Gambling has been a big part of the human experience for centuries, so it comes as no surprise that this topic has seeped into the world of movies over the years.
Casino-related movies have spanned various epochs of times and places. Some take place in Las Vegas, while others take place in Monte Carlo or Atlantic City.
Movies usually take on a journey venturing into various topics, including comedies, drama and crime.
Let’s kick off our journey through some of the best cinematographic achievements related to gambling.
For watchers who are not quite familiar with the topic of gambling, Ocean’s Eleven gives you a good overview of what it entails albeit a little farfetched.
The movie is based around the character of Danny Ocean and his crew whose main aim is to rob three Las Vegas casinos. There definitely was no claim of an online casino bonus here. The movie is jam-packed with gambling scenes, from the very start till the very end, as you can expect.
The movie itself starts off with the main protagonists playing at a poker table and from there, things truly escalate.
Another movie based around the topic of poker and casinos is Molly’s Game. Based on a true story, the movie is based around former Olympic skier Molly Bloom, who chose to run high stakes poker games in a bid to become successful.
Molly, uses her beauty in a big way to capture men’s attention or do business. She starts running games for her boss, before splitting up with him and running the show solo.
The whole deal eventually spirals out of control, as the authorities get involved. Molly is ultimately prosecuted for organising an illegal gambling ring.
The Grand, is a comedy movie directed by Zak Penn. It roped in some of the most renowned actors in the world, including Ray Romano, Dennis Farina and Chris Parnell amongst others.
What makes this movie interesting is the fact that the script was open-ended and the actors involved were given basic directions about their own characters. The game of poker on set was actually played out in real-time, without any predetermined winners.
The movie itself features a lot of poker, but it’s not really about poker hands or movies, but rather the concept of how one tournament can change one’s path in life.
Although some people might not be familiar with Stu “The Kid” Ungar, this persona has left an indelible mark in the poker world.
The film tells the story of the rise and fall of this character: from playing gin rummy in his early years, before transitioning to Texas Hold’em and ultimately dominating the game until his untimely death.
There are plenty of poker games played out in this movie. It tells the story of Stu Ungar in great detail, covering the span of his career as well as his demons which ended it.
Although plenty of critics of the movie were against the idea of glorifying his somewhat disturbing behaviour, it simply tells the account of this character. Without a doubt, he exhibited all symptoms of a self-destructive personality, but no one can doubt his love for the game of poker or his brilliant skills.
Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list that covers some of the best poker and casino movies of all time. There are plenty more movies worth checking out, including Casino Royale, The Cincinnati Kid and All In The Poker Movie.
If you’re a film and gambling aficionado, these movies are definitely worth a watch.