Card Counter, The: Another Schrader Tale of Lonely Troubled Man

Oscar Isaac in Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe also star in this brooding redemption drama about a former military interrogator turned professional gambler.


Thematically, director Paul Schrader is beginning to repeat himself.

He has spent much of his career peering into the dark abyss of troubled men’s souls. He creates another subject worthy of such examination in the title figure of The Card Counter, who goes by the assumed name of William Tell.

He is played by Oscar Isaacs in an emotionally intense performance.

A companion piece of sorts to First Reformed, this is another bruising character study of a solitary, burdened man who processes his most intimate thoughts in a journal, living with his guilt until he’s handed an unexpected opportunity for redemption.