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Rounders (1998)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  11 September 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 116,242 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 288 user | 125 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A young man is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.


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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Cicero ...
Russian Thug
Joey Knish
Merwin Goldsmith ...
Sonny Zito ...
Peter Yoshida ...
Henry Lin
Jay Boryea ...
Russian Thug #2


A young man is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In The Game Of Life... Play The Cards You're Dealt See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apuesta final  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,459,126 (USA) (11 September 1998)


£188,946 (UK) (20 November 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


On the DVD commentary it's revealed that Edward Norton ad libbed a number of Worm's lines. Among them was, "She crossed her legs too fast," which is a quote from Chinatown (1974). See more »


In the final scene, there is a sticker on the "City Law School" door that reads "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey". See more »


Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Where did you come up with the scratch for that? You've been rolling fags in the Village again, haven't you?
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: John Malkovich/T.I. (2008) See more »


Baby, I'm A Big Star Now
Written by Adam Duritz (as Adam F. Duritz)
Performed by Counting Crows
Courtesy of Geffen Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Very underrated character piece, although not without its flaws
1 April 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"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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