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 ...
Tom Aldredge's character Judge Marinacci's last name is a reference to poker consultant Johnny Marinacci. See more »
Mike goes to a check cashing place with a personal check for $10,000 from his professor. Check cashing businesses never cash personal checks on the same day; they require a 3-5 day waiting period so the check can clear. And even if it was a payroll check, the business would have taken a percentage to cash it, so Mike would not have had the full $10,000 to bring to the game.
The filmmakers have stated (in interview with ESPN.com's Bill Simmons) that the cash checking location is run by a friend of his professor's, but the scene was cut to bring the film's running time down. 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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