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Popular Gambling Movies You Need to Watch

Classic gambling movies everyone loves!

The cinematic universe has been producing masterful movies inspired by the gambling world for decades now. High stakes, the crazy Las Vegas gambling scene, colorful characters, intense gaming sessions, and insane money wins, all provide for a perfect motion pictures cocktail that will keep people glued to the big screen. 

The list of gambling-themed flicks is very long but some of them are true masterpieces. The following are legendary among the movie-goers for their clever writing, amazing backstories, and unforgettable screen moments, not to mention serious gambling skills. 

  • Casino (1995)

Casino is the movie for the ages! It doesn’t matter if you’re a gambler or not, you will fall in love with the complex characters beautifully portrayed by the cinematic greats such as Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. 

robert de niro

Based on the true events that took place back in the 1970s, Casino is the movie that shows just how big was the influence of the mob in the creation of Las Vegas and how it shaped the way casinos in Sin City operated back in the day. Directed by the one-and-only Martin Scorsese, Casino is truly a masterpiece in every way, from casting to execution. It remains one of the best, if not the best, gambling-focused movies of all time.       

  • Uncut Gems (2019) 

Gambling addiction and all that comes with it (serious debt, stress, and despair) have been perfectly showcased by Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. Although known for his comedy, Sandler has transformed and delivered a perfect performance of an gambling addict who owes money to people all over New York. 

adam sandler

The road Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) follows is a winding one with many ups and downs. But even with all the problems this lifestyle and horrible habit has brought to Ratner, it’s a story of perseverance and hope. The movie is one of the best gambling-related flicks made in the last decade and Sandler was critically-acclaimed for his superb performance.  

  • The Gambler (1974)  

The Gambler is an honest and raw take on gambling addiction and over the decades, it has become a classic among the gambling-themed movies. James Caan delivers a superb performance as English professor Axel Freed with a debilitating betting problem. Disowned by his rich family and with $44,000 in debt, Axel goes to Las Vegas hoping for a big win. 

Based on the true story of a screenwriter James Toback, The Gambler is showcasing the damaging effects of compulsive betting in a gripping manner. The feelings of anger and desperation are palpable throughout the movie. The original movie from 1974 has withstood the test of time and is equally captivating today as it was the day it was released. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for the 2014 remake starring Mark Wahlberg.              

  • Molly’s Game (2017)

High-profile women gamblers are not an unusual sight at the poker table these days but gambling is still a predominantly  Still, Molly’s Game takes viewers behind the scenes of the exclusive and illegal poker empire built by Molly Bloom in Hollywood. Based on the true story, the movie brings the viewers into the world of an underground high-stakes poker ring where A-list Hollywood actors lose over $100,000 in a single night.         

jessica chastain

The rags to riches story is always captivating. After all, who doesn’t like an underdog winning and riding into the sunset?! However, underground gambling rings are not fairytales so FBI knocking on Molly’s door was imminent.   

  • Rounders (1998) 

Good screenplay and even better casting is the reason Rounders has found its way to the audience and to this day is the favorite gambling movie of many poker-aficionados. It might seem that a law student, mild in character, and a loud ex-prisoner don’t have a lot in common but things are not always as they seem. The friendship between these two and their passion for gambling displays the complexity of life in a perfect manner.       

Two friends going on a poker tear in order to pay off the massive debt is certainly a great idea for a movie. The chemistry between Damon and Norton is palpable and holds to this day, making Rounders a cult classic in the minds of many .      

  • Casino Royale (2006)

James Bond has been a household name all over the world for many decades now. Agent 007 has been through so many incredible situations over the years and in 2006, it was time to put him at the poker tournament table. Being a Bond movie, of course we are talking about a high-stakes game!  

james bond

Casino Royale was the first movie with Daniel Craig as the legendary secret agent James Bond and it goes down in history as the most action-packed gambling-themed movie ever made. So, those who are looking for a gambling flick mixed with lots and lots of incredible action sets, Casino Royale is the perfect choice.    

  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Gambling movies are usually sobering tales of tortured humans with serious addiction issues and many related problems. However, in the 2001 remake of the 1960s classic, Ocean’s Eleven takes a funny, adventurous turn and brings comedy into the life of a crime gang. Cool and collected, George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s characters are smooth and spirited individuals who are taking down one of Sin City’s best protected casinos. 

There is really nothing to hate about this movie! Soderbergh’s cinematic creation doesn’t dive deep into the world of gambling but it uses Las Vegas and all its charms as a perfect background for the amazing story everybody can enjoy.

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