An overview of gambling movies made through the years, these are movies you must watch!
(in order of year produced).
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
In 1930s New Orleans, Steve McQueen stars as the Cincinnati Kid, a young stud poker player who travels from one big game to the next, stopping along the way up with various girls, is pitted against the legendary champion card-sharp Lancey Howard in a high-stakes poker game.
The Gambler (1974)
Axel Freed is a English professor with a gambling addiction that begins to run out of control. When he has lost all his money, he borrows from his girlfriend, then his mother and finally some bad guys that chase him. Despite all of this he cannot stop gambling.
Robert DeNiro plays Chicago bookmaker Sam “Ace” Rothstein who is sent to Las Vegas to run casinos for the Mafia in the 1970s.
Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this crazyl world. Seen through Ace an Nicky’s eyes, each as a foil to the other, the details of mob involvement in the casinos of the 1970’s and ’80’s are revealed.
Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere any time soon. To make some money, and against his better judgement, he takes a job as a croupier in a casino. He finds himself drawn into the casino world and the job gradually takes over his life and his relationship with girlfriend Marion begins to deteriorate.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
The film that brought director Guy Ritchie international acclaim, Lock, Stock follows four friends trying to find a way to pay off 500,000 British pounds lost to a crime boss in a rigged game of the poker variant Three Card Brag. Overhearing their neighbours in the next flat plotting to hold up a group of out-of-their-depth drug growers, our heros decide to stitch up the robbers in turn. But the scheme falls to pieces when it turns out there are others with their eyes on the same treasure, leading to a thrilling conclusion to the movie.
Matt Damon stars as law student Mike McDermott. The word “rounders” means somebody who earns a living by playing cards, which is what McDermott does in order to finance his expensive education. McDermott decides to quit after he loses his entire $30,000 bankroll in a hand of Texas hold’em against Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich), a Russian mobster who runs an illegal underground poker room.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Featuring a top star cast including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and George Clooneythis 2001 film is a remake of the 1960 heist film featuring all five members of the Rat Pack.
Clooney plays Danny Ocean, who together with a group of thieves tries to bypass heavy casino security to break into a vault holding $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos – the MGM Grand, Mirage and Bellagio. The side-plot revolves around the fact that Danny’s ex is dating the owner of the three casinos the group targets.
High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)
This movie is Based on the true story of the rise and fall of poker legend Stu “The Kid” Ungar.
Stu Ungar (Michael Imperioli). Imperioli portrays Ungar’s incredible need for success at all card games, as well as his crazy lifestyle and addictions that eventually lead to his tragic end in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Casino Royale (2006)
The 21st James Bond film, and the first starring Daniel Craig as MI6’s most famous fictional spy 007. After preventing a terrorist attack at Miami International Airport, James Bond falls in love with Vesper Lynd, the treasury employee assigned to provide the money he needs to bankrupt a terrorist financier, Le Chiffre, by beating him in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro.
Inspired by the true story of MIT students who mastered the art of card counting and took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. Looking for a way to pay for tuition, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) finds himself quietly recruited by MIT’s most gifted students in a daring plot to break Vegas. With the help of a brilliant statistics professor (Kevin Spacey) and armed with fake IDs, intelligence and a complicated system of counting cards, Ben and his friends succeed in breaking the impenetrable casinos.