Who doesn’t love a casino movie? Whether you love the ones that feature a daring heist or the ones that portray a plucky protagonist who is pulled deeper into the casino underworld, the genre is loved by millions and for a good reason – the movies are absolutely fantastic.
If you’re a Netflix fan who is looking to discover some of the best poker bluffs in movie history or just looking for some casino-oriented entertainment, we’re sure you’ll enjoy these.
A classic by directing legend Martin Scorsese, Casino is an epic that was inspired by and partly based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Scorsese’s movie was created alongside the book’s author and stars Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part 2, Taxi Driver, and Goodfellas), Sharon Stone (Total Recall, Catwoman, and The Disaster Artist), and Joe Pesci (Goodfellas, Lethal Weapon, and The Irishman). It’s a star-studded cast!
The movie follows Robert De Niro’s character, Sam, a Jewish American gambling expert who is asked to oversee the day-to-day running of a Las Vegas casino. The catch is that his employers are the Chicago Mob and this, of course, comes with many complications that cause him both professional and personal problems. At almost three hours long, this movie will undoubtedly need a lot of time devoted to it, but it’s worth the colossal binge session.
A movie made by our friends across the pond, Croupier is a British dark movie directed by Bristol-born director Mike Hodges. The film was a massive success in the North American region, arguably more so than in its native Great Britain. It was the launchpad that allowed the leading actor, Clive Owen, to carve a career out for himself away from his native England. He went on to star in Sin City, Inside Man, and the American Crime Story series.
After it was released, the movie attracted controversy as it was disqualified from the 1998 Academy Awards because it was incorrectly shown on television. The film shows the descent of a man who takes up a casino job to help make up for his unsuccessful career as a writer. The movie is emotionally demanding but brilliant in its character development, filled with its fair share of grief, pity, and downright frustration. It’s definitely one to watch.
Molly’s Game (2017)
The newest movie on our list so far, Molly’s Game, was directed by the highly praised Aaron Sorkin, who made his directorial debut with this movie. The movie boasts a colossally talented cast featuring the likes of Idris Elba, Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, and even The IT Crowd cult-hero Chris O’Dowd. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this movie was highly praised by viewers and critics alike, thanks mainly to Aaron Sorkin.
The movie enjoyed a limited initial theatrical release but was subsequently rolled out on a large scale in North America following a hugely positive reaction. The story, partly inspired by Molly Bloom’s memoir of the same name, earned Jessica Chastain a Golden Globe nomination, while director Aaron Sorkin was nominated for various awards, including a BAFTA Award, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and an American Writers Guild award.
Another more recent movie, albeit not as recent as our previous entry. 21 is directed by Robert Luketic and based on the 2003 book Bringing Down the House, telling the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team’s infamous 1993 casino swindle. The film also has a great cast and can boast the talented but now-disgraced Kevin Spacey, alongside Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburn.
The movie was a box office hit and was the top-ranked movie in both the United States and Canada for the first two weekends following its release. Despite this commercial success, the movie received less than stellar reviews with many criticizing the casting choices, feeling that many better options were available for the movie’s roles. The movie is an underdog movie that encourages you to root for the baddies despite them breaking the law.
Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Our third movie released in the post-millennium period, Ocean’s Thirteen is a cult classic that is the third installment in the Ocean’s franchise, acting as a direct sequel to the 2004 hit Ocean’s Twelve. The ensemble cast was largely unchanged from the second movie, with the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon all reprising their respective roles. The cast was boosted by the additions of the very talented Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin.
George Clooney acts as the titular character, Danny Ocean, who gets the band back together in order to avenge his fallen friend Reuben Tishkoff. He puts together a plan to conduct a heist on the opening night of the movie’s central casino, known as The Bank and the film follows the team in the run-up to the big heist on opening night. The movie was a huge commercial success, grossing over $300m worldwide, dwarfing its respectable budget of $85m.