Highest Rated Casino Movies of All Time

The gambling industry has inspired tons of films, including Casino Royale, whose applause has refused to die down years later. It makes sense that this industry would present as much material as it does to Hollywood, thanks to its endless drama.

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Now, we listed 6 of the best casino movies of all time in no particular order.

21

21 is based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Ben Mezrich’s book, Bringing Down the House. The cast was highly criticized, but the movie remains one of the greatest of its kind. Ben, a mathematics major at the prestigious MIT is accepted to study at Harvard, but the $300,000 fee is too much for him.

He applies for a scholarship that would cover his entire tuition and stipend. Despite having high scores on all his tests, Ben still faces stiff competition and the director makes it clear that the scholarship will go to the applicant that dazzles him. An MIT professor, Micky Rosa, invites Ben to a challenge solving the Monty Hall Problem, which he handles easily and successfully. Micky invites Ben to a team of experts that apply card-counting and discreet signaling at blackjack games to make substantial profits at casinos.

The team continues its clandestine operations that are fueled by fierce competition amongst them and rivalry. It ends with nasty breakups, and the film ends with Ben narrating the entire story to a dumbfounded scholarship director.

Molly’s Game

Molly Bloom is your young and beautiful Olympic-class skier by the day and runner of high-stakes poker game options by night. She runs her gigs noiselessly and easily discreetly until one night 17 FBI agents get to her, wielding menacing weapons and demanding that she surrender. Her list includes business titans, Hollywood loyalty, and unknown to her, the Russian mob. Her world changes all at once as she is now forced to start defending herself against known and unknown enemies. She is deserted by all except her defense lawyer, Charlie Jaffey, who quickly learns there is more to the Olympian than what he reads on the tabloids.

Rounders

Matt Damon plays Mike McDermott, a talented if corky poker player. At one of his games, he plays a Russian mobster and loses his $30,000 bankroll in a single hand. This shakes him to the core, and he promises his girlfriend and fellow law student Jo that he is done. His only focus now is getting his law degree.

He is doing okay and focused on his studies until an old friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy, is released from prison. In a bid to help Mike pays his debts off, Worm engages in reckless games that eventually get them both in trouble. Mike’s education is affected, and Jo ends their relationship. The movie revolves around Mike trying to get his life back after Worm wrecks it completely. It has remained to date one of Damon’s best movies.

Casino

This 1995 film features Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein and Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro. Mafia associate Sam is sent to Las Vegas to sun one of the casinos owned by the mafia. Sam doubles the casino’s profits that are skimmed by the mafia before taxes are paid. As the operation heats up, Joe is Nicky is dispatched to Vegas to protect the skimmer, Sam, but he is banned from every Nevada casino due to his explosive temper.

Sam falls in love with a dancer and former prostitute, Ginger McKenna, and together they start a family. Issues arise that drive McKenna to heavy drinking and drug use. Sam later starts hosting a TV show that gets him in trouble with the mafia at home and Nicky for making himself so public. This film follows two things that are known to go together since the beginning of time; gambling and the mafia.

Hard Eight

Philip Baker Hall, who plays Sydney in this film, is a senior gambler who meets a forlorn young man, John, who strikes a conversation and odd friendship. John needs money for his mum’s burial, and Sydney offers to take him to a Las Vegas casino to gamble it. They get the money and Sydney takes in John as his protégé, two years later. John, unsophisticated and not nearly as intelligent as one would want, is the exact opposite of Sydney, but the latter is determined to form a fatherly bond with him. The movie takes viewers through mistakes made by John and Sydney’s struggle to make him a better man of his protégé.

Last Vegas

This film is about four childhood friends; Sam, Archie, Paddy, and Billy that are now elderly and living totally different lives. Robert De Niro, who plays Paddy, lives a bitter life after the death of his wife, Sophie, while the rest are either divorced or remarried. Billy, who is still in touch with the old gang, finds an old bottle of scotch that they all stole in their childhood, and he gathers them all for a get-away in Las Vegas to celebrate. They have their squabbles while at those Las Vegas casinos and try to solve issues long-forgotten, during which Archie gambles away his pension money, $15,000. He quickly turns to $102,000, to his friends’ surprise. The gang goes down memory lane, Paddy heals from his bitterness and finds love again, and eventually, they all return home after making their fair share of mistakes.

Watched Any of them?

If you haven’t watched these movies, you are missing out on humor, suspense, and lessons on gambling. Check them out whenever you can.

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