Best Gambling Movies Ever
In this article we are going to take a look at some of the most popular movies in history and let you decide on which one takes the title as the best gambling movie ever to be released. As you may have already realised, there are far too many movies to list here so we’re just going to stick to a few of the favourites and the ones that really stand out.
An apt title indeed, the movie is actually an adaption of the book Casino; Love and Honour in Las Vegas. Thanks goes to Universal Studios for giving us this epic crime film with a star studded cast. Martin Scorsese directs the film and as we all know he is in a league of his own. The main character is Sam “Ace”Rothstein, played by none other than the infamous Robert De Niro. The pair have actually worked on and produced 8 other films which are still considered some of the best movies of all time.
The movie follows “Ace” who is sent by the mafia to a hotel and casino in Las Vegas to oversee the running of it. He soon falls in love with a hustler “Ginger Mckenna” played by Sharon Stone, who was a former stripper at one of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip. The two get married and have a baby; however, the good times don’t last long. The relationship is thrown into turmoil when Ginger reconnects with her ex-boyfriend who just happens to be a pimp.
The film takes you through the trials and tribulations of a casino manager, how they manage the casino’s relationship with the gambling authorities and police officials who were constantly trying to shut down establishments due to reckless or negligent practices.
Casino received awards for best lead actress, Golden Globe award for best motion picture and Golden Globe award for best performance by a leading actress.
Released in 2008, the film is based on a true story about a group of MIT students who embark on a journey of thrills and high stakes when they join the university blackjack team. The headliner in the film is played by Kevin Spacey who is the professor that starts the kids on this enthralling journey.
The cast is littered with big names, the likes of Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne. Based on the novel Bringing Down The House, written by Ben Mezrich, the movie follows the life of Ben Campbell played by Jim Sturgess as he tries to navigate his way through university while having a $300,000 student debt loan hanging over his head. Ben is a smart kid and after joining the blackjack club his teacher Miky Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey is amazed by his skills and makes him the head of the team.
The group was taught the skills of card counting and how to raise their edge against the house. After their first expedition to Las Vegas, the team soon realise that they are extremely good at what they do and subsequently end up taking weekly trips to the casinos.
After becoming hooked on the high roller lifestyle, Ben takes it a step too far and is made by the casino security, the wheels come off and chaos ensues. The film is full of casino card trickery and definitely makes the list.
3. Ocean’s Eleven
Hands down one of the most thrilling casino films to ever grace the big screen, Ocean’s Eleven is packed to the brim with action, suspense and glamour all wrapped in a mastermind plot. Although the movie is not strictly about gambling itself and more about how a group of likeminded men go about securing their future all while getting even with a casino owner.
The stellar cast is without a doubt a major reason for the film’s success. When you have Hollywood giants such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Al Pacino as your main characters, it’s pretty obvious fans are going to gaga.
The film spawned two others, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen and then yet another Ocean’s Eight which was a spinoff with an all female cast.
This film has been recreated three times now, inspired by Ian Flemming’s 1953 novel.Casino Royale is probably one of the most well known casino movies and simply thanks to everyone’s favourite special agent Bond, James Bond.
Originally released in 1967 and remade in 2008, the film follows Bond on his first mission where his objective is to bankrupt a terrorist financier at a game of incredibly high stakes poker. The movie hit two nails on the head by showing the lengths some will go to for a good game of poker as well as doing a sterling job of introducing a new James Bond to audiences.
Casino Royale is more of a spy movie, however, there are loads of intriguing poker action scenes that will have avid poker players on the edge of their seats.
Released in 1961, The Hustler follows the life and times of “Fast Eddie” Felson. The movie is an adaptation of the novel by Walter Tevis of the same name. Eddie is a pool junkie and works his way through the bars of the town hustling through high stakes wagering .
The whole plot is Fast Eddie trying to make it into the major league and the trials of how he goes about getting there. The Hustler gives audiences a good idea of how the life of a gambler unfolds and the situations one is faced with.
This is an absolute gem of a movie when it comes to giving audiences an insight into the world of high stakes gambling. Based on the memoirs of Molly Bloom herself, the book is a biography of her life and the film follows suit.
Molly was a mogul skier who had her eyes set on competing in the winter Olympics; unfortunately her career was cut short due to a horrific accident that left her unable to compete. She decides to move to LA instead of attending law school and becomes a bottle service lady at a club.
She soon gets immersed into the world of underground poker games for many of the city’s wealthiest and most famous individuals. After a fall out with her employer, Molly strikes out on her own and starts her own club with all her new contacts.
Molly becomes the suspect of the FBI who is hot on her heels for this illegal foray and Molly must find a way to escape certain jail time.
Other Gambling Movies to Check Out
There are countless movies based on the world of gambling and casinos. Here are a few other titles to keep an eye out for the next time you’re looking for a casino movie.
- Uncut Gems
- Dinner Rush
- The Good Thief
- Mississippi Grind
- Stage Coach
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels