Rounders is a movie that stars Matt Damon as a genuinely gifted Poker player and New Attorney. It’s about compulsive gambling and how the hero gambles away his tuition money, his law degree, his girlfriend and almost his life. Yet amidst all of this, he seems to be a happy gambler.
As a Poker movie, it is entertaining and knowledgeable and takes place within the pro poker underground of New York and Atlantic City. The ensemble of players are known to one another, and Mike McDermott (Damon) ventures into this world of cutthroats where he meets the poker genius of the Russian American mob who tries to reform McDermott. However, he lands up taking him down a destructive path of compulsive gambling which the movie depicts in a humorous light.
Rounders is all about the places McDermott & Worm visit and the dangerous people they encounter while trying to win a lot of money. The movie buys into the seedy glamour of Poker, almost romanticizing a game that consists of exhausted players who risk everything they own to enjoy those sudden bursts of adrenalin.
The best scenes in Rounders is where they contrast the personalities of Mike and Worm. Mike wants to win by playing a good game of Poker, whereas Worm wants to hustle. He is, however, a card mechanic who takes outrageous chances and his intoxicating personality leads them both into trouble. The one defining moment is when they find themselves in a high stakes game with many State Troopers in the room.
John Dahl directed Rounders. It’s mostly a movie based on a Sport which in this case is Poker and depicts the talented hero winning and facing disaster time and time again. However, he gets back up and continues playing until he has nothing left to lose.