‘Players’ (2024) Ending Explained & Movie Spoilers: Who Does Mak End Up With, Nick Or Adam?

Here we have a movie that tricks us into believing that it’s about thirsting over Tom Ellis until it reveals its true self, which is an extended episode of Modern Love. And it’s very fitting, considering it’s Valentine’s Day. In its defense, Trish Sie’s latest Netflix movie is called Players, after all. The narrative puts Ellis’ character in front of us as an angel falling from space, but then we realize that the guy was the devil all along. In case you didn’t see what I just did there, I will pat myself on the back later. For now, let’s just jump into this thing right away.


Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Movie?

In modern-day NYC, sportswriter Mackenzie, aka Mak, and her colleagues, Adam, Bran, and Little (who’s only Bran’s brother and not a colleague), are your regular flag-bearers of hook-up culture. Outside of working hours, all they do is run various plays just to get into people’s pants. The group is basically an upgraded and grounded version of Barney Stinson, and the tactics they use to sleep with people are far better than Barney’s Playbook.

Who’s Nick Russell, And What Does He Want?

Life was the usual mix of misery and fun for Mak and company, until Nick Russell randomly walked into it one day. He’s a much younger friend of their stern boss, Kirk, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has done a lot of great work, including saving someone from a burning building. Most importantly, the guy is played by Tom Ellis, which makes him an object of lust for Mak and the group, and she decides to go for it. Nick is most likely trying to find “the one” for him from the dating pool, considering the man happens to be an adult, unlike Mak, Adam, Bran, and Little. However, that is no reason for Mak to not target him, and she doesn’t have to work much before landing herself at his house. They are all hot and heavy, but for Mak, things feel different this time around because she hasn’t been with someone like Nick before. Naturally, she didn’t have “feelings” for Nick before. And now that she does, she wants to have it all with Nick—the picket fence and everything. She confides that to Adam first, and then to the rest of the group, who all come to the decision that they’re going to help Mak get what she wants.


What Does The Group Plan To Get Mak And Nick Together?

Anything other than regular online stalking, gathering information about the man, knowing his likes and dislikes, and getting ideas about where he’s going and who he’s dating wouldn’t have made sense, and Players went exactly that way. Considering Mak, Adam, Bran, and Little are actually pretty smart, it works pretty smoothly as well. Nick and Mak come closer through chance meetings at the library and on runs, where Mak knowingly ignores Nick. The group soon brings in Ashley, another colleague from the office who’s more than willing to participate in this thing. Thanks to Ashley, they manage to intervene in Nick’s third date with a doctor at a classical music concert. This obviously gives Mak the opportunity to step in and impress Nick with her “freshly acquired” knowledge of classical music. A few more official dates, and Mak and Nick are finally a couple—and everyone lives happily ever after. But fortunately, “Player” is not that kind of movie.

What Is Adam’s Deal?

While he initially appeared as a regular best friend character, by the time we see Mak and Adam reminiscing about the old days and she’s talking about how she basically wants what her parents had, we know for a fact that Nick’s not going to be the one for Mak in the end. Because it’s supposed to be Adam, who’s clearly in love with her. In fact, it becomes more evident when Adam tries his best to convince us (and himself) otherwise by dating Claire, who seems all nice and cool but is going to end up being the Karen Fillipelli of this story. Thankfully, we do see her moving on from Adam pretty quickly with the librarian dude eventually.


Who Does Mak End Up With, Nick Or Adam?

As Players gets closer to its climax, we keep getting more and more evidence of Adam’s real feelings for Mak. A double date between Adam and Claire with Mak and Nick turns pretty weird when Adam gets freaked out by the sight of sea bass and gets teased by Mak, who only pretends to like sea bass because Nick loves it. Adam also finds it strange that Nick doesn’t like to share his food, a trait that is absolutely not acceptable in rom-coms unless you’re Joey Tribbiani.

While Nick keeps proving that he’s clearly not the man Mak should be with, it doesn’t get to a point where he’s absolutely intolerable, either. I would say it was an interesting move to cast Tom Ellis in the role, cashing in on his usually charming personality. However, the deal-breaking moment finally came when Mak got upset about Nick completely taking over and rewriting her feature piece, a passion project kind of thing on which she had been working throughout the movie. And it’s not that Mak asked for anything other than a few notes on her piece from Nick, given they’re in the same position and he is, after all, a Pulitzer finalist. Not only does Nick completely slam the piece, but during the only fight between the couple, he blurts out that he absolutely hates it, and the only reason he rewrote it was because he was trying to “help” Mak save her job.


In contrast to this, Adam was not only very supportive of Mak’s work; he couldn’t stop gushing over her article and kept telling her to pitch it to Kirk, while she kept waiting for her “Pulitzer finalist” boyfriend’s notes, who took as many as five days to read the two and a half pages. Adam understandably gets furious when Mak tells him about Nick’s judgment because not only does this undermine Mak, but the article was, in fact, about who she was. But Mak still tries to defend her boyfriend and ends up having a huge fight with Adam, who also doesn’t forget to point out how Nick hasn’t even checked on Mak once during the whole gala event.

Mak and Nick’s breakup was a given after all this, and then it was only a matter of time. And for a movie that is titled Players, there had to be a final play. That happens to be Adam accompanying Bran and Ashley on a blindfolded trip to the Yankees stadium in order to surprise him. But it’s actually the group playing Adam this time, in order to get him and Mak to see each other. Of course, Mak’s original article was great, which actually got her the assignment to cover the all-important Yankees vs. Red Sox game. But before what might become the greatest working opportunity of life, Mak must do the right thing, which is to confess her feelings for Adam. In fact, Adam finds out that it is Mak who’s running the play. Not that he minds, because we know how heartbroken the dude was during the whole Mak and Nick thing, while putting on an okay face outside. Mak’s confession of love turns out to be a text-book romantic movie thing, but Gina Rodriguez is so earnest in the role that it works out wonderfully. And that’s how we get to be happy after seeing Mak and Adam, finally. 


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

Latest articles