The casino has been a popular setting for the movies for one reason – the glitz and glamour of the casino. There have been a plethora of blockbusters featuring gambling over the years, from A-list heavyweights like Ocean’s Eleven and The Sting to independent features like Croupier and Rounders. Cinema and the casino have been productive bedfellows.
Here is a top ten list of the greatest casino movies ever!
10. Rain Man
Directed by Barry Levinson and featuring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, Rain Man tells the story of Charlie Babbitt, a selfish and abrasive young man who discovers he has an older autistic brother named Raymond after their father’s death. The film won five Academy Awards in 1988, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
9. The Sting
This multi-Academy Award winning film, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, follows the story of two professional grifters who concoct an elaborate scheme to avenge the murder of their mutual friend by a powerful gangster.
8. The Cincinnati Kid
In this classic story of a young gambler, Eric ‘The Kid’ Stoner, a talented young poker player who aspires to be the best, Steve McQueen is at his most watchable. Directed by Norman Jewison, the movie is widely regarded as a classic in the gambling movie genre.
Based on Ben Mezrich’s 2003 book, the 2008 movie follows Ben Campbell, a brilliant student who is recruited by a charismatic professor to join a team that uses their math skills to try and card count their way to a fortune in Las Vegas.
Considered by Poker players to be the best film ever made about the game, Rounders is a 1998 American drama film that follows the story of law student and aspiring poker player Mike McDermott who must balance his passion for the game with his responsibilities.
5. Casino Royale
No top ten of casino movies can be complete without at least one James Bond film. Released in 2006, Casino Royale was Daniel Craig’s first appearance as Bond and arguably his best.
4. Ocean’s Eleven
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this fast-paced heist film follows the story of Danny Ocean, a recently paroled ex-convict who plans to rob three Las Vegas casinos at the same time.
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
We follow journalist Raoul Duke and his attorney Doctor Gonzo as they travel to Vegas in 1971 to cover a motorcycle race. Along the way the pair ingest epic amounts of drugs and come across a cast of bizarre characters.
The movie that launched Clive Owens’ Hollywood career sees him playing Jack Manfred, a struggling writer who takes a job as a croupier at a London casino to make ends meet.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino is a 1995 American crime drama that tells the story of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a gambling expert who is chosen by the mafia to run the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas.
And there you have it, the top ten casino movies of all time! So next time you’re in the mood for a casino thrill, why not dim the lights, open the curtains, and grab your popcorn for a movie featuring gambling at its finest.