Rounders (1998) - Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



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.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: John Dahl
Stars: Matt Damon, Edward Norton
Length: 121 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 50 out of 301 found boring (16.61%)

One-line Reviews (203)

It's short, sweet, concisely paced, tightly written, flawlessly acted and wonderfully entertaining stuff.

Story progression was good, characters were compelling and actors did a great job.

The story is so believable, that it had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the intense card game ending.

The movie is predictable, no question about that.

However, an engaging heart wrenching loss is still conveyed when KGB casually tosses in a call and flips up those two red aces with absolutely no remorse.

What an outstanding film, and this is a person who finds cards boring.

As an aspiring professional poker player (legitimate; in casinos), I found this movie to be very ENTERTAINING.

In my book this is the only poker movie worth watching.

It's a game about poker, how exciting can it be?

There are no plot twists.

In "Rounders", a law student, played by Matt Damon, has a weakness for poker, which leads him into the underworld of professional cutthroat gamblers, with predictable consequences.

Rounders, written by Levien/Koppelman(Knockaround Guys) and starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton and John Malkovich, tells a compelling story of a young man whose survival has been fueled by his hustle as a "Rounder".

I liked this predictable flick of a boy gone good and then bad again.

This movie carried the same entertaining tone from beginning to end although it becomes a bit predictable as it progresses and you can see what is going to happen next.

I found the beginning to be intriguing and entertaining how it shows how certain people gamble and read each other while playing.

And unless you are a card player and/or familiar with pro poker jargon, a good portion is likely to lose you and bore you.

Enjoyable character-driven story .

There is irony in the decisive hand as Damon slow plays his flopped straight.

I must stress, though, that I would *never* like a film only because Norton's in it, it's just that he's so brilliant that he would make it worth it to sit through a boring film.

So top off a fascinating subculture films, with great performances, a great script, superb direction, with moody photography, and a terrifically noirish score by Christopher Young, and you have a film that should rightfully be considered an American film classic.

Enter an above average plot, a girlfriend who stays out of the picture, and a young man by the name of Martin Landau (who, by the way, could still put on a better acting clinic than most of the soft soap coming out of Hollywood these days), and what you have is a movie worth watching, not to mention worth owning.

Don't waste your time.

Rounders was one of the most tense and enjoyable films of 98'.

Martin Landau, in essentially a very small part, is the most likeable and compelling character in the movie.

I capitalize ENTERTAINING because that does not comment on its artistic integrity.

Entertaining look at seedy NYC gambling...

The story is predictable at points and once Mike goes down the rabbit hole, until you hit the end, you know what he's going to find isn't pretty.

but for some reason I really enjoyed it and I can't quite figure out why....

The plot is poorly built and very predictable.

This is a really entertaining film that is almost comparable to Ocean's Eleven.

The ending is highly predictable.

Some of the psychological aspects in this movie was interesting and entertaining as well.

The direction, by John Dahl, is quite spot on considering he's dealing with what could be - in other hands - a tedious subject matter.

These types of films, even when the narrative is lacking can be fascinating.

Utterly boring, almost makes a lifestyle of constantly being in debt glamorous.

Empty script.

A very strong, engrossing film .

But here's what really bugged me:a) Matt Damon is just too bland, and his role of the lawyer-by-day/card-shark-by-night was incredibly irritating.

Overall, this is a very gripping and entertaining movie.

I am not a gambler, so maybe that is part of why I found it so fascinating.

I personally understood this as I know some whose lives depend on gambling so it hit home for me and I enjoyed it very much.

Boring, awful look at the world of gambling...

Yet it failed to satisfy me, as an avid poker player who has played well over 10,000 games (mostly online btw), I just didn't believe much of this movie, I didn't really care to like the characters all that much, the story was cheap and uninteresting, I mean how many movies are about debts and people getting beat up?

Yes you can gamble while engaging in both of these activities, just like you can gamble in the stock market.

Featuring a group of well drawn characters and set in an interesting subculture, this tale of friendship, debts and loyalty is gripping right from the start.

Rounders is a fairly entertaining movie that hits its high very early on in the movie then fails to get back up there.

He delivers one of the most enjoyable over-the-top performances I can remember.

Nonetheless, this film is just as entertaining, and has an additional point of interest it didn't possess when released.

While they're all good, it's Damon and Norton that are able to really work the slick and snappy dialogue and also play it up for drama and not just kicks.

) Gretchen Moll plays Matt's girlfriend, an extremely dull character; and - wait for it - Matt turns Famke Janssen down!

