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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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Rounders
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by dionwr

"The short but sweet guide to what everyone else missed..."
1 stars

"Rounders" is a forgettable little movie that managed to slip in under a lot of people's radar. Audiences stayed away, and the folks who've seen it don't think much of it, without knowing why. It's simple, really--this is a film about a man struggling against an addiction--and losing completely.

What's worse, the film is clearly on the side of the addiction, cheering it on. If Damon had played a heroin addict or alcoholic instead of a compulsive gambler, they wouldn't have dared make it this way.

Maybe they *SHOULD* have made it about Matt Damon as a heroin addict or alcoholic who boldy follows his addiction. Go for black comedy, perhaps. It would be more interesting than this tepid pseudo-drama.

Damon, in the film, gives up a promising start in law school, gets beaten up, loses his girlfriend, and abandons his entire life, to follow his gambling addiction. This is presented as an upbeat and positive life choice.

The crossed wire here is that the makers of this film go to some trouble to show that Damon has real ability at playing poker. He can magically size people up and know (mostly!) when they're bluffing and when he's got them.

Problem is, that's not why he's playing. He's playing because he can't keep himself away. It's good he has some skill at the game, or his life would be even more quickly ruined than it is by the end of the film, and his circumstances more wretched. But it's irrelevant. He is playing because he cannot stop himself.

And, remember, he only MOSTLY knows what's going to happen next. Eventually he's going to lose.

There is a lot of talent on display in this film--Edward Norton, Martin Landau, and John Malkovich are all in the cast, but the intellectual acuity that came up with this could fit comfortably within the left nostril of a bee.

A story of someone risking everything to develop their own unique talent can and has made for good movies in the past, but it shows a deep moral blindness of these filmmakers that they are trying to cast this story in those terms. That's not what's going on here.

It may be how the character sees himself, but the true story here should end with him as a homeless man in a ditch, drinking Ripple and going over in his mind, endlessly, that last big game that went bad.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=66&reviewer=301
originally posted: 02/21/02 17:46:51
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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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