A small office of downtrodden real estate agents is shaken up when “downtown” decides it’s time to give them a kick up the backside. By the end of the month, the top two salesmen will get to keep their jobs, while the other two will be fired. The message is delivered as part of a brutal sales seminar by cut-throat über-slimeball Blake (Alec Baldwin). The rest of the film follows the four salesmen throughout the rest of the evening and the next morning, as they come to terms with this new hand fate has dealt them.
The film is adapted from a play by David Mamet, and director James Foley handles it with a very small-scale, theatrical touch. The story is played out mainly through dialogue in a handful of closely connected locations. The all-star cast put in tremendous, intense performances, but in the end I didn’t find myself emotionally connecting with them. It’s undoubtedly a good film, but I enjoyed it primarily in a critical sense.