Movies. We love ‘em. Of that, there’s little doubt. While Hollywood and other movie-generating regions around the world are beginning to show signs of CGI fatigue and a lack of creativity, when they get back down to the meat-and-potatoes of great storytelling, it can captivate.
In fact, the best told stories capture audiences for generations, drawing new fans to these older movies time and time again. There have been some great (as well as flat-out duds) casino and gambling themed movies through the years, and we’ve put together a list of them here.
These are, in essence, the best casino movies of all time, in our highly experienced estimation. You may disagree or notice one that isn’t on the list, and if so, we’d love to hear your opinion. In the meantime, without further ado, let’s release our list of the top 10 casino and gambling movies of all time.
In 1995, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci stole the scenes with their often improvised dialogue (director Martin Scorsese allowed them to know the scene, direction, and then take their dialogue where they wanted to go within character) and created a masterpiece.
A deep, inside look at the heydey of Las Vegas, regulations, cheating, and the attraction and lure of gaming for millions of fans. Casino remains one of the best casino movies of all time.
- The Sting
Starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, two icons in cinematography, this movie was about the con two men pulled on a mob boss. The story was inspired by the real story of Fred and Charley Gondorff. The characters use an off-track betting establishment to run the con and intense and replete with a ton of twists and turns, along with great acting, has made The Sting a classic among fans.
- Ocean’s Eleven
A remake of the 1960s version, the 2001 version starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and a wealth of incredible actors hit the screens to wide acclaim. The story revolves around Daniel Ocean who was recently released from prison on parole and wants to get his ex-wife back from the man who stole her heart. The problem: that man is a notorious casino owner who is known for brutalising anyone who tries to steal from him.
A riveting thriller, Ocean’s Eleven takes the viewer on a thrill ride throughout most of the two-hour run time.
Matt Damon plays a college kid who is a reformed poker player trying to make an honest living. When his best friend is caught up owing big money to some tough sharks, he takes a loan out from a professor and puts everything on the line to win back his friend’s freedom, his own, and find his place in this world.
- The Cincinnati Kid
It’s every poker player’s dream: to capture the world by storm and take on the biggest names in the business, winning all the way as they go. That’s what this great film is all about.
- High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
Stu Ungar is legendary within the gaming industry and High Roller tells the tale of this tragic soul who seemingly lost everything, won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker, and then died within a year after that. A tragic story, it focuses on the gaming world and the lure it offers many looking for some thrills.
What do you get when you have MIT whiz kids who figure out how to effectively count cards and then, led by a malicious professor, take on Vegas? You get 21.
Maverick stars Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner and tells the story of a poker player looking to raise money for an upcoming tournament.
- Owning Mahoney
What if you discovered you had control of a wealthy bank account and also the desire to hit the high stakes room at the casino? Well, you’d get Owning Mahoney.
- A Big Hand for the Little Lady
Set in 1966, this movie offers an off-humor look at what happens when someone places wagers in a poker game he can’t really afford… and loses