Based on the experiences of writer-director Robert Celestino as a card player, Yonkers Joe tells the story of a dice hustler played by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri (Analyze This, The Dukes). He is fast, and he is slick. He can pull moves that others cannot even imagine in their wildest dreams (Can you hold two dice with the back of your hand without dropping them?). Be it switching dice or cards, he has done it all and is the best in his craft.

His latest scam idea: pulling one over on the casinos that, with their technology, have put a leash on his abilities. That is until his estranged and mentally challenged son, Joe Jr. (Thomas Guiry), moves in with him. Desperately needing money to send Joe Jr. to an upscale school for kids with Down Syndrome, Yonkers Joe decides to try his luck in Las Vegas. However, somewhere between New York and Las Vegas, after a few anger outbursts and amidst plans to dupe the “eye in the sky,” Joe realizes something: He loves his son very much.

Remember Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rain Man? Well, in my opinion, Palminteri outshines Cruise (many of you may not agree with me).

Academy Award-winner Christine Lahti, Golden Globe-nominee Linus Roache and Academy Award-nominee Michael Lerner provide Palminteri’s character with amazing supporting roles.

Grade: B

Yonkers Joe releases in select theaters Jan. 9.