Top 10 Casino Movies of All Time
Hollywood’s fascination with casinos is not unheard of. From thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat such as Rounders, to intriguing heist films like the Ocean’s series, the palm-sweating movements on the poker table, the hot rolling dices and the rattling wheels never fail to impress. We’re here to introduce to you our picks of the top 10 casino movies of all time.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
A re-make of the 1967 blockbuster of the same title, Casino Royale is an all-time favourite of both James Bond and casino fans. Le Chiffre, a banker working for the world’s top terrorist organisations, is taking part in a high-stakes poker game of Texas Hold’em in Montenegro. There he must win back his money in order to secure himself amongst the terrorist community. Partnered with foreign liaison agent Vesper Lynd, James Bond’s mission is to join the poker table and topple Le Chiffre’s plan.
Radiating class, wealth and risk, the casino scene of Casino Royale is one of the most captivating we’ve ever seen.
2. Casino (1995)
Casino is about feuds between two mobster boyhood friends over the gambling empire of Las Vegas. Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, played by Robin De Niro, is a casino operator in the city with connections with gangsters. Ace’s childhood friend and mafia lynchpin, Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), arrives in town and his secret agenda will soon cause disruptions to Ace’s civilised life.
Casino reveals the wicked, two-faced quality of the glamourous Las Vegas. The fascinating glitters and glamour contrasts strongly with the brutal, deceptive dealings. It wouldn’t make sense if this classic is not on our list.
3. 21 (2008)
21 tells the story of a group of gifted MIT students trained by their unorthodox professor Micky Rosa to become card-counting experts who win hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Blackjack tables in Las Vegas. However, the situation goes down south for the students as the casinos find out about their card counting scam. You’ll definitely be interested in learning the trick after watching 21!
4. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, gathers a group of highly-skilled, risk-taking individuals to assist him in executing the biggest heist in history. Their targets are three leading casinos in Las Vegas, the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. Want to know if they can successfully swipe $150 million from some of the biggest casinos on the planet? Watch Ocean’s Eleven to find out.
5. Rounders (1998)
Law student Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) quits gambling and focuses on studying after losing all his money to Russian mobster, Terry KGB, despite his talent in poker. Nevertheless, Mike must return to the tables when Lester “Worm” Murphy, his childhood friend, is released from prison and in trouble with loan sharks. In order to repay the money Lester owes his nemesis, Mike must gamble one game after another.
Reflecting the reality of the underground world of poker, Rounders are often described as the favourite casino movie among poker fans.
6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Adapted from the best-selling novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas depicts the psychedelic road trip of two friends travelling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Sportswriter Raulo Duke heads off to Vegas with lawyer Dr. Gonzo to cover a sports event for a magazine. During their journey, they experiment with a massive amount of different drugs and encounter the police, gamblers, drug dealers and hitch-hikers.
The cult film perfectly represents Las Vegas as the “Sin City” - dangerous, explicit and crime-filled.
7. The Cooler (2003)
The preternaturally unlucky Bernie Lootz is employed by the Shangri-la casino as one of “the coolers” to spread his bad luck over players who have been taking the house for a fortune. Bernie begins to lose his melancholy gift after meeting Natalie, a cocktail waitress. Things turn upside down in the casino when the casino’s best cooler finds love and turns into a lucky charm.
8. Croupier (1998)
Writer Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) takes a job as a croupier in London just to make ends meet. However, he becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the casino lifestyle, the source of inspiration for his novel. Things eventually spiral out of control at the casino as well as in Jack’s personal life.
Instead of portraying the glamour of casinos, Croupier depicts the cold reality of the gambling world.
9. The Gambler (1974)
Axel Freed (James Caan) seems to be a respected English professor and author on the surface, but what people around him may not know is that he is also a gambling addict. Heavily in debt, Axel decides to steal $44,000 from his mother and sets off to Vegas with his wife Billie, hoping to win it all back.
Check out The Gambler to find out how far one will go when involved in an extremely high-stakes game.
10. The Hangover (2009)
This casino movie perfectly explains the quote “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Phil, Stu and Alan travel to Las Vegas to be a part of their friend Doug’s bachelor party. The three of them end up waking up losing all memories of the night’s events, with a missing bridegroom and a tiger in the bathroom. Will they be able to attend the wedding on time with just a few hours to figure out what happened and look for Doug?
You’ll love The Hangover if you’re into hilarious comedies featuring mind-blowing casinos!