Tagged along with my roomies. Matt Damon is pretty good at picking his movies.
Wench thought this was a Grifters wannabe. But it's nothing like that. While there is one character who is into cheating, most of the movie was about professional poker. A group of people who are so good at cards that they play the opponent far more than they play the cards.
Damon starts the movie as a law student. He has built up a $30,000 stake and wants to build his own confidence by beating one of the other main characters. From there, he plans on moving to Vegas and becoming a professional card player. He loses it all.
His girlfriend talks him into giving up gambling. Though a couple of exchanges during the movie point out that in their case, it's not really gambling. It's a job where their money is at risk. Skip ahead a few months.
Of course, he falls off the wagon. He meets a friend just getting out of prison and gets talked into joining a game. They team up to win a coupla thousand dollars. But the friend still owes $15,000 from before he went to prison. He ends up getting Damon involved in his debts and a little bit in his cheating.
So the movie is basically about the forces pulling on Damon. His promise to his girlfriend. His law school. His loyalty to his friend. And to his gift as a poker player.
One thing that was a minor problem is that they used a lot of poker terms I'm not familiar with. I'm not talking about flushes and straights, I know that. But I don't know what 60-40 stud is. And several other things like that. One thing they did do was explain Texas Holdout very well. I had heard of it before, so I recognized it quickly. I've read that Texas Holdout is The Game in the Vegas World Series of Poker.
A good movie, but you might want to go with someone who can translate the poker terms. On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Matinee.
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