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Middle Menargues pretty convincingly that Internet commerce wouldn't be possible without porn. Two cocaine-driven would-be pornographers named Wayne (Giovanni Ribisi,Avatar) and Buck (Gabriel Macht,The Spirit) invented the credit card protocol that makes buying over the Internet possible--and then came close to capsizing from their own indulgences and some bad decisions involving Russian mobsters. That's where Jack Harris (Luke Wilson,The Royal Tenenbaums) came in. Harris is simply a levelheaded guy who can see solutions where others only see problems--and he sees the potential to make more money than even Buck and Wayne had dreamed. What's most surprising aboutMiddle Menis how a movie based on a true story featuring porn stars and Russian gangsters has turned out a bit bland--particularly since it's written and directed by George Gallo, who wrote one of the most character-rich screenplays ever,Midnight Run. Of course, as one of the movie's producers is the man on whom Jack Harris is based, it was unlikely that Harris would be depicted as anything but a fundamentally decent guy who lost his way for a while. Despite this,Middle Menfeatures an abundance of entertaining supporting performances (Kelsey Grammer, James Caan, Kevin Pollack, and Robert Forster make pungent appearances) and many of the true-to-life twists are startling. Above all, Rade Serbedzija (Before the Rain) gives the movie a jolt of pure menace as the Russian mob boss.--Bret Fetzer
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CastGiovanni Ribisi, Luke Wilson
DirectorGeorge Gallo
Genre:  Drama
MPAA Rating:  R
Runtime:  82 minutes
Studio:  Paramount Pictures
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More Middle Men (2010) reviews
review by . August 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A section in the end credits for "Middle Men" asserts that, although it was inspired by a true story, the film is, in fact, a work of fiction. I've tended to find this annoying, especially in relation to horror movies. In the case of "Middle Men," however, the assertion fascinates me, for Christopher Mallick, the film's producer, has claimed that much of what we see - 80%, apparently - is based on his own experiences. A former chief executive of Paycom, the Texas-born entrepreneur was a key player …
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