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 ...
Matt Damon's character "Mike McDermott" is based on singer/songwriter Michael McDermott. The film was also written by Michael's friends. See more »
A reflection of a sound man can be clearly seen from the side of the car as Worm gets out to meet Mike and his supposed girlfriend. See more »
[hunched on top on the bar in the Chesterfield]
So how'd you do?
[Hands her his winnings in poker chips]
So, so, six thousand, two thousand and here's two more
Alright so its ten grand total, take back the two we lent you, give you the "white meat."
[leaning on front the bar]
you know what? Why don't you give me all of it?
Usually credit players leave with their profit otherwise the juice starts five points a week on Mike
Ok we'll owe you
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Written by Jim Smith & Greg Humphreys
Performed by Hobex
Courtesy of Slash Records See more »
A tightly focused vehicle for Damon's charm and swagger.
This film is incredibly focused. There is not one throw-away line or one extra frame in the entire movie. From the first establishing shot to the final line, the production team plays it tight and aggressive. I couldn't help but think of "The Hustler" as I watched, and Damon more than survives this comparison to a young Paul Newman. His swagger and charm and the even, controlled truthfulness of his performance all serve to place him solidly in the game with any of Hollywood's best. Highly recommended.
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