The sensational world of gambling appeals to the masses millions and 26% of the world population is involved in some form of gambling, which makes up about 1.6 billion people. The act of gambling is both addicting and highly tempting with its promises of jackpots, luxurious rewards, and VIP treatment. Offshore casinos have inspired a range of other activities and interests including online casino games, literary works, graphic novels, and most popularly, movies.
Hollywood cashed in on the interest garnered in casinos and created some of the classic casino movies which are now regarded as masterpieces.
The 6 greatest casino movies
The movies given in the list perfectly capture the duality of casinos, from the insane extravagance to the downfall through addiction. Here are 6 of the best and most thrilling casino movies from the casino world:
- Ocean´s Eleven
- The Croupier
- Uncut Gems
We compiled this list with some expert recommendations from our Swedish friends svenskacasinonutanlicens.se who are experts when it comes to online casinos in Sweden.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, the 1995 movie Casino is one of the most acknowledged and revered casino movies of all time. The movie features some of the biggest names in the history of Hollywood – Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. The plot circles around a Jewish gambler “Ace” Rothstein who along with his close pal Nicky Santoro and Ginger Mckenna runs the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas.
The story of Ace, a man who dreamed too big and lost all to avarice, deceit, and abuse. Rising to eminence after taking control of Tangiers Casino and rolling in wads of cash achieved through the casino business, his possessions start dwindling and Ace starts losing all when the Mafia interfered with eventful business. Things get worse when his wife descends into alcoholism and drug abuse, and he gets betrayed by his trusted friend. The movie is a rollercoaster of highs and lows and ends with Ace having to restart his life again.
John Dahl centers his 1998 movie around the most sought-out casino game, poker, and casts Matt Damon to play the genius law student and poker mastermind Mike McDermott with Edward Norton as the problematic gambler and former prisoner Worm Murphy and Gretchen Mol as Mike’s girlfriend.
Rounders features Mike’s return to the poker world to resolve Worm’s debts, breaking the promise made to his girlfriend to never gamble. Unfortunately, Mike and Worm get further drowned in debt and end up getting in trouble. Through a series of misfortunes and trials to clear the debts, Mike finally becomes free of debts, breaks up with his girlfriend, and starts afresh by going to Las Vegas to claim the title of winner in the World Series of Poker, his dream tournament.
The first of Steven Soderberg’s trilogy is one of the most exciting heist stories and one with a solid fandom. The all-time crowd-favorite movie featured some of the top actors including George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts, among others. Julia Roberts plays the ex-wife of George Clooney and has a pivotal role in the plot.
The movie surrounds a thrilling heist orchestrated by leader Danny Ocean, with fellow conman Rusty Ryan to overthrow millionaire Terry Benedict, archnemesis to Ocean and suitor to Tess, the former wife. All the key characters in the movie join hands to carry out a massive heist that amounted to a staggering $160 million from the casino.
Croupier released in 1998 reflects the casino life, yet without the glimmer and the shine, with a darkened, grim backdrop, conveyed through the eyes of a dealer.
Directed by Mike Hodge, Clive Owen stars as the central character Jack Manfred, along with Kate Hardie, Alex Kingston, and Gina Mckee.
Croupier’s story unfolds with Jack’s decision to become a professional dealer to keep a livelihood while chasing his dreams to be a writer. He finds himself being distorted by the deceptive world of gambling and becomes tangled up in frauds, deaths, and miseries. He documents his tale in his best-selling book and returns to being a ‘croupier’ despite the harsh treatment he faced in the gambling world.
2003 movie Cooler has a more lighthearted take on gambling as it forms a core around the cooler’s fluctuating luck and an aggrieved casino owner. Experience a humorous take on casinos in this movie featuring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin among others.
Directed by Wayne Kramer, the cooler in a Las Vegas casino, Bernie Lootz takes every gambler down with his atrocious luck which leads to the profit of the casino owner and his boss, Shelly Kaplow. Kaplow is happy with this arrangement and pleased with Bernie till he starts dating the waitress, Natalie. Much to Shelly’s chagrin, Bernie’s luck changes overnight after dating Natalie and his title of a cooler becomes invalid. The movie follows Shelly trying to break up Bernie’s relationship to bring back the cooler profits.
Josh and Ben Sadie’s 2019 movie Uncut Gems focuses on problem gambler Howard Ratner who forfeits everything and surrenders all to the hands of a precious gemstone that he thought would deliver him from debts. The movie stars Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Lakeith Standfield, Eric Bogosian, etc with our all-time favorite Adam Sandler as Howard.
Jewish jeweler Howard is a gambling addict who puts everything on the line to aid the uncontrolled betting that envelops him in endless debt. He thinks of resolving all debts with the black opal pawned from Ethiopia. The opal results in a series of misfortunes that Howard faces, from being robbed to losing his mistress, the opal, and falling out with his family. Although he ultimately gets the $1 million price for his opal, he gets shot and dies on the scene with his mistress, Julia fleeing off with his money. The movie depicts the downfall of Howard through gambling addiction.
The list here gives you an idea about the plots of the recommended movies with their star casts and morals. There are other similar movies based on casinos that you can watch along with the listed ones. These movies not only entertain audiences but also warns audiences of the dangers of casinos before the public dives into the glamorous world of gambling.
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