Going to the cinema can be a gamble: you risk your hard earned money on the promise of three of a kind - director, screenplay and cast working in perfect harmony. More often than not, the gamble doesn't pay off and that's certainly the case with Lucky You, a meandering romantic drama set in the high-stakes world of Las Vegas where lives are changed on the turn of a card or spin of a roulette wheel.

Director Curtis Hanson is a master of human drama, as previous films such as L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys and 8 Mile demonstrate, and co-writer Eric Roth has been drenched in accolades for his scripts for Forrest Gump, The Insider and Munich, among others. Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore are an intriguing lead pairing, and Hollywood statesman Robert Duvall lends the project gravitas as an old time card player, who has mantras for life up his sleeve as well as a few aces. Sadly, for all of its promise, Lucky You goes bust after the first half an hour, undone by pedestrian pacing, occasionally risible dialogue and a lack of screen chemistry between its stars.

Professional poker player Huck Cheever (Bana) is known in gambling circles as 'a blaster': passionate yet volatile, he often goes for broke when patience might be the best course for action. Yet, in his personal life, Huck keeps his cards very close to his chest, ricocheting from one-night stands without risking his heart.

He looks forward to trying his luck at the 2003 World Series in Las Vegas, where all of the best players come to test their good fortune under pressure. However, Huck doesn't have the $10,000 entry fee necessary to secure his spot, so he accepts an offer from fellow gambler Roy Durucher (Charles Martin Smith) to bankroll him - in exchange for 70 per cent of the winnings. A chance encounter with pretty singer Billie Offer (Barrymore), who is staying with her protective sister Suzanne (Debra Messing), propels Huck on a journey of self-discovery, including a showdown with his estranged father L.C. (Duvall) at the card table.

Lucky You keeps its cards too close to its chest. The screenplay doesn't give us any insight into the demons, which drive Bana's hero, and we're at a loss to comprehend Billie's interest in him. He cheats, lies to and steals from her and she simply keeps coming back for more. Hanson spends far too long on scenes at the poker tables, where characters talk to one another in flops and calls, that mean little to the uninitiated.

After one long game of bluff and counter-bluff, the defeated player whines, "You raised with nothing?" and Chuck responds smugly: "Sometimes, nothing's enough." In the case of Hanson's film, nothing is definitely not enough to grab our attention for more than two hours.

As depicted in Captivity, beautiful and fiercely intelligent fashion model Jennifer (Elisha Cuthbert) is one of the most recognisable faces in America. Splashed on various billboards and magazine covers, she is the quintessential girl next door, beloved by men and women alike.

Unfortunately, one of her admirers is about to take their obsession with Jennifer to horrific extremes. After attending a high-profile charity event in New York, Jennifer is drugged and abducted by a demonic puppet-master with a talent for emotional manipulation. Held captive in a cell under constant CCTV surveillance, Jennifer is driven to the brink of insanity by her captor, until she is introduced to fellow victim Gary (Daniel Gillies).

Thrown together in hellish circumstances, Jennifer and Gary are drawn to one another and as suspicion and distrust gradually turn to sexual attraction, the ulterior motives of their captor are revealed.