The Card Counter

The Card Counter ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Incredibly flat and lacking tension; feels like two different movie ideas (the professional poker circuit and the commodification of military torture) jammed into one because Paul Schrader can use his main ending and wipe his hands clean, aha violent redemption! 

Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish have good chemistry but it’s so still, stilted, and on the nose (the poker champ chanting USA at the table of a guy we know tortured people at Abu Ghraib). Isaac is measured and creates a seemingly better backstory than what Schrader gives us; held close to his vest. A performance that’s tenfold better than the film, which is a strange and misshapen disappointment. I write this in my diary with a glass of whiskey in front of me.

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