Reindeer Games is a 2000 action thriller film, directed by John Frankenheimer.Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is a former car thief who gets released from prison after six years so he can come home to his family during the Christmas season. His cellmate and friend, Nick Cassidy (James Frain), is also getting out and while spending time with Rudy, he brags to him about the female penpal he writes to, Ashley Mercer (Charlize Theron). One day, Nick gets stabbed to death during a prison riot and once Rudy was released, he assumes Nick's identity and meets Ashley for the first time. While their relationship heats up, Ashley's criminal brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) and his group of thugs unknowingly drag Rudy down by bringing them to a casino where Nick used to work so they can steal some money. Things, however, are not what they appear to seem.
- Batman Gambit: Nick's plan depends on all six Santas getting killed. Six men in Santa outfits rob a casino, six men are found dead soon afterwords, the cops assume all six robbers died and stop looking for them, leaving all the loot in the hands of the hidden seventh criminal. Too bad Rudy was able to kill Nick, leaving the cops to assume that Nick was the sixth man while Rudy got off scot free.
- Faking the Dead: Nick, and in a way Rudy at the end.
- Fanservice: Charlize Theron goes topless in a scene in a swimming pool.
- How We Got Here: The film opens with a montage of six dead Santa Clauses, before flashing back to "Six Days Before." It turns out one of the Santas is Rudy, the only one of the main characters to survive the movie.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: When Ashley mentions Nick was stabbed with a shiv, even though Rudy never told her how her penpal was killed.
- Market-Based Title: Released in Britain as Deception.
- Not Quite Dead: Nick, who turns out to be alive and well and the real mastermind behind it all.
- Schmuck Bait: The Pow-wow Safe. Criminals are meant to assume that it stores special loot. It actually holds fully automatic weaponry so that the manager can defend himself against anyone who forces him to open the safe.
- Shoot Out the Lock: Santa does this to a door.
- Take That!: When Rudy finds out Ashley's associated with Gabriel, he tells her, "I had better sex in prison." OUCH.
- Taking the Bullet: Nick takes a shiv for Rudy in the beginning. Turns out to have been part of a (dangerous) Batman Gambit.
- Title Drop:Gabriel (to Rudy): Don't go playin' no reindeer games with me.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Gabriel, shot by Ashley.