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The Card Counter

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, China, United States
·
2021

1h 51m

Director Paul Schrader
Starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
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Tell is a gambler and former serviceman who is approached by Cirk, an angry young man seeking an accomplice to help execute his plan for revenge on an old military colonel. Tell sees Cirk as his chance of redemption.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

TheWrap by Carlos Aguilar

Even when considering how it’s graced with splashes of stylistic bravado and how vigorously head-on it distills its heady themes (all to an extent rehashed from Schrader’s own body of work) — not to mention the decision to keep part of the gruesomeness off-screen and concluding the piece on a semi-hopeful note — The Card Counter still doesn’t come across as urgent or magnetic as other efforts.
75

Slashfilm by Chris Evangelista

The element that keeps The Card Counter truly alive is Isaac, who turns in one of the best performances of his career here, using his eyes to convey things dialogue never could. To watch him work here is something special, even if the movie as a whole can't ever quite match his intensity.
83

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

That The Card Counter shakes your faith in the writer-director’s ability to beat the odds is part of its scabrous charm.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

A companion piece of sorts to First Reformed, this is another bruising character study of a solitary, burdened man who processes his most intimate thoughts in a journal, living with his guilt until he’s handed an unexpected opportunity for redemption.
70

Screen Daily by Lee Marshall

Its odd meld of drab suburban casinos, wrapped motel rooms, nightmarish Iraqi torture sequences and military correctional facilities where the furniture is bolted to the floor, all build to a video-artist vision that comes bursting surprisingly out of an old-school box – and results in one more male-slanted Paul Schrader script about a haunted man at a crossroads.
70

Variety by Owen Gleiberman

Part of the beauty of poker is that it doesn’t represent anything. It’s just a game. The Card Counter is a good game that forgets it’s a game by working so hard to be a statement.
80

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Its icy conviction and unblinking Bressonian rigour generate their own particular, intoxicating strain of doom-laced excitement.
91

The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

It’s truly a wild, blazing ride if you get on the movie’s bruising, mesmeric wavelength, a tragic but deeply moral film about a righteous, transactional man who has truly weighed and considered the cost of the wicked transgressions committed against his country, his fellow man, and his own soul.
80

The Guardian by Xan Brooks

The central relationships can be a little schematic, while the plot slaloms in and out of plausibility. Still, the cast keeps it honest and there is much to relish in the film’s moody, meditative intensity.

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