The story is slow in many times and not convincing at all.

Some shots and scenes are too "slow" for modern cinema and show the age of the movie (was released 18 years ago).

'Rounders' isn't a great film, but it is an entertaining one.

Spoiler: Or the predictable card game at the end between Damon and Malkovich.

Wanna know what an intense game of poker is like.

This fascinating insight into addiction illustrates how a couple of compulsive gamblers suffer in different ways because of their shared obsession with playing high-stakes poker.

Leo's bland performance in that movie made me believe that young hotties only have enough fire to do one really good movie, get heavy publicity, and then they fizzle and take a couple years off for partying or self discovery.

Despite some of the odd relationships put in the film, it was entertaining and amazingly thorough even without an understanding of the game of poker.

Fortunately , i figured out that behind EVERY movie is a story , and as i began to watch the way they expressed themselves and the action that was put into the game , i figured it was worth watching.

Mike McD, Worm, Teddy KGB, and Kinish, these types of Characters are what makes movies worth watching.

A Sports film-come-Neo Noir that lacks conflict and enough noir to be anything great and yet remains an entertaining tale.

But the movie was so anti-climactic and the plot was so dull that even these actors couldn't save the film.

To be completely honest, this is the only movie I have paid for and then walked out of.

I think the actual topic of poker and its dynamics is what makes the movie interesting and enjoyable.

And to top it all off there is a really riveting story.

However at times it did get a bit tedious and overlong, in addition, the ending was not that impressive being as it was somewhat predictable.

A very compelling film.

Highly Entertaining .

Damon, Norton, Malcovich, Tuturro, Landau - and all the rest of the cast - are outstanding and engaging in their roles.

It has some good scenes but many plot "holes", and is dragged by several key scenes hung on jargon-laden dialogue that is spoken so woodenly that it seems alien to the characters who live in this shadow world.

Unfortunately, this low-key, pretentious potboiler never turns up the heat or the hustle.

Just a simple, predictable script with the all expected Hollywood finish.

Very Entertaining Film .

John Malkovich is frightening as the Russian heavy, John Turturro riveting as the pragmatic, tight mouthed Joey Knish.

The story and the plot is really simple,but still very entertaining because it is about gambling and poker.

all in all, Rounders was a good movie, entertaining and by far the best stab at capturing the life of a gambler.

But still the film is fascinating because of it's larger than life support cast.

After a climactic event, the camera lingers on a particular person who is absorbing what happened.

It's as bland as a well-rehearsed poker face.

I highly recommend it.

But I found it dull, way too long in certain scenes and with the exception of Matt Damon who is subtle and controlled, the other players were just too damn mannered.

Seen it many many times before and it just stays riveting, touching and uplifting from beginning to end.

For card players, it'll be fascinating.

Smart, intriguing story with hip dialogue and well-drawn characters played to perfection by an excellent cast.

The film is a little slow in parts, unlike a good game of cards, but the acting is excellent despite the rather predictable outcome.

"Rounders" is an excellent and thrilling movie featuring an awesome cast.

The finale is well worth it this movie may go down as a box office flop but its very underrated and very very enjoyable I rate this movie 9.5 out of 10 mostly due to how the movie dropped the character worm without much closer with him in the end

Entertaining throughout and it is better than spending a night watching NHL or NBA.

"The acting is one of the better ingredients in this somewhat predictable and poorly written film.

I found parts of this boring-- watching people playing cards isn't all that exciting....

The past is drawn out in the forms of Teddy KGB (Malkovich) and Worm (Norton).

Still, an engaging experience.

The only things that made this movie somewhat entertaining were the performances of Damon, Norton, John Malkovich, John Turturo, and Martin Landau.

John Malkovitch plays an extremely entertaining and eccentric role as Teddy KGB.

The story is engaging and refreshingly -- the film does not "talk down" to the viewer.

This film proves that hollywood does still have half a brain left, a great script, good characters and steady direction make this fill vastly enjoyable.

But ultimately its well worth watching, with quite alot of tension and a little humour to break things up Don't overlook this movie.

Scenes where they are actually poker paints the game in a very seductive way, using funky mid-tempo jazz with snappy narration and smart editing.

In the deciding hand, Malkovich slow plays aces which Damon mistakenly believes to be a drawing hand.

His range is awe inspiring.

The film is boring as fudge for anyone with zero interest in poker.

Utterly predictable and smug into the bargain, Rounders, it seems, is for Poker players only.

This movie is not an entire waste of time if you can get past the poor casting, weak plot and predictable ending.

The end is predictable.

