an icy cool John Goodman here.

All Edward has to do is place the bets as he’s instructed to do and transfer the receipts to Rocko who’s the collector for a troupe of similarly hired hands – that and follow three simple rules: don’t gamble, don’t give away Deep Throat’s picks and don’t use his money.

You know going in that the kid has a gambling problem so it’s just a matter of time before he starts to self-destruct.

Edward falls for a waitress named Karina (Courteney Cox), she becomes pregnant and they marry. The relationship is the highlight of Edward’s life. All this gives Deep Throat more ammunition when Edward knowingly breaks each of the three rules.

The story is sharp, well paced with many original moments. The characters are extremely well defined. Goodman’s evil is particularly calculated – he’s a businessman. As much as money is important to him, trust is more so and when Edward breaks the trust, his character is on to him and it becomes an interesting game of cat and mouse.

Lotta says
don’t let the opening exposition scare you if you’re not into gambling. This is a well written story and all will become clear in short order.