Best Movies by Farr

The Card Counter

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The Card Counter Poster





The Card Counter

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What's it About

William Tell (Isaac) is a skilled gambler with a horrific past. Able to count cards, he routinely wins at blackjack and other games of chance. But his calm, composed demeanor masks massive trauma. Stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq conflict, his abuse of prisoners brought a prolonged jail sentence for him, but not his superiors. When Bill meets Cirk (Sheridan), a young man whose father was also at Abu Ghraib and later committed suicide, he decides to gamble at higher stakes, and use the winnings to help Cirk get back on track. He enlists the help of La Linda (Haddish), who brokers financial backing for talented players, to secure the stake he needs. But Cirk remains obsessed with getting revenge on the man who trained his father and escaped justice, John Gordo (Dafoe).

Why we love it

Writer/director Schrader returns to his recurring theme of a troubled individual, victimized by society, struggling to survive. Isaac carries the film, delivering a nuanced, Oscar-caliber performance. Will is a barely contained powder keg, his over-the-top fastidiousness a key coping mechanism. But of course, Will's demons never stray too far. Haddish scores in a juicy featured role; her La Linda is first puzzled, then intrigued by this watchful, mysterious man. Sheridan also shines as Cirk (pronounced “Kirk"), a lost, shattered soul obsessed with payback for his father’s death.