Gambling is one of humanity’s most popular pastimes, but also a costly one if the dice don’t roll in your favor. For those of you who would like to witness some high-quality casino action without risking your life’s savings, there are numerous films inspired by the topic of gambling. The following selection ranks highest when it comes to this ‘genre’, both for the realistic portrayal of the gambling venues and events, and for the excellent cast in most cases.
Directed by John Dahl, this movie is one of the most realistic depictions of poker play behind closed curtains the world has ever seen. It was released back in the late 20th century, when the NetBet sport platform would have been just as unbelievable as the movie protagonist’s mad poker skills. The acting cast is thus just as responsible for the movie’s success as its choice of setting and costumes. Matt Damon features as the clever and risk-prone student who pays for university using his card skills. Along with Edward Norton who plays his best friend, Damon’s character challenges Malkovich’s character – the undisputed poker master and mobster.
This movie will provide you a sneak peek inside the world of casinos, as the main character Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein – a Las Vegas mobster – leads you through the sparkle and into the bloody side of running a casino establishment. If Robert De Niro’s participation in this movie’s cast is not reason enough to watch this 1995 release, then the fact it was directed by no other than Martin Scorsese will definitely draw you in.
This movie tells the true story of several MIT students trained to count cards at blackjack by no other than their radical and liberal professor of mathematics. The latter is played by Kevin Spacey, who turned out to be just the right choice for the directing capacities of Robert Luketic. Twenty-one is so far the most modern release on our list, as it hit the big screen in 2008. Although a gambling movie in its essence, 21 also touches upon major topics such as people’s greed and self-destructive nature.
- Ocean’s Eleven
Featuring some of the greatest names in contemporary cinematography, such as Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, it is no surprise that this movie managed to appeal to a much wider audience than those interested in gambling-themed motion pictures. Steven Soderbergh’s action-packed release back in 2001 introduced viewers to aspects such as security tactics and loopholes rather than staking strategies when it comes to beating the casinos.
- Casino Royale
An instance of the well-known James Bond franchise which saw Daniel Craig’s debut in the lead role is definitely a piece of cinematography that captures gambling to its core. For one, it is set in Montenegro, where gambling is known to taking a destructive turn. What’s more, it has the thrilling back-story of a terrorist banker who must be defeated, but it ultimately focuses on James Bond as a person of skill rather than a technology-aided agent.