Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Frequent profanity, some violence in '90s noir movie.

Movie R 1998 121 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

Rounders - Find Another Card As Fast As You Can

If there’s a movie or its stars, that’s lost to the late ‘90’s it’s this one and its crew. This grotty swear-fest is so typical of Matt Damon and Edward Norton that it plays out like a cliché – they simply walk through their roles emulating themselves. If you’re a fan of these somewhat overrated cardboard-cut-outs then you may be ‘entertained’ (although it’s stretching the word). And, they get plenty of financial assistance for their ole mate, Harvey Weinstein. Nasty characters and sleazy situations overrun this miserable experience - leaving the feeling of needing a shower by the end. Viewers addicted to gambling or card-shark movies, may feel at home with these witless lowlifes but ultimately they prove unworthy of empathy or concern. Some may even feel they’ve just spent 2 Hrs with characters the world would be better off without. Also featured in the acting high-jinks is John Malkovich, who overdoes his chocolate biscuit eating (supposedly ‘Russian’) card-shark-guru, to borderline laughable proportions. John Turturro on the other hand (no pun intended) fares best at attempting to build on a character, along with interesting Gretchen Mol as the suffering girlfriend. For diehard gambling movie fans only.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Exciting fast paced movie does great job teaching ethics.

While there is some profanity, the violence is mild and little to no blood is shown. If you like gambling this movie is perfect. There are strong female characters and it teaches the values of friendship. The characters are likable and your eyes are glued to the screen. I have a daughter who is a senior in high school and went into this with a not great attitude. This is now one of her favorite movies.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (3):

This is one of those movies where you know what to expect within the first five minutes. Shots of jowly middle-aged men playing poker against a deceptively clean-cut Matt Damon, who provides plenty of voiceovers concerning poker, the characters around him, and how poker is some kind of metaphor for human existence. A choice between unhappy stability or the chaos inherent in what Joseph Campbell called "following your bliss." It's the '90s, so everyone is edgy, cynical, and worldwise, filled with insights like, "You don't watch the cards, you watch the player." Mobsters are defined by the cats they kick or the Oreos they eat. And everyone's a loser in this hard-luck world.

That said, for pure entertainment, Rounders is enjoyable on its own terms. The noir and gambling tropes are expected and respected in each scene. It's dated, but not in a way that makes it a relic of a bygone era. And the acting in the secondary roles delivered by Malkovitch, John Turturro, and Martin Landau gives a depth to the movie that would not be there with less-talented actors. It doesn't break any new ground, but there's enough to Rounders to be entertaining and engaging for older teens and adults.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 11, 1998
  • On DVD or streaming: August 23, 2011
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol
  • Director: John Dahl
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 121 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: Pervasive strong language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
  • Last updated: June 3, 2023

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