John Dahl directed this exploration of New York private clubs devoted to high-stakes poker, with first-person narration from the film's central figure, law student Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), who loses his entire savings to Russian club owner Teddy KGB (John Malkovich). Mike then turns away from cards, devoting his attentions to his law studies and his live-in girlfriend Jo (Gretchen Mol), who's concerned when Mike's former gambling buddy Worm (Edward Norton) is released from prison. She has good reason to worry, since it takes Worm only a matter of minutes to draw Mike back into poker action. When she learns Mike has returned to the poker clubs, she moves out, and Mike begins to lose interest in his studies. Worm has a pre-prison debt, and the threatening Grama (Michael Rispoli) wants the money. Mike not only indulges the irresponsible Worm, he gets involved in Worm's debts. When Grama demands $15,000 on a five-day deadline, the two buddies go into high gear with a non-stop, no-sleep gambling binge that spirals downward toward an ultimate confrontation with Teddy KGB. Darkened club interiors and New York nights are captured by the cinematography of Jean Yves Escoffier, who moved from French films (the 1991 Les Amants du Pont Neuf) to American movies with the reflective surfaces of Excess Baggage (1997) and the patina of pathos found in Harmony Korine's experimental Gummo (1997). Shown at the 1998 Venice Film Festival and the 1998 Montreal Film Festival.~Bhob Stewart
Set-Top Game - "Heads Up Texas Hold 'Em"
Inside Professional Poker
Feature Commentary with Professional Poker Players
Feature Commentary with Director John Dahl, Screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman, and Actor Edward Norton
Champion Poker Tips (From Four Professionals)
Matt DamonMike McDermott
John TurturroJoey Kinish
John MalkovichTeddy KGB
Martin LandauAbe Petrovsky
Tom AldredgeJudge Marinacci
Christopher YoungComposer (Music Score)
Randall PosterMusical Direction/Supervision
Rob PearsonProduction Designer
Rick ButlerArt Director
Christopher GoodeAssociate Producer
Tracy FalcoAssociate Producer
Bob WeinsteinExecutive Producer
Bobby CohenExecutive Producer
Harvey WeinsteinExecutive Producer
Kerry OrentExecutive Producer
Terry DresbachCostume Designer
Mark WeingartenSound/Sound Designer
Post-Noir (Modern Noir),Psychological Drama,Urban Drama,Buddy Film
Matt Damon and Edward Norton at their best, in my opinion. Cast includes Gretchen Mol, Famke Jansen and Martin Landaugh. It's a great story about friendships and relationships. How we choose the wrong people in life to back and how by doing so it affects the right people we choose. It also is about finding one's true self.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Classic film, great acting, great video quality on the blu-ray
This movie is one of my all time favorites. I've see it countless times and it's always great to watch as a pick me up type movie or rainy day movie. the only complaint I have is that there is rumored to be an extended cut of this film but it's not on the special features. the special features are pretty weak to begin with. I would love to see how the director intended for the movie to be played in theaters...also, there are no deleted scenes! Special features for this film are just plain weak.
Growing up playing poker with many poker player friends, I've loved this movie for a long time. As a fan of both Matt Damon and Edward Norton, I've continued to love it.
What's great about it is that whenever I watch this movie with friends who aren't familiar with any specifics or jargon of poker play, they still enjoy watching the movie. **Your mileage may vary with your company and their preferences.