Rounders (15) Director John Dahl, who once impressed with his sleek noir updates (Red Rock West and, to a lesser degree, The Last Seduction), continues to disappoint with this dull, lame-brained depiction of the New York gambling underworld. Essentially reprising his Good Will Hunting role, Matt Damon plays a law student/card-sharp who's putting himself through school on his poker winnings. Edward Norton (a significantly better actor) has a marginally more interesting role, as his weaselly best friend who can't stay out of trouble. But even he can't do much with the script, which is little more than a collection of jargon-seasoned cliches. The only actor who makes a favourable impression is John Turturro, in a brief but indelible cameo. If little else, Rounders can lay claim to a couple of dubious honours: John Malkovich's thickly accented Russian gambler was by far the most grotesquely over-the-top performance in a Hollywood movie last year, and Gretchen Mol's long-suffering girlfriend is easily the most insultingly underwritten female role.
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