2020 started, shall we say, homebound. Our list of the best gambling movies is for anyone who has missed a poker evening with friends or just wants to see hustlers try and fail to make it big.
This list follows 3 rules:
- The 5 movies on this list are about poker.
- The movies do not merely take place in Vegas or a casino; they are specifically about gambling.
- These are recent gambling movies; some fan favourites will be missing. A list for the best gambling movies of all time would take more than 5 entries.
We have a handful of exciting movies about poker that should trigger a craving for speed and intrigue of gambling.
Mel Gibson is at his most fun and charming peak in this delightful western comedy about a con man who tries his best to make enough money to enter a high-stakes poker game.
A strong supporting cast includes campy, yet delightful turns from James Garner and Alfred Molina Magnificent. Jodie Foster is also in the movie, and she plays a con-artist-slash-damsel-in-distress a three years after her Oscar-winning turn in Silence of the Lambs.
The oldest film on this list, Maverick, is still a wild ride through wild-wild west. One of the best gambling movies of all time, this one is also extremely fun.
Some famous poker players credit this film for sparking their interest in the game, while many poker enthusiasts dub it the best film about poker ever.
This Matt Damon vehicle might not be that good, but it’s quite enjoyable nonetheless. Stellar supporting turns by Edward Norton, Martin Landau, Famke Janssen, and John Turturro power this film.
Wonderful John Malkovich is in a role one critic described, “so over the top he’s passing Pluto.” And Pluto was still a planet then.
This is one of those movies about poker that are character-driven. A law student loses big, tries to quit, gets dragged back to the casino by an old friend, and has to go all in. Intriguing, eh?
Casino Royale (2006)
Could we do without Bond, James Bond? Of course, not! Her Majesty’s best agent’s shenanigans have been the longest-running film franchise. This soft reboot finds the legendary 007 shaken but not stirred, at a poker table.
Agent 007 is betting against one of the most dangerous criminals in cinema, Le Chiffre, portrayed masterfully by the great Mads Mikkelsen. Gorgeous Eva Green plays no less dangerous Bond girl Vesper.
Packed with action, intrigue and highest stakes, Casino Royale is a classic film to choose for an evening with a significant other.
Molly’s Game (2017)
This biographical crime drama is based on the memoir of Molly Bloom. Molly has been training to be an Olympic skier her whole life to get a career-ending injury at the last minute.
Instead of following her original plan to go to law school, she starts an underground poker operation for rich people. What could go wrong?
Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriting genius behind the “Newsroom,” “The Social Network,” and Steve Jobs, directs the film. Jessica Chastain gives one of the best performances of her career in this film. Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, and Jeremy Strong round up the stellar cast.
This one is one of the recent gambling movies with sharp and smart dialogue, real-life crime stories, and great acting.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Many cinephiles got upset when Adam Sandler did not get an Oscar nomination for this… gem.
In the best performance of his career, Sandler plays Howard, a jeweller with gambling addiction, who must get back the gem he brought to pay off his debts.
This film is notoriously intense. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, where viewers wait for Howard to make it right. We are not going to spoil the fun here, but we believe everyone should watch “Uncut Gems” as soon as possible. It is one of the best gambling movies of the 2010s.
There you have it: 5 great recent gambling movies for the casino lovers. Please tell us about your favourites and check out https://casinocanada.com/ for some real game action.
Michelle H. Thomas is a casino blogger who tries to steer people away from scams and help them find the best casinos for their needs.