BOILER ROOM is a step back in time with the world was a different place. The economy was booming and the tragedy of 9/11 was yet to come. The time was ripe to make money and create a few scams along the way. A great cast heads a movie about greed, honesty and family relationships. A young Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel that heads a cast that include Ben Affleck, Nia Long, Scott Caan and Ron Rifkin. Ribisi put his soul into the role of Seth Davis, an intelligent college dropout with a fractured relationship with his father, a respected judge.
It's not clear how he does this but Davis drops out of college without telling his parents and sets up a casino in his fancy apartment. His casino caters to rich college students and Davis has a financial windfall. Davis draws the attention of some questionable characters who connect him with brokerage firm JT Marlin. Soon Davis is a trainee as a stock broker and promised future earnings into the millions. Seems like a dream world but soon Davis begins to question the ethics and legitimacy of the JT Marlin. The company cold calls potential investors with promises of huge profits. It is hard to believe that so many people would fall for what could be a serious scam and risk their life's savings so readily. Yet, people do and Davis becomes the top broker in training.
The meat of this story is the moral dilemma Davis suffers when he begins to realize something is not adding up with JT Marlin. It seems like all he does is a way to gain acceptance from his distant father. Their relationship is never explored fully and it does bring up the question as to why the father is so distant. His attitude toward his son sets up Davis for failure.
It's an interesting study in relationships and moral values. The fun of this film is seeing young versions of some popular actors like Ribisi, Diesel and Affleck along with a few faces you will recognize from later movies and TV shows. BOILER ROOM is not without flaws. More character exposition could have helped flesh out the story and people's actions but still it is a riveting look back to another time.