Rounders: The Best Poker Movie Ever


Even though the Rounders movie from 1998 was not a major box office hit at the time of its release, most poker fans agree that this, in fact, is the best poker movie ever made, and we have to agree. Rounder has it all, a fantastic crew behind and on the screen, impressive cinematic work that makes you immersed in the whole poker scene, stunning sound, and visual effects, and basically everything else that you expect from a lavish Hollywood production.

Rounders Starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich

Released in 1998, Rounders is a fantastic movie starring quite a few big Hollywood names, including Matt Damon, John Malkovich, and Edward Norton. The film also stars John Turturro, Martin Landau, and Gretchen Mol. The movie, directed by John Dahl, follows Mike McDermott, played by Matt Damon, who gets immersed in the exciting underground scene of high-stakes poker tournaments and cash games.

If you are interested in learning more about online poker gambling opportunities, gamblingguy has got you covered. Now, back to the movie. Rounders was released in 1998, so shortly before that major poker boom of the early 2000s. Needless to say, in the years following the movie’s release, Rounders became such a cult movie not only among fans of high-stakes poker but also among those who play poker occasionally and receptively.

According to this report by The Numbers, the John Dahl movie generated over $8 million in profits in the first opening weekend. The production budget for the film was around $12 million. The movie’s box office earnings over the years amounted to over $22 million.

Rounders: Poker Boom Made It a Cult Hit

The poker boom refers to a period of three years between 2003 and 2006, and during this period, Texas Hold’em poker, as well as many other poker variations, became significantly more popular around the globe, especially in the USA, following the growing popularity of poker tournaments. 

As mentioned at the beginning, Rounders was not one of the biggest box office hits back at the time of its release, but the movie’s popularity skyrocketed in the early 2000s thanks to the poker boom. The movie talks of a different time, much like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which received terrific critics of its own. 

There are many fantastic poker movies you get to watch, such as Deal from 2008, Lucky You from 2007, Finder’s Fee from 2001, and All In The Poker Movie from 2009, but none of these releases can match the popularity of Rounders for several reasons. 

The movie is not great because Matt Damon gave a performance of his life even though his career had just kicked off. The movie is significant because the audience is able to completely immerse themselves into everything that is happening on the screen.

Rounders did not waste time explaining what poker is and how it is played. Instead, it focused entirely on the main character Mike McDermott and his goal of becoming the best. Mike dreams of winning the biggest poker tournament, the World Series of Poker. But to get there, he first needs to learn how the underground poker scene works, and this is where the movie excels once again.

Even though Mike is exceptionally talented, he struggles with the whole bankroll management concept, and before he knows it, he has accumulated a significant debt. This is when Mike promises himself and his girlfriend that he will quit playing poker. 

However, it was not long before he embarked on another high-stakes poker journey with his friend, who was just released from prison. Without spoiling the movie, we can all agree that Rounders is the best poker movie ever, and once you watch it, you will understand why.

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