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 said in a interview that getting John Malkovich was a big deal for the film, so much so that on the first take John Malkovich did a very cartoonish and over the top performance at the end of which the whole crew applauded and praised him for how brilliant it was. At which point Matt Damon looked John Malkovich very confused, John Malkovich seeing him looking confused leaned over and said "I'm a terrible actor." Matt Damon said John Malkovich was trying to show him that "if you get to that point where no one gives you a straight answer, it's dangerous" See more »
When Worm and Mike leave the table at the Taj to go to the noodle bar,and Knish says look who's treating to a free meal, Knish is referring to Worm and tells Mike not to let the MSG f up his head. See more »
[playing in the cigar shop]
I bet 50
I'll call, what'd you got?
[referring to his hand of ace to five straight]
I have what's known as "the wheel", it's got earthy tones, the smooth draw to win me the high and low
See more »
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.
50 of 63 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this