As a part of our cultural consciousness, our obsession with the thrill of casino games is hardly new. With the high stakes which can be involved, it makes perfect sense that these make a great fit for the world of thrillers and crime movies. From the ensemble smash hit of 1960’s Ocean’s 11 to more modern blockbusters such as the Ocean’s 11 remake, using casinos as a setting for films has stood the test of time like few others.
So what are some of the best examples of these films, for new viewers to get started, or for long-time enthusiasts to get back into their favorites? For those needing a reminder of the games themselves, this article of the best websites to play on, their bonuses, and how they work has been created by author Caleb Crosby with trustworthiness and high payouts being key factors. Once you’re ready, let’s move on.
Ocean’s 11 (original)
As one of the films which skyrocketed the concept to the mainstream, we couldn’t avoid the inclusion of this heist film on this list. With five big stars of the Rat Pack, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra, this one was hardly wanting when it came to star power.
With this film’s gang of eleven trying to rob five casinos simultaneously, through an elaborate system of plans and cooperation, it’s only natural that tensions are high. Marked by humor and class, this is not one to miss.
Casino Royale (remake)
The remake of the James Bond film Casino Royale in 2006 was met with commercial and critical acclaim, earning it a spot as many a Bond fan’s favorite in the series.
Casino Royale is full of what makes Bond great, with suspense and action marked against the backdrop of Montenegro’s Casino Royale. This film set a departure towards a more modern form of bond films, with a greater emphasis on (comparative) realism over ridiculous spectacle.
Inspired by a true story, the film 21 follows a group of six MIT students recruited for their abilities in number-crunching and pattern recognition. Under the leadership of a less than moral teacher, the group is taught how to count cards in blackjack. This, combined with other tactics, allow them to effectively cheat the casinos, coming away with huge winnings to pay off those similarly enormous student loans.
Naturally, both actual casinos and underground criminal games don’t much care for being cheated, leading to severe problems for the young group.
The one question we’re left with after going through dozens of films to narrow down these top three comes from the current state of casino popularity. These films draw from a level of success and interest in physical casinos which has recently been increasingly supplanted by growing modern online manifestations.
Today, online casinos have taken a lot of wind out of land-based sails, due to their added convenience and selection. So what does this means for the future of casino-based films? Might we see casino films drop in popularity, or will filmmakers somehow adopt digital incarnations within their scripts?
Whatever the case, at least we still have a huge variety of classics to draw from.
"…"...our obsession with the thrill of casino games is hardly new.""