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Original Message

"The Card Counter:" a bust. Directed by Paul Schrader, who should have

Posted by tinear on September 18, 2021 at 07:42:07:

known better since he's done some very good work in the past: "The Comfort of Strangers;" "American Gigolo:" "First Reformed," and several others (though his bad to good ratio is uninspiring).
Oscar Isaac and Willem Dafoe? Wow, this is some great firepower, but Isaac is one-key and Dafoe's performance is really a cameo.

An Abu Ghraib interrogator, long imprisoned for his crimes there, is released and becomes a professional gambler, only chasing short gains to remain under the radar. He meets a young man, however, who is obsessed with killing a man he blames for his father's suicide--- the man who trained his Dad as an interrogator. Yes, it's the same guy who oversaw Isaac's character: they have a common interest in destroying the "intelligence" officer that ruined both their lives.

The film cannot decide if it's a gambling film (probably an hour of very boring casino gaming), a revenge tale, or a fable of atonement. At any rate, it fails as all three.