7.3/10
140,813
318 user 136 critic

Rounders (1998)

Trailer
0:33 | Trailer
A young, reformed gambler must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks, while balancing his relationship with his girlfriend and his commitments to law school.

Director:

John Dahl
Reviews
Popularity
3,078 ( 705)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Mike McDermott
Gretchen Mol ... Jo
John Malkovich ... Teddy KGB
Paul Cicero Paul Cicero ... Russian Thug
Ray Iannicelli ... Kenny
John Turturro ... Joey Knish
Merwin Goldsmith ... Sy
Sonny Zito Sonny Zito ... Tony
Josh Mostel ... Zagosh
Mal Z. Lawrence ... Irving
Lenny Clarke ... Savino
Peter Yoshida Peter Yoshida ... Henry Lin
Jay Boryea Jay Boryea ... Russian Thug #2
Lenny Venito ... Moogie
Martin Landau ... Abe Petrovsky
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Storyline

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 ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the poker game of life women are the rake See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mike McDermott: [playing in the cigar shop] I bet 50
Sunshine: I'll call, what'd you got?
Mike McDermott: [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 »

Connections

Referenced in All In: The Poker Movie (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

That's The Kind Of Girl I Dream Of
Written by Marvin Fisher & Joel Segal
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Reocords
See more »

User Reviews

I really enjoyed this movie, more than I thought I would.
18 August 2000 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Russian

Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rounders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,459,126, 13 September 1998

Gross USA:

$22,912,409

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,912,409
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax, Spanky Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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