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Overall Rating
3.55

Awesome: 20.55%
Worth A Look42.47%
Average: 17.81%
Pretty Bad: 9.59%
Total Crap: 9.59%

13 reviews, 68 user ratings


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by spork-girl

"What I wouldn't give to know someone named 'Teddy KGB'"
4 stars

Where did Ed Norton go? He just leaves? No closure. Damn Hollywood, raising me to expect - no, NEED closure and then not giving it to me! cruel, cruel Hollywood!

I don't know how to play poker. I mean, I get the basics, and I played it a few times in my life, lost, and moved on. I think if I had a deeper understanding of poker, I would have enjoyed this movie more.

Matt Damon attempts to explain ti to us, but it's still too techinical for stupid old me. And no one explains why John Malkovich listens to those damned oreos.

The basic story is thus: Matt Damon blows his lifes savings in one game of poker to John Malkovich, a wild and crazy russian named "Teddy KGB". In my mind, his name alone is the best part of this whole movie. What I wouldn't give to know someone named "Teddy KGB". he then gives up gambling and like, drives a truck to put himself through law school instead. I guess truck drivers got paid more than I thought. He's also dating this stupid bitch who isn't even that pretty. His best friend since forever gets out of jail, and she gives him attitude about going to pick him up. Hello, Matt? I'm all for bitchy women and all, but jesus, lose taht idiot. So anyways his best friend is Ed Norton, a big ole cheater. He owes a lot of money so Matt goes back to gambling to help him out. He screws everything up and leaves town, but Matt fixes everything so it's all ok, but we never do find out where Ed Norton went or anything.

This movie is predictable in a charming way. Of course Matt is going to fix everything. He's the hero. He dresses from structure. Of course he can make everything better.

Matt does a good job acting. The character is really quite complex. Yeah, he's the good guy - but he's also a gambler, and a good one - or is he? He blew his life's savings in the first scene. So we're torn, and Matt is pretty convincing. I especially like the voiceovers in this movie...something which normally I dislike. here they give the most insight into Damon's character, and they do it well.

Norton is excellent. "Worm" is the perfect name for his character. Thoroughly dislikable and yet so charming we can't hate him. Just sleezy enough, just dirty enough, just ruffled and mumbling enough. Very well done.

That woman character nearly ruined the whole movie for me. Could she have been more stuck up, tightassed and uncaring? So why did Matt even like her? Maybe if we had seen her before any of the problems I could have related. But from what we saw, she was just a waste of time.

The pacing of the movie was very slow and calculated. Granted, there's nothing too thrilling about poker, I can understand going for a slow pace, but at times it was just plodding along.

The slow pace and the lack of closure on Norton's cahracter were my only problems with this otherwise thoroughly enjoyable movie. 4 sporks. Definately worth a rental.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=66&reviewer=6
originally posted: 03/01/99 10:20:04
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User Comments

