Card Counter doesn’t pass the film formula test

My Film definition:
Film = Moments + Story + Personality/Emotion
Card Counter works more as a docu-drama. War may begin as ridding the world of ‘monsters’, but in the end the chaos and corruption create or deform innocent people into monsters.
Abu Ghraib, obviously horrible. Aftermath, soldiers involved warped and destroyed. Innocent people held in an attempt at ‘justice’. An obvious lose, lose situation.
But unless you insert personality and vulnerability into a film, it’s really just stating sad facts.
Ever go into a casino and fully realize the reeking despondency and loneliness? If a poll could be taken, I can guarantee that 75% (if not more) would rate high on a depression scale.
Now spend two hours with one of these folks. They haven’t much to say besides citing their gambling stats or sad sack background.
That’s what Card Counters was…Oscar Isaac (perfect for the role actually as I haven’t seen him in roles other than someone with supposedly a lot going on interior-wise). No offense to this nice man (he obviously lightens up when kissing armpits), but he should go directly to the Michael Keaton school of facial expression rather than the empty fish market eyes I watched for far too long in Card Cutter.
Tye Sheridan has type cast himself in the same morose young guy in every film. So, yes, perfectly cast here as a child abuse survivor, but again, not lively enough to watch for close to two hours (I blame Paul Schrader for this, write some backstory in, as you have done in the past-First Reformed did just that excellently I might add!).
And Tiffany Haddish, please please, no more drama. You light up a room with comedy Bad Trip!!!), but you are plastic when it comes to drama.
Now that I have communicated my heartfelt reaction, I can read the glowing reviews and try to wrap my head around what they saw in this movie. Peace!

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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