Rounders

Rounders

4.4 15
Director: John Dahl

Cast: John Dahl, Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro

     
 

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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

Overview

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 pre-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 gambling binge that spirals downward toward an ultimate confrontation with Teddy KGB. Darkened club interiors and New York nights are captured by the cinematography of Jean Yves Escoffier, who moved from French films (the 1991 Les Amants du Pont Neuf) to American movies with the reflective surfaces of Excess Baggage (1997) and the patina of pathos found in Harmony Korine's experimental Gummo (1997). Shown at the 1998 Venice Film Festival and the 1998 Montreal Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Mike is apologizing to his law school girlfriend for how he ended their relationship. She says, "Call me if you need a lawyer." Mike responds, "I will. And I will." That response neatly encapsulates the best aspect of Rounders, a film that takes a clear look at the type of person who becomes involved in the world of high stakes gambling. Matt Damon, playing against the type he had created a year earlier with his work in Good Will Hunting and The Rainmaker, embodies Mike's self-destructive tendencies while simultaneously revealing a self-awareness. He knows he will mess up, hence the wonderful goodbye line to Jo. Mike's best friend Worm is everything Mike would be without his self-awareness. Hunted, desperate, and selfish, Edward Norton's performance evokes Robert De Niro's Johnny Boy in Mean Streets, but not so much so that it is distracting. It is as if Worm saw Mean Streets as a child and decided he had found his role model. Like Dahl's previous film, The Last Seduction, Rounders is a character study, but unlike that film it is a character study that feels like real life. Where Bridgett in The Last Seduction was a love letter to every femme fatale in film history, Mike in Rounders feels like a guy that one might actually know. In addition to the clear-eyed look at the gambling life, Rounders boasts superb supporting performances by Martin Landau, John Turturro, and John Malkovich (who employs an outrageous Boris Badinoff accent that shouldn't work but does). Dahl, with the help of his performers and a solid screenplay, creates an entertaining modern noir.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/23/2011
UPC:
0031398141747
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:01:00
Sales rank:
30,355

Special Features

Audio commentary with director John Dahl, screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman, and actor Edward Norton; Audio commentary with professional poker players; Behind-the-scenes special; Inside professional poker; Champion poker tips from four professionals

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Damon Mike McDermott
Edward Norton Worm
John Turturro Joey Kinish
Gretchen Mol Jo
Famke Janssen Petra
John Malkovich Teddy KGB
Martin Landau Abe Petrovsky
Michael Rispoli Grama
Melina Kanakaredes Barbara
Josh Mostel Zagosh
Lenny Clarke Savino
Tom Aldredge Judge Marinacci
Chris Messina Actor

Technical Credits
John Dahl Director
Rick Butler Art Director
Scott Chestnut Editor
Bobby Cohen Executive Producer
Ted Demme Producer
Terry Dresbach Costumes/Costume Designer
Jean-Yves Escoffier Cinematographer
Tracy Falco Associate Producer
Christopher Goode Associate Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Brian Koppelman Screenwriter
Beth Kushnick Set Decoration/Design
David Levien Screenwriter
Kerry Orent Executive Producer
Rob Pearson Production Designer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Amanda Scheer-Demme Musical Direction/Supervision
Joel Stillerman Producer
Mark Weingarten Sound/Sound Designer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Christopher Young Score Composer

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Rounders 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a fairly well known fact that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates both enjoy poker as a past time. Of all of the gambling games, poker tends to be a thinking man's game. Matt Damon and Edward Norton prove that in this film. The core of the plot, a man conflicted by what he should do versus what he wants to do, is clearly shown in this film. As always it takes a catalyst to drive you on the path you were meant to go. Brilliant film. Flashback sequences actually make sense in this film. I can only say that I am a fan of poker, by no means an expert, and this film got me really thinking about the motives of some of my opponents. If you read my profile you'll know that my background is in futures trading. So the skills I learn from poker easily transfer over to how calm and collected I am when I trade the markets.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some classic quotes from the movie: ''All you do is Check. Check. Check.'' .... ''Pay that man his money he beat me fair and square''... ''I can go busting you up all night...'' ''Luck, why do some people call it luck...'' Damon & Norton give a ''genuine'' performance in this movie. It is classic Norton and classic Damon at their best. John Malcovich doesn't do so bad himself. A definite keeper DVD to have in your collection. Good Luck in Las Vegas or Atlantic City! - Chad Castorina
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you dont like poker, you will like this movie. If you do like poker, you will LOVE this movie. Everytime I see it, i want to go out and play a few hands. This film is a genuine great piece of art. You can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. One of the best movies i have ever seen and definately worth a buy. This is a must own movie!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy watching this movie time and time again. Just one thing: I feel the use of the word "Fuc-" has been overdone in this movie. If I could I'd bleep it out of my CD; however, I can't. Great Movie though for anyone who adores Poker (Poque)
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great watch for any movie lover, but a must have for any poker player. I don't know many poker players who don't consider this to be a favorite to them. John Malkovich is awesome as Teddy KGB!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two compulsive gamblers raise the ante constantly for the big money or just the thrills. John Malkovich with Oreos, it works! A little drawn out at ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was alright and not bad. love damon and norton who are one of my fave actors. this about a guy who gets back to gambling after the return of his buddy who has a debt to pay.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With acting marvels like Damon and Norton, the movie escalates and flows very well. The struggling gambler and his friend getting caught up in the drama is a wonderful way to push forth a story really about who you can rely on in the end.
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