If you want to have a movie filled with colorful clothing, glitz and glamor, and tension that will boil over at the turn of a card and a roll of the dice, you need to set the movie in a casino! The impact of gambling and casinos in the world can’t be overstated in today’s cinema, and it seems that quite a lot of movies are setting themselves in the casino.
There’s a reason for it of course, because countless people are playing both online and in person, and you can find some websites that are the best places to play at an online casino.
But whether you want to go to a physical casino or an online casino, you can still experience the rush at the casino while watching some of these classic movies. Here are some of the best casino movies that run the gauntlet between biographies, dramas, and thrillers that show the high life and low life of the casino world.
And the people who gamble in it.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
This movie sees Martin Campell take on 007 as the director of this high stakes thriller that seems Daniel Craig’s James Bond play poker against a terrorist leader. The poker game is as intense as any action scene, and Mr. Bond’s victory manages to be a cornerstone event in taking down the entire organization of bad guys.
2. Lucky You (2007)
After directing the Impressive 8 Mile, Wonder Boys, and L.A Condifidental, the late Curtis Hanson ended his run with the movie Lucky You. It tells the story of a professional poker player (Eric Bana) who always seems to be outdone by his father, a professional poker player who is more famous. The movie and the family drama come to a head with a climactic poker game, and the actors make the movie very fun to watch, even if the plot is cliche.
3. 21 (2008)
Attractive actors such as Aaron Yoo, Jacob Pitts, Josh Gad, and Kate Bosworth can make any movie great. When a director pits them all against the ruthless Kevin Spacey, you get a pretty good con film set in a casino. The film tells the story of the MIT Blackjack team that took on the house and won for over a decade, showing the science behind gambling. While the director took some liberties with the story, the math and science are very interesting and makes the movie fun.
4. Croupier (1998)
This British casino movie quickly became a cult classic when it was released in 1998. Directed by Mike Hodges, this movie sees Clive Owner play Jack Manfred, a poor writer in London who gets involved in the gambling world and quickly discovers the darker side of the game that wreaks havoc on his entire life.
It is a movie that is unafraid to take on the dark side of what gambling and being a gambler means, and that’s why people love it.
5. The Gambler (1974)
Director Karel Reisz shows the event that tends to go hand in hand with gambling: gambling addiction. In the movie, English professor and author Axel Freed looks to have a perfect life, until his past of lying and gambling addiction surfaces, and an angry bookie comes looking to collect.
6. Rain Man (1988)
The classic movie directed by Barry Levinson, Rain Man, sees two brothers played by Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise attempt to take on the house at Las Vegas, with Dustin plays an autistic savant, who has several mental abilities that Cruise’s character attempts to use to count cards and win games. As the two brothers dive into the gray area of winning at the table, they uncover what family is along the way.
7. Casino (1995)
It’s called Casino and it is made by Martin Scorsese, so naturally it is one of the best casino movies of all time. When Robert De Niro’s character is contacted by an old friend who happens to be a mob boss, his character sees both sides of Vegas, both the glamorous side shown to the public, and the darker side that everyone tries to hide.
8. California Split (1974)
Serial gambler Charlie Waters deals with the downsides of his massive gambling addiction in what has been called the ‘Citizen Kane’ of gambler’s movies, and the film leaves you as breathless as Charlie as you watch every single gamble.
9. Uncut Gems (2020)
Being unlucky is one thing, and being chronically unlucky is another. But for Howard Ratner (played by Adam Sandler in a serious role), finds that his gambling addiction has crossed over into his life as a jeweler, he’s forced to raise against time to pay off his debts to the mob.