Gambling is as old as time itself and predates gaming houses and online casinos. The mystique, risk-associated thrills, and promise of instant riches mesmerize the human mind.
Recognizing this, time and time again, filmmakers have expertly interwoven the nuances and attractions of gambling into acclaimed films. Read on as we look at a selection of the best casino films ever, featuring some of the most famous casino games.
First released in 1960 with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Angie Dickinson, and Dean Martin, the remake of this classic hit the box office at full tilt in 2001. The film is based on a vendetta-driven casino heist and featured an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts.
Oceans 11 is set in Las Vegas, the home of casinos and its famous casino games. The plot involves an expert team of criminals, planning and pulling off a near-impossible heist at the world-famous Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mirage casinos. Glimpses of famous casino card games such as blackjack and jackpot slots play out in scenes and backdrops of the Ocean’s Eleven Casinos.
Nothing portrays gambling in a film like Bond. Most of all the 007 films find their way into a gambling house with Bond at the tables or in a card room.
This enigmatic character and world-famous English spy ignited adrenaline-induced suspense in a poker tournament in Casino Royale. This film is another classic remake and appeared on modern-day screens in 2006.
In Casino Royale, our favorite spy must thwart the world-dominating aspirations of an evil mastermind. This endeavor leads him to play a high-stakes, winner-takes-all Texas Hold’em poker tournament against his foes. Bond’s opponent weeping blood at the poker table is one of the casino film’s best scenes.
The 1954 Casino Royale version featured baccarat instead of Texas Hold’em. Nevertheless, the thrills and suspense were just as prominent.
The stigmatized relationship between organized crime and gambling hardly needs any elaboration. Casino, the movie, spun a sinister tale involving the Mafia, sports betting, and a Vegas nest of illegal gambling operations.
Robert de Niro breathed life into the character of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, a sports betting expert designated to manage the gambling operations of the Mafia in Las Vegas. This character is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as he strives to act ethically but also protects his loved ones from the mob. One of the film’s famous scenes depicts Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro losing big at a blackjack table.
Casino is regarded as one of the best casino films ever made. This award-winning cinematic installment exposes viewers to the operations of the gambling world and is a must-watch for fans of organized crime films.
This 1998 film features Matt Damon as a legal student who enters poker arenas to pay his college fees. Damon’s character penetrates underground venues in New York, seeking poker games to chase his fortunes. As his aptitude and appetite for the game grows, he even finds himself in the iconic poker room of Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal.
Avid poker fans will enjoy this movie. It is filled with intellectual suspense and shines a spotlight on the adrenaline pulsing behind the poker faces when a serious card game is at play. This movie has been lauded as a great casino film for its authenticity in the portrayal of the game of poker.
As the name indicates, this movie is all about blackjack and achieving the ever-elusive 21. Released in 2008, the story follows six brainiacs from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology who become self-trained card-counting experts.
Kevin Spacey plays Micky Rosa, a professor who hand-picks mathematical geniuses in his class and schools them in blackjack strategies. The group use their skills in Las Vegas and make millions during their exploits.
The film is based on the book Bringing Down the House. This fast-paced adaptation is sure to get the adrenaline of any blackjack fan flowing.
Gambling provides intrigue and suspense in films. This bevy of handpicked casino films contains all the thrills, realism and spills that seasoned and unseasoned gamblers alike are sure to love.