On the subject of culture and public opinion, movies are a hot topic, particularly those centered around the fast-paced world of casinos. Even in the days of cinematography’s humble beginnings, casino movies were (and still are) at the core of the entertainment industry. Be it the roll of a dice, the spin of a wheel or the flash of a card, when watching the big screen, we’re captivated by the same feelings of exhilaration, despair and hope as the actors depicting the scenes.
Pre Hollywood, gambling was a game geared towards the rich and famous, yet as this movie genre grew in popularity, so did its horizons. Today, the casino industry is huge, much thanks to the rise of online casino gaming. A quick visit to a popular casino portal like Slots.xyz will give you instant access to plenty of popular online casinos, all just a click away. So next time you’re planning to try your luck at the Blackjack table, or take a spin at the slot machines, why not check out these popular gambling movies to get in the right mood?
The Hangover (dir. Todd Phillips, 2009)
The Hangover is the ultimate depiction of the famous saying “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. What could possibly go wrong at a bachelor party in Sin City, other than waking up to a missing groom, a fully grown tiger, a wedding ring and a lost tooth? The movie follows three extremely hungover friends as they race against the clock to unravel the mystery, return the tiger and locate the groom. The Hangover is a hilarious portrayal of what could (and does) go wrong in a casino in Vegas, and as such earns the title of one of the best casino comedies to date.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (dir. Terry Gilliam, 1998)
Based on a true story, this cult-classic follows sportswriter Hunter Thompson (Johnny Depp) and his lawyer’s mind-blowing LA road trip. After an evening of debauchery, both characters go in search of the American Dream, confronting hitchhikers, drug dealers, gamblers and police officers along the way. Fear and Loathing showcases Las Vegas’s dark, deranged side, a million miles from the glamour and glitz kindred to the ‘city of second chances’.
Casino (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1995)
Another classic casino movie, shot by one of the most prolific directors of all time. Casino offers regular people an insight into the enigmatic and seductive Las Vegas lifestyle. The role of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, an ex-gangster, is perfectly portrayed by Robert de Niro. Rothstein quickly reverts to his old ways when a friend from his past, Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), pays him a visit. Although Ace tries to stay on the straight and narrow, Nicky and Ginger (Sharon Stone) prefer to break the rules. From cheating the system, to pacifying angry mafia bosses, hiding from the FBI and taking down corrupted members of the government, this action-packed classic is a must watch!
Casino Royale (dir. Martin Campbell, 2006)
Described by many a film buff as one of the most appreciated movies from the 007 series; a world of ballsy bets, class and wealth. James Bond (Daniel Craig) takes a trip to the famed Casino Royale in Montenegro, his mission; to terminate high-end banker come terrorist, Le Chiffre’s, high-stake gambling escapades. One to watch if you’re a fan of mind tricks and mystique. This timeless movie is a big hit with the online casino community.
The Gambler (dir. Rupert Wyatt, 2014)
Mark Wahlberg plays an English literature teacher turned gambling addict. His love for high stakes leaves him with a debt of $240,000. The Gambler follows a murderous game in which Wahlberg tries to get out of trouble alive. This movie is a metaphorical showcase of gambling’s downsides. The atmosphere perfectly complements the epic script – a hit with those partial to a game of Blackjack.
This wraps up our list of five of the best casino movies of all time, all portraying the exciting world of gambling in a different light.