7.3/10
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302 user 131 critic

Rounders (1998)

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A young, reformed gambler must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks, while balancing his relationship with his girlfriend and his commitments to law school.

Director:

John Dahl
Reviews
Popularity
3,422 ( 743)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Mike McDermott
Gretchen Mol ... Jo
John Malkovich ... Teddy KGB
Paul Cicero Paul Cicero ... Russian Thug
Ray Iannicelli ... Kenny
John Turturro ... Joey Knish
Merwin Goldsmith ... Sy
Sonny Zito Sonny Zito ... Tony
Josh Mostel ... Zagosh
Mal Z. Lawrence ... Irving
Lenny Clarke ... Savino
Peter Yoshida Peter Yoshida ... Henry Lin
Jay Boryea Jay Boryea ... Russian Thug #2
Lenny Venito ... Moogie
Martin Landau ... Abe Petrovsky
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Storyline

John Dahl directed this exploration of New York private clubs devoted to high-stakes poker, with first-person narration from the film's central figure, law student Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), who loses his entire savings to Russian club owner Teddy KGB (John Malkovich). Mike then turns away from cards, devoting his attentions to his law studies and his live-in girlfriend Jo (Gretchen Mol), who's concerned when Mike's former gambling buddy Worm (Edward Norton) is released from prison. She has good reason to worry, since it takes Worm only a matter of minutes to draw Mike back into poker action. When she learns Mike has returned to the poker clubs, she moves out, and Mike begins to lose interest in his studies. Worm has a prison debt, and the threatening Grama (Michael Rispoli) wants the money. Mike not only indulges the irresponsible Worm, he gets involved in Worm's debts. When Grama demands $15,000 on a five-day deadline, the two buddies go into high gear with a non-stop, no-sleep ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

it's immoral to let a sucker keep his money See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Russian

Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apuesta final See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,459,126, 13 September 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,905,674, 8 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax, Spanky Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early on, Mike is seen taking money out of a poker book called "Super System", which was written by poker legend Doyle Brunson. He later pulls quotes from the book with the lines "Texas Hold 'em is the Cadillac of poker games" and "The trick to no limit is to put a man to a decision for all his chips." See more »

Goofs

None of the principle or supporting characters speak with a New York accent. See more »

Quotes

Mike McDermott: [leaning on the wall, talking on the sidewalk outside Teddy KBG's gambling club, in the middle of the night] I lost everything I lost my case and I lost my tuition
Joey Knish: [standing in front of him] Happens to everyone, from time to time everyone goes bust, you'll be back in the game before you know it
Mike McDermott: I'm done
Joey Knish: They all say that at first, let me stake you, standard deal fifty percent of your winnings, if you lose it's on me
Mike McDermott: I'd just throw it away you still got the truck?
Joey Knish: Sure, come on
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Entourage: Guys and Doll (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Strada Del Bosco
Written by De Michele, Cesare A. Bixio (as Bixlo), Rusconi & Nicola Salerno (as Nisa)
Performed by Mario Napoletano
Courtesy of Sherman Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Who would have thought a film about Poker would be so good?
16 October 2002 | by LebowskiT1000See all my reviews

There is a lot of good stuff in this film. You have a great story, an excellent cast, excellent directing, and a couple great games of poker.

When I first heard about this film, I was a bit skeptical. It's a game about poker, how exciting can it be? The fact that Edward Norton was in the film was the prime reason I wanted to see "Rounders". After seeing the film, I couldn't believe how much I liked it. The film flows very well from start to finish and you can't wait to see what happens in the next scene. Also, the film is filled with interesting, well-written characters.

As I mentioned above, the cast is fantastic. You have Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, Martin Landau and some small roles by Melina Kanakaredes (of "Providence") and Goran Visnjic (of "ER"). Matt Damon is quite a good actor and this is just another great film to add to his list of already impressive roles. Edward Norton is fantastic as "Worm", he plays a truly unlikeable person, but at the same time you respect him for taking the fall for his friends. John Tuturro is excellent, as always, he has such a cool style about him. John Malkovich is superb in his portrayal of Teddy KGB. And the rest of the cast does a great job as well in their respective roles.

If you are a poker fan, then I recommend you see this film, hopefully you'll enjoy it. I myself am not a huge fan of poker, but I do play the occasional game and I loved this film. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the acting, EVERYTHING. I truly hope you enjoy the film. Thanks for reading,

-Chris


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