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)

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

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?

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

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

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

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".

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

}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.

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

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

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?

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Sadly, the end is predictable, boringly so.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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).

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

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

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

The ending is highly predictable.

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.

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

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.

A very strong, engrossing film .

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Trite in all possible ways .

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

Enjoyable character-driven story .

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

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

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.

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

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.

The plot is poorly built and very predictable.

Entertaining look at seedy NYC gambling...

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

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


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.

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.

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

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

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.

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).

Very Entertaining Film .

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.

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.

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

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.

Outstanding Acting with Intense Drama .

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

The card games can get very boring if done incorrectly.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Ho hum...

Somewhat exciting.

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

Titanic gets boring, focus on the tragedies.

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

A very compelling film.

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.

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

What makes the film worth watching is the acting.

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

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

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

save your money.

The ending is predictable, right from the start.

Empty script.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

The supporting cast - including Malkovich - are all enjoyable.

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

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

His range is awe inspiring.

Highly Entertaining .

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.

Well-acted and photographed, but predictable .

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

Enjoyable, even with repetition.

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

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).

I highly recommend it.

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

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

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

A compelling, interesting and exciting film.

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

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

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

Still, an engaging experience.

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

Engaging .

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.

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

and it's boring.

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

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

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

Very nice and very enjoyable.

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

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.

Don't waste your time.

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

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.


Overall, this is a very gripping and entertaining movie.

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

I highly recommend it.

Right game, wrong cast, no story .

For card players, it'll be fascinating.

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

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

This predictable melodrama is totally unworthy of its talented cast.

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.

The movie is predictable, no question about that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well crafted, and entertaining.

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

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'.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

The end is predictable.

His sub-plots are also very dull.

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

Entertaining, worth a watch .

Thoroughly Enjoyable - Even for Non-Card Players .

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

Worth watching at least once in a lifetime.

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

There are no plot twists.

Wanna know what an intense game of poker is like.

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

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.

This movie is definitely worth watching!.

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

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

Too much character confusion to be great .

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.

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

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'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Admittedly it is predictable.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.