In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.
A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.
Very underrated character piece, although not without its flaws
"Rounders" is about a straight-flying legal student (Matt Damon) who leaves behind his gambling habits to satisfy his moralistic girlfriend. However when his best friend "Worm" (Edward Norton) is released from jail, the two embark on a cards-journey that leads them from success to misfortune after Worm is caught cheating and the man who caught him (John Malkovich) wants his money back.
Whereas Ben Affleck continues to go downhill after "Good Will Hunting," Matt Damon has striven uphill, taking on daring productions such as "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "The Bourne Identity" series, and of course "Rounders," which features one of his best performances. Damon has become typecast as some sort of bad actor in the league of Affleck, but he's much better than his pal, and films like this prove it.
Norton is once again superb as one of his characters you love to hate. He's got the character of Worm down pat, and it really elevates the acting (along with Damon) to a level of greatness.
The film is directed and written very well, offering realistic dialog and gritty environments. However the flaws of the movie are its long running time (two hours exactly), which could have been shortened, and probably the fact that its card playing is sometimes a bit alienating to the audience.
That said, this is still a very underrated movie featuring outstanding performances and a unique spin on gambling flicks. Worth watching at least once in a lifetime.
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