Casinos and gambling have been major themes of a lot of classic films over the years. The sights and sounds of the casino combined with the thrill of gambling large amounts of money make for exciting viewing. Gambling is also a highly popular activity all around the world, and a lot of people can relate to the thoughts and feelings of a person as they’re hoping for their luck to finally come in.
A lot has changed in recent years when it comes to casinos and gambling. Today, much of the games are played in our homes at a casino online. Far from the luxurious casino environments we often see in movies. We’ve ranked some of the best films of all time that involve casinos or gambling as a major plot point. All of these films are worth watching, especially if you enjoy spending time at the casino, whether in person or online.
These are the best gambling and casino movies to watch
Read more: Here Are The Best Movies Set In Las Vegas
A Bond film based on the Ian Fleming book of the same name, Casino Royale was the first Bond film starring Daniel Craig and one of the best of all time. As you might have guessed from the name, this film centres around a casino, where Bond must defeat the villainous Le Chiffre in a private game of Texas Hold ‘Em in order to disrupt a major international terrorist organisation. While the book sees the two facing off over a Baccarat table, the film writers made the decision to use Texas Hold ‘Em as it was more interesting and easier for viewers to understand. The decision paid off, and the scenes at the table are incredibly tense and fun to watch.
Featuring a star-studded cast, this 2001 film centres around two partners in crime who assemble a crack team of specialists capable of robbing three of the biggest Las Vegas casinos on the same night. Although the film doesn’t involve much in the way of table games, the stakes are high for all those involved, and all of the action takes place in the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. With George Clooney and Brad Pitt as the two leads, the film is a lot of fun to watch and mixes comedy with action and suspense.
Casino may not be as closely related to gambling as some of the other films on this list, but it’s hard to leave out thanks to its reputation as one of the best gangster films of all time. Directed by Scorsese and starring the likes of De Niro and Al Pacino, this is a must-watch. The film is set in 1970s Las Vegas and follows the real-life stories of a casino owner and his ties to the mob. At nearly three hours of total runtime, you might be put off, but you’ll be missing out on one of Scorsese’s very best.
Molly’s Game is the dramatised retelling of the life of Molly Bloom, an Olympic level skier who was injured while trying to qualify for the Olympics and instead, ended up as a bartender. While working in bars in Los Angeles, Bloom ended up starting her own high stakes Poker business, which became known for attracting lots of celebrities and high rollers. Molly’s business eventually earned the attention of the FBI, and the film shows how her underground poker business worked in a country where gambling was mostly illegal.
As with the previous two movies on our list, 21 retells a true story. This time, it’s about a group of MIT students and their professor who use their knowledge of maths to take the Las Vegas casinos to the cleaners. This group of math whizzes practically invented card counting and used various techniques to profit at Blackjack tables. The film is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys table casino games and wants to know more about how students with little experience in gambling made millions in Las Vegas.
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