Film Review: ROUNDERS (directed by John Dahl)

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by Gregory Bernard on January 3, 2019

in Film


Watching a game of poker has always been appealing. When it comes to films based on poker, Rounders always appears at the top of the list. The 1998 movie focuses on two guys who travel throughout the country looking for high-stakes poker games in hopes of winning a significant amount of money to settle all their debts.

Considering how nicely things are portrayed by director John Dahl, the duo (Edward Norton and Matt Damon) have to face a lot of challenges to pull off their desire. The drama goes to the next level when the male leads are constantly threatened by their creditors, and are pressured to figure a way to pay off what they owe (the term “rounder” refers to someone that navigates from place to place looking for the big poker game). Even though it wasn’t a blockbuster, Rounders performed well at the box office in the initial days of its release.


Damon plays McDermott, who is said to be an exceptional poker player — one who is all set to play at the World Series. He begins his career playing opposite a Russian thug who sometimes relieves McDermott of his accrued finances, which are $30,000 total. Our crestfallen hero assures his girlfriend that he is not going to spend his precious time playing poker again and would rather concentrate on studies.

Dermott’s trail remains stable until his friend “Worm” Murphy (Norton) gets bailed out from prison. Murphy is known to be a dreadful hustler and a disreputable fraud, and will go to any length to get what he wants. The story gets interesting when McDermott finds out that Worm owes a hefty amount to treacherous thugs, and finally decides to help his old friend by paying off the debt he owes.

As Worm is granted only five days to settle the whole sum to the creditors, both the friends decide to get their hands back in poker. They initiate the plan by paying a visit to multiple cities in search of big poker games that can aid them in fetching as much debt as possible. So will they pull their plan off? Will Dermott be able to save his friend from creditors by settling his debt? There is a lot more drama, action, and mystery that is worth watching.


Rounders is specifically produced for all the people that love playing online roulette or are a big fans of poker games. While the performance given by Damon is superb, viewers will love, as always, the work of Edward Norton. Overall, Rounders is a good film based on poker and how the game helps the two players settle their debts. Do you know that you can play online roulette, blackjack and baccarat? Try it out today!

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