Top Casino Movies with a Focus on Poker
Poker is a pastime enjoyed by many across the globe, both online and offline, as well as on-screen. Whether you’re looking to brush up your skills or enjoy the element of risk and chance poker brings to motion pictures, here are several films we recommend indulging in.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Directed by duo Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, starring Julia Fox, Adam Sandler, and Idina Menzel, Uncut Gems is a crime drama with a big focus on gambling. Adam Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a successful gem dealer from NYC. Despite his many successes, he struggles with a gambling addiction. This addiction forces him to make highly risky bets. Upon loaning a priceless gem to a prolific buyer, Howard finally decides he is going in big. This movie is an intense rollercoaster of emotions, has the audience on the edge of their seats and shows Sandler in a different light.
Directed by John Dahl and starring Matt Damon, Gretchen Mol and Edward Norton, Rounders offers insight into New York’s underground poker rooms. This motion picture focuses on the life of Mike McDermott, an upcoming poker player played by Damon. The pivotal point in the movie? When Mike goes head to head with Teddy “KGB” (played by John Malkovich) in a game of daring Texas hold’em. In a matter of minutes, he vanquishes his worldly savings and tuition fees. Just like any great poker game, Rounders boasts numerous plot twists.
Directed by Richard Donner, starring Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, and James Garner, Maverick is another top casino movie to make it to our must-watch list! This film tells the story of Bret Maverick, a gambler who lives to beat any player he can at poker. Set in the Wild West, this highly engaging and entertaining film follows Maverick as he tries to raise the funds required to enter a ‘Winner Take All’ poker competition.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Our list wouldn’t be complete without the famed movie Ocean’s Eleven. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this film stars a whole host of big-name actors including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and Matt Damon. Following the ins and outs of a meticulously planned robbery, involving three of the most renowned casinos in Vegas (the MGM Grand, the Mirage and the Bellagio), this heist (if successful) results in a potential reward of $150 million. Asides from taking place on The Strip, this film boasts equal levels of excitement, anticipation, electronics, acrobatics and numerous memorable quotes from Danny Ocean (Clooney).
Casino Royale (2006)
Directed by Martin Campbell, starring Eva Green, Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, Casino Royale is one of the numerous films inspired by Ian Fleming’s novels. Asides from being intelligent, strong, and fearless, Bond is also a successful gambler. In this picture, Bond’s boss, “M” (played by Judi Dench) tasks him with the mission of playing at an exclusive, high stakes poker game against terrorist banker Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelsen). The mission, should he choose to accept it, takes place at Montenegro’s infamous Casino Royale. Bond’s assignment? To ensure Le Chiffre loses the game!
Directed by the infamous Martin Scorsese, Casino is a must-watch film if you enjoy the anticipation, thrill and glamour the world of Las Vegas brings. This is a unique Depiction of how Scorsese sees the famous strip in the 1970s and ’80s and boasts a unique plot twist. This motion picture surrounds the endeavours of two mobsters, best friends; Nicky Santoro (played by Joe Pesci) and Sam “Ace” Rothstein (played by Robert De Niro). A movie masterpiece boasting equal levels of betrayal and destruction.
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