“The Card Counter” Trailer Takes Us from Prison to the Poker Table

Few movies of recent years moved me as profoundly as Paul Schrader's First Reformed. The Oscar-nominated film starred Ethan Hawke as a priest who experiences a crisis of faith after one of his parishioners dies. So of course I was dying to see what he'd do next. Finally, after many delays, we have our first proper look at The Card Counter.

Oscar Isaac stars as William Tell, a gambler looking to win big at casinos in Mississippi. There, he runs into a woman (Tiffany Haddish) willing to fund his run, and a young player (Tye Sheridan) looking for revenge against someone from their past. That turns out to be Isaac's old superior officer (Willem Dafoe), who committed heinous crimes during his time running a prison but made Tell the fall guy.

This trailer doesn't do a great job of capturing how surreal the film is likely to be, but does look slick enough to sell people who wouldn't usually check out Schrader's work.

The Card Counter premieres at the Venice Film Festival, and opens in the U.S. on September 10.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.