It would have been nice to see Worm turn up at the end but, on the whole, this is a relatively formulaic but moderately enjoyable movie - even if just for some classy actors (Malkovich wasn't really THAT bad although his accent was a little hard to take), snappy dialogue and a glimpse at the seemy NYC poker underground.

The main gripe lays with the movies lack of message, unless glossing over questionable behaviour by the main character by suggesting that 'this is who he is, so its OK'.

It's a heads up match and slow playing the aces is something that is easily done in heads up play, depending on the rhythm of the hands.

But watching the character development as Mark moves along this plot is intriguing and somehow the whole plot is expressed through poker games which I also found quite interesting and entertaining.

While I was 99.99% certain it was Malkovich playing this role, he was so good that I kept doubting it was him and trying to figure out if I was confusing the character with some other actor.

What follows are some intriguing, compelling and above all entertaining poker scenes.

Thoroughly Enjoyable - Even for Non-Card Players .

So there you have it: a sports film directed by a man in love with noir which is still evident in this film and revolving around an engaging plot whilst at the same time containing good acting.

Too much character confusion to be great .

The card games can get very boring if done incorrectly.

Weak storyline along with pathetic character development made this potentially great movie a yawner.

Although the movie was not great, deep and provocative, it was thoroughly entertaining and attempted avoiding being typical Hollywood.


I highly recommend it.

All I remember about this, from seeing it years ago, is how boring it is.

Spoiler regarding "Rounders" This is a solidly good and entertaining movie.

The script is understated, thrilling, and realistic - the protagonist is sympathetic, and the plot is linear and interesting.

The plot is quite predictable and there are some real problems like: the size of Mike's apartment, the professors loan, and the fact that Mike decides not to have sex with Petra (come on she's really hot).

The judges stud game is a bit silly, but still abundantly enjoyable regardless.

The main idea--that the two leads get into money trouble and have to earn a ton of cash in a few days of wild poker games--is eventually actually a bit of a bore.

Matt Damon is very winning in the starring role, and Norton is properly despicable as one of life's losers, and John Malkovich is riveting as Teddy KGB in spite of what some might say about his accent.

Bottom line, don't waste your time, or your money on this film.

Wonderful characters and a fascinating view, visually and through dialogue of inside-poker and the folks who make it their life.

Worth watching at least once in a lifetime.

Trite in all possible ways .

The cast is a big part of why this film is worth watching.

The ending is predictable, right from the start.

He'd previously directed three amazing film noir throwbacks with "Kill Me Again," "Red Rock West," and "The Last Seduction," each one better than the last (he did falter with one sci-fi throwback "Unforgettable," but it's still entertaining).

While enjoyable to watch in many ways, it in retrospect is a big disappointment.

By the end, however, "Rounders" does turn back around and become more about the cool, edgy side of gambling, leaving a lot of the deeper questions out to dry while it hits you with what it thinks is an intense ending that proves to be too long and morally objectionable.

Being an avid player of Texas No Limit Hold Em' , I found the card playing and jargon to be entertaining and accurate.

Other than getting long toward the end, though, it's certainly entertaining as slick usually is and the two star vehicles really help the film stand out.

Edward Norton is terrific, as is the photography and editing, but the story is thoroughly predictable.

My Suggestion - Don't waste your time watching this no good movie if it is for the love of poker that you are considering it.

His sub-plots are also very dull.

A compelling, interesting and exciting film.

Titanic gets boring, focus on the tragedies.

The plot and pace never dragged, the script is predictable but enjoyable, and in the end I was entertained, what more can you ask for?

Thankfully, the movie centered on Damon, and his "enemy" in the film was Malkovich, which made the movie entertaining and something worth seeing.

Johnny Chan, the twice champion of the World Series of Poker, makes an unexpected cameo.

It is fun and exciting to hear the 4 of them laugh when Mike finally busts KGB using Johnny Chen's methods from his first win in the World Series of Poker.

When Worm gets some old debts called in and is back up to his old tricks, Mike has decide whether to get back to help him out or to break the friendship before he gets dragged back in.

The most exciting character (Worm) left the scene never to return with about 30 minutes of this yawner to go.

Watched it on a Sunday afternoon, and that's why I enjoyed the film the way I did - It is smoothly told, very unagitated shot film with little (but intense) physical action and lot of action on the poker table.

The amount of talent wasted in this boring, elliptical, passionless, over long celebration of sociopathy and addiction is mind boggling.

Rounders succeeds for one reason only, but it's a pretty compelling one - fascinating characters, even if Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) who plays Mike the central character, isn't one of them.

