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The Card Counter (2021)
"Martin Scorsese presents" this film as producer. Its supposedly a film about redemption. Not sure about that.

William Tell, who has changed his name from William Tilledge, has been released from a 10 year jail sentence for his part in human rights violations and war crimes against those held by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. He leads a solitary life playing blackjack and poker in the casinos of the USA having mastered the skills necessary during his incarceration.

Oscar Isaac in a voice-over as Tell gives a succinct description of basic card counting and later explains how you get away with it by not winning too much. He soon meets La Linda, a poker player and poker player backer, who offers to fund his poker tournament career in exchange for a 50/50 split of winnings. Tell at first declines this and explains that most of the high-profile poker players with big winnings against their names are carrying debt in the form of loses they have made.

What quest Tell has is not clear but his casino hotal resort visit coincides with a security conference where ex-major Gordo (Defoe) is giving a presentation to sell his security face recognition software. Whilst attending, Tell is confronted by Cirk, son of a soldier who killed himself after leaving the military. Another who participated in torture of prisoners.
The Card Counter
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Cirk is on a mission to kidnap Gordo, torture and murder him for escaping punishment (along with anyone of higher rank), he being the one instructing the abuse. Tell insists Cirk to drop such ideas but decides to take him on the road with him as he peddles his trade in the casinos of America.

In a twist to his path to redemption, Tell sees the opportunity to fund Cirk's rehabilitation into normal life by winning enough money to pay his debts, Cirk's mother's debts and bankroll him with enough money to return home to his mother and start college life once again. Thus he needs the help of high-stakes backer La Linda and they agree upon a 50/50 deal entering big buy-in poker tournaments. He is of course incredibly successful in this pursuit and is seen at the final table of several events.

Tell gets rough with Cirk and forces him into a pact. Take enough money with him to cover everything and go and start again by first seeing his mother. He in turn will cement a romantic relationship with La Linda, one supposedly on the boil throughout the film, incredible from the chemistry between them on show.

I'll let you watch the film and see how this turns out.

The Gambling
A good look inside the lonely life on the casino tour. However having done the research on card counting, which is not a serious attempt at beating the casino anymore and hasn;'t been for many decades, they display some really basic errors. The only blackjack hand you see Tell play is 14 against a 6 and he takes a card and wins. You can only do this if you know what the next card is.

In another shot of a roulette wheel and table, Tell's voice tells us that Red or Black on the roulette table is the best bet for the player (on a double zero roulette wheel!) because your chances are 47.4%. This after just telling you that standard blackjack has a house edge of 1.5%, so giving you a 48.5% chance.

With so much gambling in this movie they really could have just spent a few dollars (or pounds) on a pro who could advise on the basics.
Marks : 5/10
Director Paul Schrader Oscar Isaac William Tell
Producer Martin Scorsese et al Tiffany Haddish La Linda
Writing Paul Schrader Tye Sheridan Cirk
Cinematography Alexander Dynan Willem Dafoe Gordo
Cert./Runtime 15 / 111 mins Alexander Babara Mr. USA