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 ...
The second film in 1998 in which Oscar winner Matt Damon would work with either a former Best Actor winner or nominee. Damon co-starred with two-time winner Tom Hanks in "Saving Private Ryan" and his co-star Edward Norton was nominated for his dramatic debut in "Primal Fear" in 1996 and coincidentally would be nominated for "American History X", which was released months after this film was released theatrically in 1998. See more »
As Mike talks to the professor in the bar about Mike missing the meeting, the professor's cigarette swaps hands repeatedly between shots. See more »
[Referring to Worm]
The guy's a cheat he always has been, right now his over at Chesterfield ruining your reputation with every lousy second he deals.
I told him, did anybody else see you?
No, nobody saw it I heard it, the snapping sound gave it away, had I known might not have noticed him turn around then I see him with the Mechanic's grip I know.
Did you get into the office?
I tried to warn him but he looked right through me
Alright I'll go get him
No, his ok now most of the players are at the tail ...
[...] See more »
Who would have thought a film about Poker would be so good?
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,
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