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 ...
Edward Norton and Famke Janssen would go on to appear in Marvel films in later years. Norton would star in The Incredible Hulk ten years after this film was released. Janssen who appear in the X-Men Trilogy (2000 -2006) as well as a special appearance in The Wolverine in 2013. See more »
When Mike and Worm visit Grama together, Grama lists the amount owed as $25,000. This was the original amount owed, but he already took the first $10K back from Worm. Later in the same scene, Grama goes back to demanding the correct $15K amount. See more »
[in his apartment]
Tomorrow's a week
A week of what?
The first two thousand you owe the Chesterfield
Yeah it's kind of weird he just won eight grand why go out on the line on another two?
[referring to the amount of money Worm won]
So he took off eight from Roman and Maurice?
Yeah he comes in after you leave, about twenty minutes later he cashes out for the full amount Maurice hasn't been back since, his been playing across the street, but Worm's been around playing, his run you up just under ...
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I really enjoyed this movie, more than I thought I would.
I knew "Rounders" had something to do with gambling, and that Matt Damon stars in it, but not much more. So, when I watched it on DVD I was pleasantly surprised how engaging a film it is.
I am not a gambler, so maybe that is part of why I found it so fascinating. Basic story - Damon's character is a 2nd yr law student in NYC, and a good enough poker player that he has aspirations of entering and winning the million-dollar prize in the world series of poker in Lasvegas. However, Ed Norton plays his good buddy just getting out of prison. Norton's character is also a poker player, but also incorporates cheating because that just helps you make money faster. This approach gets both of them in some pretty hot water, and also deep in debt!!
Damon's character has a S.O. played by Gretchen Mol. Her distaste for gambling puts a great strain on their relationship. Will she stay, or will she move out??
And finally, John Malkovich does a wonderful job as the Russian gambler nicknamed "KGB". John Turturro is perfectly cast as Damon's friend and "street" advisor.
I simply found myself caught up in this story, anticipating the next poker game, wondering if they would all get whacked, or survive. Plus, Matt Damon has such a relaxed acting style, with that great smile of his, which makes all of his movies easy to watch.
I rate this one 8 of 10 for the well-done gambling drama depicted here.
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