Critics Consensus

Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.



Total Count: 79


Audience Score

User Ratings: 78,146
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Movie Info

Set against the backdrop of New York's high-stakes underground poker world. Mike McDermott, a master card player who trades the poker playing rounds for law school and a shot at a new life with his girlfriend. For Mike, the new life he is staking out seems to be a legitimate road to success, but it is short on thrills and excitement of backroom poker games. When his friend is released from prison, Mike is faced with the high-stakes dilemma of his life.


Edward Norton
as Lester `Worm' Murphy
Matt Damon
as Mike McDermott
John Turturro
as Joey Knish
Martin Landau
as Professor Petrovsky
Tom Aldredge
as Judge Marinacci
Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
as Judge McKinnon
Paul Cicero
as Russian Thug
Peter Yoshida
as Henry Lin
Jay M. Boryea
as Russian Thug No. 2
Richard Mawe
as Professor Eisen
Michael Lombard
as D.A. Shields
Beeson Carroll
as Judge Kaplan
Matthew Yavne
as Professor Green
George Kmeck
as Prison Guard
Joe Parisi
as Property Guard
Michele Zanes
as Taj Dealer
Allan Havey
as Guberman
Joe Vega
as Freddy Face
John C. Chan
as Johnny Chan
Nicole Brier
as Sunshine
Bill Camp
as Eisenberg
Joe Zaloom
as Cronos
Sal Richards
as Johnny Gold
Adam LeFevre
as Sean Frye
P.J. Brown
as Vitter
David Zayas
as Osborne
Murphy Guyer
as Detweiler
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News & Interviews for Rounders

Critic Reviews for Rounders

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (28)

  • 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.

    Mar 25, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Intermittently engaging but dramatically slack.

    Mar 25, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Mar 25, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The end result is still short of a winning hand, since the screenplay is so utterly predictable.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jul 12, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • 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.

    May 11, 2001 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Rounders

  • Oct 23, 2012
    Brilliant film about the underworld of high stakes poker. Director's John Dahl's effective direction is what keeps you interested and the tone of the film that of a film noir, which adds so much to the film's atmosphere. The cast are wonderful in their parts, and the plot is very engaging, thrilling from start to finish. Edward Norton and Matt Damon are terrific here, and they both have intense on-screen chemistry. Rounders is a must see for poker fans, and with a well crafted script, great acting and a memorable cast of talented actor that star alongside Norton and Damon, this is an accomplished film that will leave you wanting to see it again and again. If you enjoy a thrilling story with effective direction and a great cast, this film is for you. Rounders reminded me of the Mars Callahan film Pool hall Junkies, but this was a much better acted film with a more developed plot. Enjoyable if you're a fan of poker and to the common film goers looking for a terrific flick that is sure to electrify the viewer. Well crafted from beginning to end, Rounders is a wild ride and even if it lacks in some areas, there's enough good elements at work on-screen that make the film overcome its flaws and with an effective pacing set by director John Dahl, this is a well executed hustler flick that is very cool to watch. With a great script and wonderful acting, Rounders is a film that you won't soon forget. Thrilling from the first frame onwards, Dahl's film delivers, and is never dull and highly entertaining. It<s no wonder that this film is so popular with poker players everywhere. If you enjoy these types of films, definitely give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2012
    At one time, this was the cool Damon/Norton film that no one saw but actually was pretty interesting. Now everyone seems to have caught it and it has fallen into the realm of being overrated. It wasn't bad but it isn't great.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2012
    Really good. I hadn't even really heard of this film aside from the name once or twice, but just decided to watch it one day out of boredom, which ended up being a great decision. Great cast, and storyline. Check this film out.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    It may have its flaws, but "Rounders" is by far one of the most entertaining films I've ever had to sit through. From the wonderful, genuine performances of its actors to the clever, snappy dialogue of its script, "Rounders" is well-made all around, and it's so perfectly paced that not once did I find myself checking the time. The film has its problems, and I'm not a huge fan of the ending, but I greatly enjoyed myself while watching it.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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