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Screenwriters: 'Runner, Runner' Centers Around Online Poker, But Isn't A Poker Movie

Movie Debuts Tomorrow And Is Getting Horrid Reviews So Far


The film “Runner, Runner” is set to hit theaters nationwide on Friday and is considered by many to be the long-anticipated next poker movie from the writers of the cult-classic “Rounders.” However, the writers don’t see it quite like that.

Screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman told Bleacher Report:

“We don’t really consider Runner, Runner a poker movie. It’s a thriller set against online gambling. The movie starts out centered around poker because a character is cheated by an online poker site, but it’s more about the business of online poker, the same way a movie like ‘The Firm’ is set around a law firm and the Mafia.”

One could probably apply that logic to Rounders and make a case it isn’t even a “poker movie,” but that’s probably a debate not worth having.

Regardless, the American Gaming Association, the commercial casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill, plans to use the portrayal of offshore online poker shadiness to make the case that Congress should legalize the activity.

There’s one caveat: the AGA doesn’t actually see much hope of a federal bill.

So, the effort will be made to turn a movie that supposedly isn’t actually about the game into a catalyst for a federal web poker bill that even its strongest supporters think is drawing slim.

If this all seems terribly confusing, don’t worry. Go check out the movie. In many ways, the 91-minute film appears to be a rather straight-forward crime thriller.

However, its reviews have been abysmal so far. A film critic for the Guardian said that it is “a lazy, trashy film that barely goes through the motions.”

A film critic for the The Dissolve wrote, “The best parts of Runner, Runner feel like a Rounders facsimile — right down to the metaphor-heavy narration — and the worst seem like a case of mission drift, as if the filmmakers set out to make a behind-the-curtain thriller about online gambling, but got hung up in paying off the plot.”

Poker fans still might be waiting for Levien and Koppelman to make a Rounders sequel.

Tags: Runner,   Runner,   Online Poker


7 years ago

I seen it and thought it was very good! Also check out We're the Millers and The Family, very good also!!! I'm going to check out the Tom Hanks movie that comes out friday, it should be good also!