Are you a fan of gambling movies? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! It’s time to break out the popcorn, grab a seat and get ready for some fascinating facts about the most iconic gambling films ever made.
Casino movies have been a staple of entertainment for decades, and the genre has produced some of the most iconic films of all time. From gangster epics to tense thrillers, there are so many great casino-themed movies that it can be tricky to pick out the very best. Here we look at our top 7 must-watch films set in casinos, each of which has something special to offer viewers.
1. Casino (1995) – Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone, Casino is one of the defining films about Las Vegas and its glittering strip. The movie follows Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro), a Jewish mobster who is sent to supervise the Tangiers Casino in 1970s Todas Vegas. The film covers themes such as greed, excess and crime, and was nominated for an Academy Award for its screenplay. It is perhaps best known for the character Ginger McKenna (Stone) – based on real-life mob associate Geri McGee – who Ace marries despite their tempestuous relationship.
2. Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – This remake of the 1960 film stars George Clooney as Danny Ocean alongside Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle as his accomplices in a daring heist of three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy García). Although it focuses more on comedy than hard-hitting drama, this slick caper flick has become a modern classic thanks to its star power and clever plotting. It spawned two sequels which also scored big at the box office.
3. 21 (2008) – Based on Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction book Bringing Down The House: The Inside Story Of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas For Millions, 21 follows maths whiz Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) as he joins an exclusive group of card counters at MIT who travel together to Las Vegas to take advantage of $10 deposit online casinos for kiwis in search of big winnings. Meanwhile, they must stay one step ahead of an astute security specialist who is determined to catch them.
4. Rounders (1998) – Starring Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, Rounders tells the story of a reformed gambler who gets drawn back into high-stakes poker following his friend Worm’s release from prison after being caught cheating in one of New York City’s underground games rooms. Along with Edward Norton’s turn as Worm and John Malkovich playing a menacing Russian mobster called Teddy KGB, this movie offers up plenty of thrills alongside its excellent dialogue from writers David Levien & Brian Koppelman, plus direction from John Dahl (The Last Seduction). Of course, if you don’t like risk, it would be more reliable to play with a no deposit bonus in NZ right here and to try out any casino.
5. Croupier(1998) – Written and directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter), this low-key British thriller stars Clive Owen as Jack Manfred – an aspiring novelist who takes up a job in one London casino while seeking inspiration for his next book project; however things take an unexpected twist when Jack discovers sinister activities going on around him among both staff members and their criminal underworld associates. Thanks to Clive Owen’s nuanced performance alongside first-rate direction from Hodges, Croupier stands out even today, more than 20 years after its original release date; it may not be quite as well known as other entries on this list, but it deserves more attention than it gets!
6. Owning Mahowny (2003) – classic film, directed by Richard Kwietniowski and based on the true story of Canadian bank manager Dan Mahowny, is one of the most captivating gambling films out there. It follows Dan’s journey as his helpless gambling addiction spirals out of control. As he gambles away his life savings and more, things become more absurdly fascinating as the casino switches him to ever higher limits at his request. Though an intense story of problem gambling, Owning Mahowny pairs its drama with an inspiring message. Regardless of whether or not one can overcome an addiction or comes to accept it, the film provides a window into the complexities that make up human nature, with Philip Seymour Hoffman giving an outstanding performance in a role which earned him many award nominations. The film successfully represents an exploration of the desperate attempt to fill inner voids with external validity in a world where regulation and control often fail us.
7. Uncut Gems (2019), directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, is a thrilling crime drama starring Adam Sandler as desperate jeweller Howard Ratner. He is a hopeless gambling addict who can’t stop until he completely destroys himself. When Ratner takes a chance on a raw uncut opal, he must contend with mobsters, loan sharks, and even himself in a race against time to make sure he can keep the gem and get his wealth back. Throughout the movie, you feel tension and excitement as each one of Ratner’s plans falls apart and leads him into more trouble. You cannot turn away until you find out how it all ends. Adam Sandler really brought life to the character of Howard Ratner with his performance that earned him an Academy Awards nomination for Best Actor in Leading Role, making Uncut Gems an excellent addition to the award-winning filmography of both the Safdie brothers and Sandler himself.
In conclusion, casino movies provide fantastic entertainment no matter what your taste; whether you are looking for flashy Hollywood blockbusters or slow-burn British crime dramas, you will always find something great within this genre if you dig deep enough! So if you’re looking for some exciting entertainment, why not check out one of these 7 picks? You won’t regret it!