7.3/10
132,688
301 user 131 critic

Rounders (1998)

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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
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Popularity
4,057 ( 640)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 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:

it's immoral to let a sucker keep his money 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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Russian

Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apuesta final See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,459,126, 13 September 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,905,674, 8 November 1998
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Soon after their roles here, both Tom Aldredge and Michael Rispoli would go on to play key roles in The Sopranos (1999), as would John Turturro's sister Aida Turturro. See more »

Goofs

If Knish was able to spot Worm base dealing while he was playing against Roman and Maurice, then both Roman and Maurice would have been able to catch him base dealing with the mechanics grip as well. See more »

Quotes

Moogie: [behind the counter of his store convenient store] Hey, lemme ask you a question. In the legal sense, can fuckin' Steinbrenner move the Yankees? Does he have the fuckin' right to just move them?
Mike McDermott: [while dropping off deliveries] How should I know that?
Moogie: You didn't learn that yet?
Mike McDermott: No, we get to Steinbrenner in third year law school.
Moogie: Oh...
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Connections

Referenced in Poolhall Junkies (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Tuxedo Junction
Written by Erskine Hawkins, William Johnson, Julian Dash & Buddy Feyne
Performed by Gene Krupa
Courtesy of Columbia Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
excellent movie
29 December 2001 | by hbsSee all my reviews

I have no idea if this movie is at all realistic (certainly so many people inhabiting this strata of the poker world can be so good looking), but at least it has the ring of verisimilitude. Not only does it show us the workings of a somewhat exotic (to me, anyway) part of the world, but it manages to do this stylishly while treating us to an interesting character study and a clever plot.

The story is about a young "rounder" who is trying to go straight by going to law school (although our first glimpse of him shows him losing all his money in a high-stakes poker game with a Russian gangster). He quits gambling for a while until a old friend (played by Norton) returns to his life and lands him in deep trouble. What I especially like about the movie is that is starts off as if this plot line is the main subject, when in fact the movie is about this person learning important things about himself. And there is a lot of information about poker...

Damon is especially impressive among a uniformly good cast.


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