Long before gambling became one of the favourite pastime activities for many people around the world, this activity inspired many movie makers and writers. The chance of winning huge amounts of money and the mind-blowing sums inside in the casinos are great means to make a good movie and keep your audience glued to the chair. So, let’s look at some of the best movies ever made that revolve around casinos or gambling.
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Many of you probably saw this one coming. There was no way on earth we are going to leave out the great 007 and his trip to Montenegro where he attends a high-stakes poker tournament. Daniel Craig plays a wonderful 007 and the entire script feels so natural to him – probably because he’s no stranger to gambling himself. The movie is inspired by the very first Bond novel written by Ian Fleming and considering the 53 years that separate the book from the movie, the adaptation is excellent. The only notable difference is that in the book they were playing Baccarat. However, since Texas Hold’Em was much more fashionable when the movie was made, they decided to swipe the games.
You surely remember this movie about the casino heist of the century. Even though George Clooney starred in a lot of movies, Ocean’s Eleven is remembered by most of his fans. Danny Ocean, Clooney’s character, sets up a crew of old friends to heist not just one, but three of Las Vegas’ biggest casinos.
The targets are the Mirage, the MGM Grand, and the Bellagio, with a total stake for the robbers of over $160 million. And this movie has everything needed for keeping the audience on their feet while also providing fun and surprising moments. The dialogue and storytelling flow easily and the two hours of the movie go by without you realizing it.
Admittedly, this movie has very little in common with the modern pokies online Australia enjoys today. However, such a masterpiece couldn’t miss from this list of gambling-inspired movies. Casino was released in 1995 and stars huge names like Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the movie tells the story of Sam “Ace” Rothstein that goes to Las Vegas with the job of managing the Tangiers casino and also manage the interests of mob families in Kansas City. It’s a tale of a Las Vegas long before all the technology kicked in and things were still getting done the old-school way.
Besides the captivating topic, top-tier actors and a very good director, Casino is also a masterpiece when talking about dialogue and the way the scenes were filmed. While the dialogue is smart at times but remains honest, the violence is straightforward and nasty at times. However, that’s the best way to picture those days in Las Vegas when things were far from being steady or balanced in any way.
Last on our list but definitely an awesome movie, Croupier tells the story of a novelist played by Clive Owen that decides to draw inspiration from the casino industry and write about the fascinating landscape of gambling. Since he wasn’t doing so well with writing before this idea, he works as a dealer in a London casino which serves him well for research on his book. However, he finds himself in the middle of a heist plan and everything takes a wild twist.
Unlike the other suggestions on our list, Croupier isn’t about glorifying the world of gambling. Viewers get to experience the casino world through Jack’s eyes and even though his internal voice can be heard narrating the events, you don’t get a full picture of the character until the end of the movie.
Another thing that’s different about Croupier compared to Casino or Ocean’s Eleven, is that it takes place in a London casino as opposed to the USA. All in all, this movie is well worth 90 minutes of your life.