Must-Watch European Films about Gambling

Films based on gambling are inherently filled with drama as they’re mainly about risk. While it’s not fun to watch people being cautious and prudent, seeing someone constantly risking their well-being hoping to score big can be quite entertaining. In most movies, the gamblers are in many ways like veteran smokers who keep taking one last cigarette before quitting. That means they don’t end up with a happy and calm life upstate counting their millions.

In this article, we’ve veered into the best European movies about gambling that will keep you entertained in 2023.

Molly’s Game (2017)

Based on the true story of a beautiful Olympic-class skier Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game is one of the best gambling films released in the last decade. It’s basically a memoir about Molly, a poker princess who makes a small fortune operating high-stakes casino games for the powerful and wealthy.

If you’re a fan of intelligent characters exchanging engaging dialogue, you will have a great time watching Molly’s Game. You’ll have over two hours of engaging intelligent dialogue, without anyone holding back.

Molly’s Game bounces in between Molly’s arrest for running an illegal casino and her efforts to convince a New York lawyer to represent her. The movie also flashes back to Molly’s youth and how she developed her glittering gambling empire. In the end, Molly finds a way to rule in the male-dominated world, but it doesn’t all end happily and merry for her.

The Card Counter (2021)

Written and directed by Paul Schrader, this 2017 movie features America’s war in Iraq as part of its backstory, where the protagonist is the father of a soldier who died there.

The Iraq war backstory thrusts you dramatically into the foreground, where a professional card player travels from one casino to another as a way to take control over his life and hide the guilt of his past life. The gambling scenes occasionally sit uneasily with Schrader’s usual tone of pain and guilt, but they also energize and make the film come to life.

Mississippi Grind (2015)

While Mississippi Grind is a highly underrated European gambling movie, it features some great performances, rich dialogue, and a heartfelt casino grind. The movie brings back the aesthetic values of the 70s American filmmakers, actors, and writers. You will even find cameos done by James Toback, who also directed the 1974 movie, “The Gambler”.

This retro gambling movie revolves around several inveterate gamblers going south to a poker game in New Orleans with potentially huge payoffs. The movie was one of Ryan Reynold’s best performances, as the movie explores the elements of regret, depression, and addiction. This film is basically a great portrait of nonstop gaming as a sad grind.

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems is a sensationally great New York crime drama movie that’s filled with greed and crack-fuming fear. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, Josh, and Benny, the movie casts Adam Sandler as their leading man, playing the role of a Manhattan diamond dealer known as Howard Ratner. Unfortunately, Howard is a gambling addict who can’t stop until he utterly destroys himself.

The brilliance of this 2019 movie lies in Howard’s ability to suck the viewers into his sickness, making you hopeful for a moment that he might pull off the crazed adventure he concocted. The Safdie brothers also injected their mania directly into the protagonist’s veins, bringing more entertainment into his crazed rush. In the end, you’ll understand the effects of gambling addiction following the movie’s tragic finale.

21 (2008)

Based on the true story of a team of MIT students who try to fleece Vegas casinos, 21 is a hypnotic gambling movie that captures the colorful and hedonistic joy of gambling in glamorous casinos. This entertaining tale of how these brilliant students walked away with millions of dollars using card-counting techniques at the blackjack table is interesting to gamblers, but they, unfortunately, lost it all.

According to the movie, Maths professor Kevin Spacey gathers a secret team of blackjack players, fronting the money to fly to Vegas each weekend for rich pickings. Like most gambling movies, it’s hard to convey the thrill of winning. The film is quite entertaining and covers several blackjack systems that you can actually apply when playing real money casino games, that can be found at

Bottom Line

While nothing can match the feeling of being in a real casino and placing bets on different games, movies about gambling are a source of great entertainment in the comfort of your home. Of course, there are people who prefer to wager in online casinos, but watching a gambling movie may help you understand the true nature of this activity without any risks. Remember that gambling is a risky and addictive activity, so it’s best to stick to movies until you have enough skills and money to assume the risk of real money gaming.

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