Rounders
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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 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… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The wholesome pup's poker face alone, however, hardly accounts for the film's failure to thrill. Damon's character doesn't really have that much stake in the story's outcome."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"The end result is still short of a winning hand, since the screenplay is so utterly predictable."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"John Dahl's film is not as sinister or complex as its cinematic cousin, House of Games, but it is fun to see these young Hollywood studs (Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol) strut their stuff."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"This ode to the allure of clipping suckers and psyching out the competition is richly atmospheric but thin in the character department."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Other directors simply pay homage to film noir and their movies come across as copies or throwbacks, but Dahl's movies work because he seems to understand the inner workings of film noir, and the absurd situations that people can get into."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Intermittently engaging but dramatically slack."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Though it's a good-looking flick with some smart acting and a few flashy runs, it barely breaks even dramatically, and feels, overall, like a good chance wasted."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Although featuring a splendid Edward Norton performance, 'Rounders' comes across as too unbelievable, often straying beyond the bounds of rationality."
‑ Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"In his first non-noir film, John Dahl, assisted by the great French lenser Jean-Yves Escoffier, gives New York's underground gambling scene a vivid atmopshere, with special attention to its particular rituals and fast macho talk."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's too bad with all of the poker action there wasn't enough time to establish the relationships between characters."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Gretchen Mol, Edward Norton, John Turturro, Martin Landau, and Famke Janssen costar; they're all pretty good, but not good enough to make this 1998 feature worth seeing."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"In fighting to show the psychological complexities in Mike that the script ignores, Damon plays it like a rounder instead of a grinder. This kid still has surprises up his sleeve."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"John Dahl creates an intelligent and character-driven crime-drama built around solid performances by Damon and Norton."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
""Rounders" makes you feel the suspense and thrive in the thrill of the moment, always coming up aces."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"It's a likable movie and a solid follow up for Damon."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
More reviews for Rounders on Rotten Tomatoes

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