3 best and 3 worst casino movies ever made
Casinos and the characters who frequent them have long intrigued movie makers and actors alike. Unfortunately for movie fans many attempts to capture the cut and thrust of the casino have failed, with only a select few rising to the top.
Here are three of the best casino movies of all time and the three of the undoubted worst.
Best – Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
Sometimes a movie does not have to be directly about people connected to casinos in order for it to capture the essence of what they are about.
Hunter S. Thompson’s unique form of gonzo journalism was what inspired Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro to film their own romp across the Nevada desert.
The result was a movie that was largely shot in hotel casino resorts on the strip, when the protagonists were not dodging imaginary bats out on the highway and lizards in the hotel bar.
Hunter S. Thompson took the Las Vegas strip by storm and it has never really recovered
Best – Croupier
Croupier was an extraordinary movie, not only because of the way it really got under the skin of Las Vegas casinos and the people who make them tick, but it also managed to extract the best performance of Clive Owen’s career, which pretty much went downhill afterwards.
All in all, this was exactly the sort of movie – with its neo-noir stylings and gritty minimalist dialogue – that had people wanting to visit a casino for real.
After watching the movie, you might find yourself getting such a feeling. Both local brick-and-mortar casinos as well as those found online can provide fun experiences allowing you to interact with the live roulette dealers who work from live casino halls based as far afield as Malta or Lithuania or indeed those who operate locally.
Some of them even look as suave as Clive Owen himself, and many will no doubt be better actors.
Croupier cut right to the core of what casinos are all about.
Best – Uncut Gems
Most of this movie takes place in New York, but many of the final scenes take place in the Mohegan Sun casino and are some of the tensest ever filmed.
You find yourself rooting so deeply for a protagonist who is conflicted to his core, meaning that the twist at the movie’s end is as heart-breaking as it is dramatic.
Worst – Ocean’s Twelve
Ocean’s Eleven came close to making our choice for the best casino movies of all time, so it is somewhat perplexing to see the movie’s sequel chosen as one of the worst.
All the cool swagger of the original Ocean’s movie was completely lost here as the plot and cast both lost their way.
You know you have really messed up a movie when not even George Clooney and Brad Pitt can turn it around for you.
Worst – Runner Runner
Warning sirens should have started sounding as soon as someone decided that pairing Justin Timberlake with Ben Affleck was a viable idea.
Sure enough, as soon as the opening credits are done rolling you quickly realise what a car crash the makers of this movie created, backing up bad casting with one of the worst scripts ever devised.
Runner Runner and run away from this one or watch it if you get your kicks from being made to cringe.
Worst – The Hangover 3
It is often said that some movie franchises are too big to fail and while that might be the case with Batman, Superman and James Bond, the same cannot be said for The Hangover, which got ahead of itself and made a desperate cash-out with a truly awful third installment.
Loyal fans will say that all The Hangover movies were made entertaining by how bad they were, but there is a fine line between fun wacky jaunts and dull idiocy.
What makes this movie even harder to understand is that the man who directed it, Todd Phillips, was the brains behind the multi award-winning Joker. It just goes to show that the movie world and the casino world have one thing in common: money talks!