Top casino films are without a doubt a lifestyle. They are glamorous, full of charm, occasionally romantic and provide a wonderful movie experience to any viewer.
Whether you like to just enjoy the adrenaline rush of hitting the big jackpot, gamble your hard-earned chips on a spin of roulette or just enjoy a good classic movie during your downtime from work, below are 12 casino and gambling films to give some serious thought to.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive but it is certainly meant as a fun starting point for your online casino film exploration. It’s worth bearing in mind that these films may well contain some adult content that may not be suitable for underage viewers so you will need to do your homework before you begin watching any of these titles, depending on your audience.
It is the best of times to gamble in Las Vegas and the glamour of the city doesn’t look to be fading anytime soon. With thousands lining up daily to play their favourite casino games, it is little wonder that movies of this ilk have flourished over the past few years.
Some of the more popular selections include 21, The Gambler and Casino Royale. Each of these offers a unique take on the infamous gambling experience and promises the adrenaline rush and gorgeous women of Las Vegas just like we know them to be.
There are many more entertaining casino movies that did not make our list, such as Oceans Eleven. All can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home provided through popular streaming service providers.
With all the love affair that the internet offers these days, it can be very tempting to log on to an online casino site, indulge and join in on all the action. If you are unable to plan a visit to Las Vegas soon, online casinos such as BGO and PlayOJO could be the answer. But for the most part, these top gambling movies are worth viewing even without playing along.
Top Casino Movies Of All-Time
Casino movies and poker movies are some of the most popular gambling films. People who love playing these games can be seen enjoying themselves while watching movies at home or on the television screen.
In recent times, more people have become fascinated by online gambling and in order to experience all the excitement and fun they can get from visiting an online casino, they often make frequent trips to their local casinos.
There is nothing quite like actually playing casino games for real money and experiencing the excitement first-hand. If you are planning to play casino games, below are a few movies you may want to consider.
No doubt about it – if you’re looking for a great night of gambling entertainment that is full of witty banter, competitive sniping and memorable characters, this list of gambling and casino films is it!
If you are a serious gambling enthusiast, be sure to check out both classic movies and reviews of the top online casinos if you are planning a visit to an online version of Vegas. These movies are sure to put a smile on your face when you are enjoying some casino action!
When you have a chance to see some of the best casino movies ever made, you will be sure to enjoy yourself immensely while visiting your favourite casino sites online.
When you come across a new online casino where you can try your luck at blackjack or even play your favourite slot machines, you will quickly turn into a die-hard fan of casino gaming. It may even be a while before you start planning those trips to Vegas again!
For now, keep your eyes and ears open for the latest movies on the big screen and you will soon find yourself counting cards and getting excited every time!
Our list of the Top 12 Gambling and Casino films.
12. The Color of Money
The Color of Money is a 1986 film directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Paul Newman and Tom Cruise (star of Rain Man and many others). The film is based on the 1984 book of the same name by Walter Tevis.
The film begins more than 25 years after the events of the previous film, The Hustler. Newman reprises his role from the 1961 film. It continues the story of pool hustler and gambler Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson (Newman).
Newman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. This was his first Oscar win after eight nominations, seven of which were for Best Actor.
The film was so well regarded by professional nine-ball players that an event in 1997 was named after it.
11. Owning Mahowny
Owning Mahowny is a 2003 Canadian film based on the true story of a Toronto bank employee that stole over $10 million to service his gambling addiction. It has a cast that features Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver.
The story follows Toronto bank employee Dan Mahowny (Hoffman) as he is given access to larger accounts as he is promoted to assistant branch manager. His compulsive gambling is his driving motivation and the viewers see the domino effects it has on the rest of his life, including the high roller treatment he receives at his preferred Atlantic City casino.
10. Casino Royale
Casino Royale is a 2006 James Bond spy film. it is the first film to star Daniel Craig as the agent James Bond.
Casino Royale takes place as Agent 007 is earning his licence to kill, at the beginning of Bond’s career. The plot has Bond on an assignment to bankrupt a terrorist financier in a high-stakes poker game. The poker game is played at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.
9. California Split
California Split is a 1974 American comedy-drama film starring Elliott Gould and George Segal. The pair of gamblers (Gould and Segal) form a friendship over their mutual love of gambling and sees Segal hit a hot streak and win more and more money on Poker, Blackjack and Roulette – eventually splitting their pooled $82k winnings.
8. The Gambler (2014)
The Gambler is a 2014 drama film based on the 1974 film The Gambler. This remake stars Mark Wahlberg in the leading role.
Jim Bennett (Wahlberg) is an American professor and gambling enthusiast that owes $200,000 to a high-stake underground gambling operator, plus $50,000 to a loan shark. Jim is given seven days to pay off his debts or he will be killed.
21 is a 2008 American drama film starring Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne. The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling book by Ben Mezrich.
21 was a box office success and the number one film in the United States and Canada during its first and second weekends of release.
A team of blackjack players (including Spacey as the Maths Professor that leads the group) use card counting and covert signalling to increase their probability of winning at Las Vegas casinos and earn the group big profits.
6. Hard Eight
Hard Eight is a 1996 American film starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson.
The film follows experienced gambler Sydney (Hall) as he meets John (Reilly) and offers to take him to Las Vegas and show him how to gamble and thrive. John reluctantly agrees but goes on to become somewhat of a protege to Sydney.
5. The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid is a 1965 American drama film that stars Steve McQueen in the title role.
It tells the story of a young poker player that is seeking to build a reputation as the best, eventually challenging an older, experienced player that culminates in a climactic final poker hand between the two.
Rounders is a 1998 American drama film about the underground world of high-stakes poker.
Although Rounders had mixed reviews on release it became a cult hit when poker was booming in the early 2000s and continues to be popular to this day amongst online gamblers.
It stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton as two friends who need to win at high-stakes poker to quickly pay off a large debt. A “rounder” is a person that looks for high-stakes gambling games and travels from city to city to play them.
3. The Sting
The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in 1936. It has an intricate plot that sees
two professional scammers (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) set up and implement a con on a mob boss (Robert Shaw).
The film was inspired by real-life cons. The moment a con artist finishes the “play” and takes the mark’s money is known as “The Sting”.This is where the film takes its title from.
The Sting was a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Writing (Original Screenplay). Redford was also nominated for Best Actor.
2. The Gambler (1974)
The Gambler is a 1974 American crime drama film that stars James Caan. Caan was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Axel Freed, a Harvard University-educated English professor with a gambling addiction.
The film follows Freed to Las Vegas as he gambles money loaned to him to repay debts into a small fortune, only to lose it all on basketball betting.
Casino is an epic 1995 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the nonfiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi.
It stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, who portray characters that are based on real people.
Casino follows Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro), a gambling expert odds maker who is asked to manage the fictional Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas for a group of organised crime families from the Midwest.
As Las Vegas evolves over the years the film shows the difficulties Sam experiences in his job, the Mafia’s involvement with the casino and the gradual breakdown of both his relationships and reputation.
Casino was a worldwide box office success and is now viewed alongside Goodfellas as a Scorsese classic!
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