4.9/10
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The Card Player (2004)

Il cartaio (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 2 January 2004 (Italy)
A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anna Mari
...
John Brennan
...
Remo
Adalberto Maria Merli ...
Police Commissioner
...
Carlo Sturni
...
Lucia Marini
...
Berardelli
...
Francesca
Giovanni Visentin ...
C.I.D. Chief
Claudio Mazzenga ...
Mario
Conchita Puglisi ...
Marta
Micaela Pignatelli ...
Professor Terzi
Luis Molteni ...
Pathologist
Carlo Giuseppe Gabardini ...
Anti-Hacker #1
Alessandro Mistichelli ...
Anti-Hacker #2

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Storyline

In Rome, after the abduction of a British tourist, the police inspector Anna Mari is contacted by the criminal, who self-entitles The Card Player, challenging the police department to dispute a video poker with him where the prize would be the life of the victim. The Chief of Police refuses to participate and the victim is tortured and killed in front of an Internet web cam. The British detective John Brennan is assigned to investigate the case and when another woman is kidnapped, they invite the addicted player Remo to play for the police. Anna and John lead the investigation trying to disclose who might be the serial-killer. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A serial killer with a vice for Video Poker.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

2 January 2004 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Card Player  »

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Box Office

Budget:

€2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$874,371 (Italy) (2 January 2004)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stefania Rocca spent a lot of time with four Roman policewomen to witness them in action throughout their daily routines. See more »

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Referenced in Ti piace Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid thriller, terribly underrated
21 October 2004 | by (Iceland) – See all my reviews

Dario Argento's latest thriller, The Card Player, is not Argento at his best, but still pretty good.

Stefania Rocca plays a detective trying to hunt down a serial killer who kills his victims after defeating the police in internet poker games. Liam Cunningham is the Irish cop assisting her.

This movie doesn't display much of Argento's visual creativity as his earlier films did and as a whole is quite different from any of his other films. For one thing there's no real gore to speak of. With the exception of a few grisly after the fact autopsies there's nothing here in that department since most of the killings take place off-screen. Instead Argento focuses on playing it straight, like almost deliberately trying to appeal to the mainstream. This could well be an American movie, except maybe for the hilarious dubbing here and there by supporting characters (but that's a trait one is so used to by now). As usual, the supporting actors don't deliver the goods but the two leads are quite excellent. Liam Cunningham really delivers in a cliché ridden role and Stefania Rocca shows she's got the goods (in all departments). If only the film had more of the "Argento-look" and feel, there's definitely something missing.

That said, this film does have it's good points, and a great touch here and there from the Italian maestro. A stalking sequence is a particular standout, quite unnerving and masterfully filmed. One character's tragic demise is deliciously grisly and the finale comes off as original and generally well played out.

All in all, a (completely) different Argento is still more interesting than most other directors out there, whether when trying to appeal to the mainstream or sticking to his trademark giallo's.

A terribly underrated thriller, deserves a higher rating.


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