Extras: TOP TEN BEST MOVIES ABOUT GAMBLING AND POKER

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by Aveline MacQuoid on October 7, 2021

in Extras

TOP TEN BEST MOVIES ABOUT GAMBLING AND POKER

If you’re a fan of games based on movies, you have to check out these incredible movies about gambling and poker. Not only will you get to enjoy cinematic drama and intense recreations of what the gambling scene looked like a few decades ago, but you might also learn a thing or two to improve your gameplay. Take a look for yourself!

10. Rounders (1998)

Rounders does a phenomenal job of capturing the dopey masculinity and swagger of being a pro poker player in the late 90s. With a cast consisting of Matt Damon and other well-accomplished actors like John Malkovich and Bill Camp (to name a few), this fake gambling world feels very real and lived in. It’s definitely worth a watch.

A white ball sits in the number 17 pocket on a roulette wheel.

9. The Card Counter (2021)

Paul Schrader’s moody, tragic drama about a pro card player who goes from casino to casino to avoid the guilt of his past is a lot more fun than it sounds, even if the themes in this movie are intense. The gambling scenes may sometimes feel out of place next to the theme of pain and guilt, but they play their part in energizing the film and giving it a livelier tone.

8. Mississippi Grind (2015)

Before they joined the Marvel franchise, the Half Nelson filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden gave us this unique retro film about inveterate gamblers who decide to drive down south to New Orleans in hopes of winning the jackpot. Critics have rated this as Ryan Reynolds’ most incredible performance yet in the role of Curtis (you’ll have to watch the movie to know who that is). Mississippi Grind brings to life themes of casino life coupled with some incredible acting. 

Two fingers pinching poker cards on a poker table with casino chips in view.

7. Croupier (1998)

Even though Clive Owen has not done anything remarkable when it comes to films in the past two decades, we cannot ignore his stroke of genius when it comes to the movie Croupier. In the movie, he plays Jack, an aspiring but broke writer; who is in desperate need of money, which prompts him to become a croupier learning the ins and outs of casino gambling. Croupier dives deep into the crippling sadness and anxiety of everyone who’s ever thrown their lives and money away at a gambling table. The movie’s accurate recreation of dingy casino life seals the deal.

6. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Although this movie is a ripoff of The Hustler, it focuses on poker instead of pool hustling. This movie also has a classic Steve McQueen performance that sets it apart. The Cincinnati Kid is relevant and current, which adds to appeal. 

5. Tricheurs (1984)

This is the best gambling movie that you’ve probably never heard of. Barbet Schroeder gave us this crazy but irresistible thriller about a very charming man who is often around the casino. This is a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seats. The movie takes a turn as he ends up meeting a man who recruits him to be part of an intricate cheating scheme that raises the stakes to the highest level. The movie follows the characters through their scheme which leads to their demise in the end.

4. Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s first movie ever (unless you count the short film he did) is a remarkable debut. This movie is an in-depth look at a sad and lonely man who has learned to adapt and survive in the Las Vegas underworld through being unassuming until he meets people who change everything for him. Although this movie is a lot less showy than Anderson’s other works, it is profoundly moving as it gives insight into the men of Las Vegas, who you’d never really notice.

3. Maverick (1994)

Maverick follows Bret Maverick as he tries to raise money to play in a high-stakes poker tournament. The movie was based on a 1950’s TV series but was recreated as a movie starring Mel Gibson. The movie was a great success both critically and commercially. The movie was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Costumes. 

2. Oceans 11 (2001)

What Casino movie list could be complete without an Oceans movie? Oceans 11 is a classic casino-based movie where the regular group of degenerates plans to rob the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas. The movie is funny, dramatic and full of action, making it a favorite of many. 

Starring names including  George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García, Bernie Mac and Julia Roberts, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seats as we follow the elaborate scheme and find out if they manage to rob the $150 million from the Bellagio vault.

A view of Las Vegas with the Eiffel Tower replica displayed.

1. California Split (1974)

Elliot Gould and George Segal’s rakish charm makes them the perfect duo for this great buddy movie which explores the boys-will-be-boys friendship in its entirety. Throw in a whole lot of gambling, casual mastery, and dangerous yet weird characters who exist in that world, and you have yourself a gambling movie that knocks all others out of the ballpark. Don’t take my word for it though, see for yourself!

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