If you are looking for an entertaining movie with excellent star performances then this is the movie for you.

What makes the film worth watching is the acting.

Very nice and very enjoyable.

Enjoyable, even with repetition.

Outstanding Acting with Intense Drama .

Engaging .

Turturro represented the philosophy that it's better to grind out a living and live a nice safe life, get a comfortable job, buy a house and pay your mortgage and get an equally boring wife who takes out her frustrations in life on you and tries to suppress and kill who you are as does your entire life; your job, your kids, your debt, the obligations you signed up for and from which it is hard to escape.

The film does drag on at some points but nonetheless, it still is exciting at getting a solid glance at the Poker world.

At the end he has his money back, and all that's changed is that he's single again - this is a pretty mundane illustration of the idea that he has 'learned to let his destiny find him'.

Ho hum...

Directed by John Dahl (Joy Ride, Kill Me Again, The Last Seduction) made a gripping thoroughly entertaining film.

and it's boring.

The cinematography is sharp and the movie as a whole is an enjoyable romp through this dangerous lifestyle that always seems to clean people out.

On the other hand, the film is just a cliche film, following the rules of any "sports" film about underdogs winning against all odds.

Besides telling a great story about gambling, "Rounders" also works as a fascinating subculture film, meaning films that give you glimpse into a group of people who you previously never understood or knew existed.

Admittedly it is predictable.

Well-acted and photographed, but predictable .

Malkovich's Russian accent is annoying, pointless and useless.

Even though the story might have seemed predictable at certain moments, the acting, the plot, scenarios and dialogue compensated for any error.

Somewhat exciting.

Great entertaining film and if you like cards, you will love this film, great photography through out New York City and some pretty rough looking characters who can do some real damage to the human bodies.

I love this movie: the plot line is pat and predictable as it effortlessly unfolds; the characters are clearly defined and you know who to root for and who to despise; and there are no dull scenes or dead end sub-plots.

In the end, still very enjoyable and is able to transport the feelings and anxieties during a poker match very well7/10

However, even though I am a poker player, the terminology can be confusing.

"Rounders" is a highly entertaining film that features a rich gallery of characters and an engaging plot.

Entertaining, worth a watch .

" Either way, its an enjoyable movie, with a good soundtrack, and really nice cinematography.

At times chilling and always entertaining, Rounders delivers a full house of good acting and great story.


Right game, wrong cast, no story .

Above all, it is a compelling film, one that you want to keep watching throughout, and one that you will likely want to watch again when finished.

), Worm and Mike getting into trouble and everything that reeks of banality and commonplace.

, i clearly thought that when i sat down to watch it i was in for something extremely boring.

The supporting cast - including Malkovich - are all enjoyable.

All novice poker players should watch and card conessoiurs should find the references and respect for the game pleasing, well worth watching!

So even if you're not a poker player, the story is tighter than a lot of Hollywood 'pop fluff' and the performances alone can sell the film as an enjoyable movie capable of multiple viewings.

This movie is definitely worth watching!.

That said, I really enjoyed Rounders and it inspired me to learn Texas Hold em which I think is a fascinating game.

Well crafted, and entertaining.

}In addition to the main characters and supporting cast, the others encountered in the many gambling venues visited are also thoroughly interesting, realistic and fascinating.

The card play is spectacular throughout Rounders, and while the lingo and the techniques are sometimes hard to follow, the film is thoroughly engrossing from beginning to climax.

save your money.

This is one of the truly boring films of our time.

I consider myself an intensive poker player (Texas Hold'em), as I spent some of my nights in front of my computer playing non-stop poker on the internet(Pokerstars especially).

No matter the actual reason, I find this movie to be riveting and keeps my heart pounding through each round.

This predictable melodrama is totally unworthy of its talented cast.

I first saw this movie as it was a 'bonus DVD' thrown in for free with my DVD player back in 2000, so naturally I didn't expect much (as the other bonus DVD's were very mediocre), but what I found was a very enjoyable movie.

So, when I watched it on DVD I was pleasantly surprised how engaging a film it is.

Rounders (1998): Dir: John Dahl / Cast: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol, Martin Landau, John Malkovich: Intriguing concept fueled the concept of living dishonestly and the paranoia that follows.

Sadly, the end is predictable, boringly so.

What follows is a riveting, touching and uplifting portrait of 2 young people who both want to follow their dreams, against all odds.

Boring barely describes this long dreary look at the life of a young man addicted to gambling.

For anyone with even a mild interest in gambling and/or card playing, this is movie worth watching.