The opportunity to win big and make a quick buck is one of the reasons why gambling attracts adrenaline seekers. At the same time, gambling is tricky, which is why most of us enjoy it from afar.
However, instead of risking losing money, you can watch a movie or two about gambling. That way, you can immerse yourself in the world of casinos and betting and relax a little. For that reason, we’re prepared a list of some of the best gambling movies of all time to help you start your new cinematic adventure.
Ocean’s Eleven is the perfect movie to get you started. Even though it isn’t strictly about gambling, the entire movie revolves around the luxurious world of casinos.
The movie follows Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, and his group of thieves who are set on stealing money from three casinos operated by one of Ocean’s rivals. To execute the heist, the team creates an elaborate plan that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last moment.
The cast also includes many other Hollywood superstars, such as Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Elliott Gould, and many others. The movie is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who originally planned to shoot the entire Ocean’s 11 in black and white. Furthermore, if you enjoy the movie, make sure to check out its sequels as well.
Rounders is widely regarded as one of the best gambling movies of all time, and for a good reason. The storyline revolves around Mike McDermott, who stopped playing poker after a bad beat and decided to pursue a law degree instead.
On the surface, everything seems to be going well for McDermott, but the plot thickens when McDermott’s old friend gets released from jail. McDermott agrees to help him pay the loan shark he owes and is quickly sucked into the world of poker once again.
The movie does an excellent job of depicting the dangers of gambling. Namely, shortly after he goes back to playing poker, McDermott’s life starts falling apart. He risks losing his relationship and his job, all for the sake of one big win.
Unlike most movies on our list, 21 is based on a true story. The movie is inspired by Ben Mezrich’s book called Bringing Down the House. It follows a group of college students who are exceptional card players and are eager to make money, each for their own reasons.
Led by a professor at MIT, the team uses various strategies and card counting to stake the games and increase their winning chances. Once Ben, a mathematics major, joins the team, they quickly start raking in thousands of dollars per session.
However, when there is a ton of money involved, there are also problems. Therefore, it doesn’t take long before greed and envy threaten to ruin everything. The movie 21 is directed by Robert Luketic, and it stars Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne.
Uncut Gems is a masterpiece that tells a story of a jeweler who is passionate about basketball but also struggles with a gambling addiction. Throughout the entire movie, Howard Ratner does his best to balance business and family while dealing with his failing marriage.
To top it all off, Ratner also owes a lot of money to a loan shark. To fuel his addiction, Ratner pulls various stunts hoping he’ll win big with one big bet and pay his debts. However, even when he has enough money to pay his dues, his obsession gets the better of him, and he goes all-in for one final bet that may cost him everything.
Uncut Gems is directed by the Safdie brothers, and it stars Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, LaKeith Stanfield, and Kevin Garnett, among others.
Molly’s Game has a different approach to movies about gambling from what we are used to seeing. Namely, the movie doesn’t have the main protagonist who loves betting or even plays casino games. Instead, the movie closely follows the story of Molly Bloom, who is well-known for organizing private poker games.
Even though most of the events are entirely legal, the movie shows you the dangers of running a business where gambling is involved.
The movie allows you to dive into the world of high-stakes poker. It also briefly touches on the life of the rich and famous and shows you what attracts people who have virtually everything to the game of poker in the first place.
If you’ve never seen any of the movies on our list, we strongly advise you to do so since every title is fantastic in its own right. Not only that, but each movie allows you to look at gambling from a unique perspective.
Most movies we mentioned showcase the fun and the thrilling aspect of gambling. However, at the same time, they show the underlying dangers of gambling. With the addition of an intricate plot, a strong cast, and well-known directors behind the cameras, it quickly becomes evident why every movie on our list is a true masterpiece.