Rounders: A Netflix Review


Rounders is a 1998 American drama film about the underground world of high-stakes poker, directed by John Dahl, and starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton. The film follows two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing poker to pay off a large debt. The term rounder” refers to a person travelling around from city to city seeking high-stakes cash games.

I never heard of this movie. I’ll probably say that a lot as I start reviewing older films. That’s the exciting thing about Netflix and reviewing older films, I can watch them all with fresh eyes. Going in blind.

Matt Damon is one of my favorites, John Turturro was the lawyer in The Night Of, and Edward Norton was brilliant in Fight Club. Three great actors in a film about poker.

Worm (Edward Norton) bothered me. Through the whole movie. As smart as Mike (Matt Damon) was, Worm kept dragging him down through every scene. And maybe that was the point. The story followed Mike trying to protect Worm through all of his bad decisions. Mike ended up losing everything, and Worm was oblivious to how much Mike gave up for him.


I vouched for the wrong guy, so now it’s on me.

This movie suffers from being too simple of a story. As much as I enjoyed it, it also made me uncomfortable: dumb decision after dumb decision. Thankfully, the story had a happy ending. Now I’ll have to watch Fight Club again to remember Edward Norton for something I actually liked him in.