Not all gambling films are masterpieces. Over the years, some movies in this genre have attracted mixed reviews while others have won many awards. Either way, there are some of the best gambling movies that stand out—the ones that are thrilling and relieve our emotions. No wonder Hollywood has a fascination with the world of casinos and gambling.
The world of gambling and casinos is filled with an extensive variety of films from diverse genres. Such films include the old movies that depict smoke-filled backrooms at the clubs, and today’s movies characterized by virtual casino lobbies. Still, we found a list of the best story and star cast gambling movies that you will undoubtedly bet on.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
A top-rated film from the James Bond series. And stars Daniel Craig, Judi Green and Eva Green. Certified to kill, secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) sets out on a mission as 007 and must win against terrorists and a private banker in a game of poker with high-stakes at Casino Royale. But it’s not a walk in the park.
2. Rounders (1998)
A reformed gambler is forced to return to playing poker to help a friend pay off a loan. Rounders revolves around two friends who play poker to get enough cash to settle a massive debt. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, this film is about the little known world of high-stake poker.
In this context, “rounders” refer to people traveling around from one city to another searching for high-stake games. The film is full of superior performance and realistic scenes of poker tricks.
3. Casino (1995)
Casino is a tale of gambling in Las Vegas. If you’ve just decided to watch a film about gambling, then this should be your number one choice. The behind the scenes of casino gambling are well depicted—the wheeling-dealing, the casinos, gangs and more.
The film stars are Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro. Sharon Stone is the gold digger and opportunist who hitches to Robert De Niro for his money. Robert, the casino owner, has ties with the mafia while Pesci is a crazy enforcer who flirts with danger.
4. 21 (2008)
21 was a box office success since it was the best film in Canada and the U.S. in the 1st and 2nd weeks of release. This movie is a tale of a mean Math professor training up a group of 6 talented students. They become skillful code-talkers and card-counters. Eventually, they take Las Vegas casinos by storm and win millions.
5. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
A young poker star, The Cincinnati Kid, has a big dream—to be the best poker player. Eric “The Kid” Stoner in his quest to establish himself as the best poker player challenges Lancey “The Man” Howard.
Lancey was considered the best player around. The Kid is distracted— by a beautiful girl— that his chances of winning become flimsy. The movie climaxes with the two players increasing their stakes, in a thrilling end, one out of the two triumphs.
BONUS READ: The Top 5 Benefits of Being a High Roller