11/09/10 Ken Jacobi Whoever wrote negative comments is crazy. 1 of the Best films ever and VERY real characters 5 stars
3/02/09 KingNeutron Must-see for any poker fan - Malkovich steals the show 4 stars
9/26/08 Timothy Kirkland "If you can't spot the sucker at the first half hour than you are the sucker" Enough said. 5 stars
1/19/07 MARGARET PESKOFF I THOUGHT THIS MOVIE TO BE VERY INSIGHTFUL INTO THE WORLD OF GAMBLING 5 stars
9/09/06 Michele not the best not the worst 3 stars
8/04/06 ruth ammelia it's a great film i've ever seen 4 stars
5/06/06 dionwr Entertaining but silly film 2 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A Beat the poker craze by about five years. Slick movie. 4 stars
5/02/06 William Goss Haven't seen it. 3 stars
5/02/06 David Cornelius all in 5 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH i work for chewlie's gum 4 stars
5/02/06 Monday Morning Very tight, slick, entertaining flick. Malkovich's Russian accent is cartoonish, tho'. 4 stars
2/17/06 tatum Good flick, despite Norton's patented weasely performance 4 stars
1/06/06 Phil M. Aficionado I agree with Guide2Film's review. Almost awesome; lots of insight into gambling. Slick. 4 stars
8/17/05 ES Sweet film, good characters, right mixture of suspense and style 4 stars
7/13/05 nixon obviously the reviewers have never played poker before in their pathetic lives 5 stars
6/13/05 Agent Sands Best card game movie I can think of. 5 stars
5/11/05 Simon As good as can be a poker movie. 5 stars
10/22/04 John so well shot and great acting...much better than expected 4 stars
6/23/04 Phil Ivey If you don't believe people make money playing poker, you might not like it. 5 stars
6/21/04 Dick Logan Good cast, great film. Malkovich is the bomb in this!!!! 5 stars
2/23/04 Courtney Rounders is one of the best movies out there! It never gets old. 5 stars
12/03/03 Kyle GAG! Might possibly appeal to poker players. Abysmal for everyone else. 1 stars
12/02/03 George Tucker This film is awesome!!!!!!! If you like playing cards watch this movie!!! 5 stars
10/12/03 Leo McDermott So far, everyone who reviewed this movie must NOT play poker. Poker is a FINE career! 5 stars
9/26/03 Darryl I only made it about halfway through. BORING! 1 stars
6/05/03 Picky Critic Good acting. If you want a movie about gambling, this is a good choice 4 stars
5/02/03 Bri Travis I think it is a kick ass movie!!! 4 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby You've been down this tired road soooooo many times before... 2 stars
3/14/03 R.W. Welch Rather intriguing pic, somewhat undermined by predictable finale. 3 stars
7/29/02 Claire This is as almost as gratifiyng as Vegas, but without the drunken imprompu wedding... 4 stars
7/09/02 erick i don't know know shit bout poker, and i loved this movie, great performances, ect. 5 stars
5/14/02 jason green top ten of all time here.... 5 stars
2/26/02 IP Freely Has some of the best lines, this movie kicks ass, I play a lot so I guess I am biased 5 stars
1/15/02 Chris Delehanty Great Movie 5 stars
1/02/02 Katre It has Edward Norton,so it is worth a watch. 3 stars
9/09/01 Butterbean People who don't play cards (like me) would be bored with some parts of this movie. 3 stars
7/10/01 Ted Donnelly I thought Jon Malcovich's portrayal of "Teddy KGB" was outstanding. 5 stars
3/28/01 Jesse L Best gambling movie made...if you like poker you'll love it 5 stars
5/03/00 Matt Sabian Mol is hot, Damon good, but ending should've been together 4 stars
3/13/00 Trina Barnard I've seen it more than once! 5 stars
2/19/00 Neil Austin Where did Malko go and learn his accent??? 2 stars
10/30/99 Bozo mee too zenabll, but norton makes even shite like this better 2 stars
8/10/99 adjovi worth seeing if only for Norton's effortless scene stealing performance. 4 stars
7/27/99 emperor Norton/Damon good pair. 4 stars
7/15/99 GothamDK Don't really dig Damon, but I love hold'em poker. Good flick. 4 stars
2/20/99 Piz The story drains after a while, same-o same-o, but its worth a look see. 4 stars
2/19/99 Bruce Hedge Great verisimilitude,except the aftermath of the cop beating was a bit unbelievable. 4 stars
2/19/99 Derek Great Damon-Norton rapport. Still, mainly for those versed in poker. 4 stars
2/11/99 Mr Film Predictable, but extremely entertaining and very well done.. Damon is the man... 5 stars
10/29/98 zenball i don't care if he is the IT boy of Hollywood, I HATE MATT DAMON 2 stars
10/17/98 Mr Showbiz Pulse-jacking crash course in the rites, risks, and honor system behind illegal poker-for-g 5 stars
10/13/98 jym marty from st louis is a tool---why didnt it have character development??? 5 stars
10/13/98 tom sweet flick--perfect ending, not to happy or sad--norton /damon--the best in one film 5 stars
10/04/98 Jay Stein They took The Gambler and put it in a blender with Good Will Hunting. Fuggit! 2 stars
10/02/98 Specter A good movie, but pointless on the whole. 3 stars
9/29/98 Marty in St.Louis Totally predictable, no character development, go rent the Hustler. 2 stars
9/26/98 Armageddon Pretty good flick.. Matt Damon is great again, and supporting actors are cool. 4 stars
9/15/98 Gamma Terrific performances from all involved. Malkovich is awesome, as always. 4 stars
9/15/98 Negative Creep Norton's great though his disapearance with 40 mins left to go leaves the film feeling flat 3 stars
9/15/98 jack gordon Good, but Malkovich's fake Russian accent has to go. 4 stars
9/15/98 Badass A strong poker face of actors covers up a shitty hand of a script 4 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor Who the hell knows 3 stars
9/14/98 Johny Good enough, not spectacular or anything though 4 stars
9/14/98 Jon The acting was great; the plot wasn't----Damon and Malkovich were amazing. 4 stars
9/13/98 Daniel Eskin John Turturro saved this from a sucks all ass! The acting and story were both horrid. 2 stars
9/13/98 Kimberly Finally, a film that understands! Poker is a life...and this is THE movie! 5 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee Norton is better than Hoffman in Drugstore Cowboy. Damon's fine, but the movie is no GWH. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Sep-1998 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Feb-1999 (MA)




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