“The Card Counter” is one of those movies that in my opinion is different weird, rather than different good.
The title is obvious enough, about a man who calls himself William Tell, played by actor Oscar Isaac as we follow his life that is entirely about playing cards. What is fascinating to most people is how anyone can do nothing but play cards for hours on end, and never get bored? Even when playing for money, most of us would dose off or fade into a coma while doing nothing more than playing cards all day. I thought the explanation of card counting was a good part of this story- due to the fascinating mathematics that is an extremely impressive achievement for whoever invented it. Other than that, there is no way I would recommend this strange story or understand why so many critics liked it.
The problem here is, the “lets be different and surprising at all costs” is what killed this entire film. I can only guess that because the great writer/director Paul Schrader is involved, most critics give this film an automatic thumbs up. My opinion is that this movie is too boring in too many areas, too strange and too hard to follow for those of us who fell into a coma about 50% through this extremely strange story.
The only high point is the acting of the lead, Oscar Isaac, along with Tiffany Haddish who showed she can also do some serious roles. Willem Defoe is also in this film, but its only a small role.
Due to the overkill of weirdness and a story that was too strange to like I do not recommend this movie, despite the high critical ratings on Rotten Tomatoes of 86%.