Really good casino movies don’t come around all that often, and even seemingly less so today, with so much emphasis being placed on car chases, explosions, and CGI (computer generated images) special effects. However, a great casino movie has powerful appeal.
Unfortunately, many of the casino movies that have been made through the years simply haven’t lived up to expectations, or the test of time. However, there are some incredibly powerful casino movies that have stood the test of time.
We’ve put together our list of the top five classic casino movies for you to think about and possibly watch, if you haven’t had the pleasure just yet.
#5 Casino Movie: All In: The Poker Movie
Released in 2009 and then re-released in 2012, All In is a documentary that focused on high end gambling. Cocktail suits, incredible dresses, and million dollar bankrolls. While this may not be the most prescient way to depict casinos around the world, it focused on the rebirth of poker, especially thanks to online poker gaming.
The rerelease spent some time on Black Friday, which is when the US Department of Justice finally managed to shut down PartyPoker, PokerStars, and Full Tilt Poker, which left many US poker players without anywhere to play mobile. As far as the best casino moves of all time, this isn’t the top, but it was worth mentioning.
Kevin Spacey starred in this film that pitted MIT students and their professor against Vegas. The team developed an intricate method for counting cards, which is illegal to do at any casino, virtual or real.
While based on real events, there was a lot of drama added to the movie that helped propel it to some good box office success. Don’t get the wrong idea about this movie, though: it’s not a how-to for anyone seeking to cheat the gaming establishments. You just won’t win.
Starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton, Rounders depicts a young poker whiz who has left that life behind for a new life with his girlfriend. When his best friend gets in too deep with some unscrupulous Russians, Mike (Damon) has to decide how far he’ll go back in to help. Eventually he realizes this is where his passion lies.
We get to see some intense poker action and a bit of insight into what makes the best so good at what they do.
#2: Ocean’s Eleven.
Take your pick: the original or remake. For our list, we’re talking about the remake with Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Cheadle, Garcia, and so many other A-list actors. While not specifically about gambling, this one involves a heist of one of the most secure casino vaults in the world. It’s riveting and the acting is superb and for those who love the thrill of Vegas, they will enjoy this ride.
No ‘best casino moves of all time’ list is complete unless it has Casino on it. This brutal gangster movie tells the story about how Las Vegas became established as one of the prime gambling locations in the entire world. While Tangiers Casino didn’t actually exist, the story was essentially telling that of the Stardust Casino.
Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci put on an incredible performance that leaves viewers feeling the brutality of 1970s Vegas.