What about casino-related movies get the blood pumping and everyone on the edge of their seat?
Well, I’ll tell you, whether you’re a gambler or not, everyone likes to relive massive bets, thrilling entertainment, and major wins. And that is most likely why you are here, reading this article – because excellent movies and gambling in casinos is something of interest to you.
Gambling is one of those fascinating, taboo subjects, which makes its presence in casino- themed movies that much more captivating. We have compiled a list of some of the most entertaining gambling-themed movies, in our opinion, read on and see if you agree with our list.
Number 10 – Wild Card (2015)
Starring the talented, Jason Statham, Wild Card does not fail to deliver. Statham plays the role of Nick Wild, a Las Vegas bodyguard who has lethal professional skills, but struggles with a gambling problem. Making waves in the criminal underworld, Nick becomes a wanted man by the mob.
Number 9 – Maverick (1994)
Maverick is an American Western comedy released in 1994 following the journey of Maverick, a card player & con artist, portrayed by the very well-known Mel Gibson. Maverick is short $3000 to enter a high stakes poker game. He befriends a female gambler along the way, portrayed by the lovely Jodie Foster and together they take on this journey together.
The film received mixed reviews and grossed over $183 million globally. If you like Westerns, Gambling, Comedies and Mel Gibson, this is a must-see.
Number 8 – 21 (2008)
21 is a captivating true-life story of how the MIT Blackjack Team beat the casino house for nearly a decade before being caught. The movie was based on the best-selling book, Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich.
It features a notable cast, with Kevin Spacey & Laurence Fishbourne being the most recognized.
Spacey’s character plays a double life – an MIT professor during the day, and card counting, house beating engineer at night. He recruits selected individuals based on their inherent maths skills and plays on their keen interest to make money.
21 makes for entertaining viewing, made more exciting when you consider it is based on real events.
Number 7 – Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Ocean’s Eleven is a remake the 1960 heist movie, Ocean’s 11, which starred Frank Sinatra. It features a very famous cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts & Matt Damon.
Danny Ocean (Clooney) and Rusty Ryan (Pitt) plan a heist of more than $160 million – simultaneously robbing the Bellagio, the Mirage & the MGM casinos, a plan to get back at arch-rival & owner of all 3 casinos, Terry Benedict (Garcia).
The plot thickens when, during the heist planning phase, it’s discovered that Danny’s ex-wife is Terry’s girlfriend. This is an extremely enjoyable movie which spawned 3 sequels.
Number 6 – Runner Runner (2013)
Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck make up two of the leading cast members in this remarkably entertaining poker/casino/gambling-themed movies. It follows the journey of Richie (played by Timberlake) who believes he was cheated out of an online poker tournament. He tracks down online gambling tycoon, Ivan Block, who promises him the world as he pulls him into his seedy underground casino world. With the FBI hot on their trails and Richie slap bang in the middle of things, he faces the biggest gamble of his life – how to outplay the forces of good and evil stacked against him.
Number 5 – Molly’s Game (2017)
Another true-life story based on the life of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier (she never made the Olympics partly due to an injury), who ran one of the world’s most exclusive high stakes poker games for more than a decade, before being arrested by the FBI and subsequently landing herself a job with the FBI.
Starting out by helping her boss run a poker game, she received a huge tip on her first night and then decides to do her own research on the underground poker scene. Later down the line, she loses her job and uses the contacts she’s made to start up a poker game of her own.
Number 4 – The Color of Money (1986)
Martin Scorsese is the brilliant director behind this entertaining sport & gambling themed movie, following the journey of pool hustler, Eddie Felson (played by Paul Newman), who meets a young, talented but arrogant Vincent (played by Tom Cruise) in a bar and decides to teach him the fine art of pool hustling, which subsequently inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.
Number 3 – Casino (1995)
What do you get when two best friends – a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against one another to be the main man of a gambling empire? – an enthralling storyline filled with greed, more money than you can imagine, power struggles like you’ve never seen before, murder and deception at its worst! Add to that a love triangle with a high living socialite and you’ve got yourself one of the best movies around. The star-studded cast includes Robert De Niro & Sharon Stone, definitely one to watch.
Number 2 – Rounders (1998)
Rounders follows the story of a law student, Mike McDermott, brilliantly depicted by Matt Damon, who loses his life savings to a Russian Club Owner during a high-stakes poker game. He hangs up his poker “shoes” and things take a turn for the worst when one of his former gambling buddies, Worm, gets released from prison and pulls Mike back into the world of high-stakes poker. Not only does he start gambling again and lose his girlfriend, but he also gets pulled into Worm’s prison debt – a debt that needs to be repaid.
Number 1 – The Gambler (1974)
This movie is the harrowing tale of the dangers of allowing gambling to rule your life. Alex Freed lives a pretty normal life – he is a very successful college professor with a wealthy mom and a girlfriend who loves him, but he has an addiction – a gambling addiction. He wins big, but like most gamblers, he loses it all just as quickly. He borrows money from his mom, his girlfriend, and finally a loan shark, and yet he still can’t stop himself from chasing his losses and trying for one more massive win. He doesn’t know when to stop and it affects every part of his life – his girlfriend leaves him, his mom disowns him, and the loan shark wants his head on a block. Axel decides to undertake the biggest gamble of his life – to pay off all his debts, to stay alive, and hopefully come out on top again.
Although Hollywood is always pushing for a happy ending it is important to pay attention to how much trouble people can get themselves into due to gambling. Play to have fun and never wager more than you can afford to lose. Gambling is fun and it should be, gambling addiction is terrible though and it wrecks lives.
There you have it, our list of entertaining gambling-related movies. We hope that you have enjoyed our reviews and our choices. Feel free to keep an eye out for our next casino reviews, casino bonus articles, and more.