The Top 12 Gambling Movies

Gambling is the kind of genre that makes up for very intriguing and interesting movie themes. Why? Well, the theme itself pretty much has built in drama, suspense and action – is that not what movies are all about?

The answer is of course yes! Of course, within movies, the characters will never be playing with realistic amounts of money that they can afford to lose like we would suggest all players of new UK casinos do.  These fictional actors will be mainly large amounts that get your heart beating and get you biting your nails at the turn of events to come.

It’s all about the risk and that is why movie script writers always like to go for a gambling theme as you can get so much out of this genre. Stick in some criminals and you can get a movie of money laundering with a gambling twist. Basically the possibilities are pretty much endless!

Many movies have hit our screens as of late and in the past decade, making it incredibly hard to just pick 12 movie titles over more candidates, but of course we’ll try our best to opt for the best options anyway. With movies like Casino Royale, Ocean’s Eleven and Molly’s Game, you’re in for a very good ride. Book that weekend away from the world, because your casino movie nights to come are about to get a hell of alot more interesting

Just as a side note also, we have made sure to include a bunch of old classics with that retro vintage touch, and some more recent releases too, so you can really get with the times and movies…

12. Casino Royale

Yes, we put this movie as the first in the list. Why? Because it brings everything to the table – literally. This movie revolves around the game of poker and the epic showdown between James Bond and the terrorist organisation initiated by a criminal named Le Chiffre. Of course, as are all James Bond movies, this one features Eva Green as the Bond girl Vesper and sidekick of James. This movie does not take place in the casino capitals of the world such as Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, but in Montenegro – yet it really does immerse you in the momentum and peak intense moments that you find in poker games.

Without a doubt, this movie will be everything you need for your gambling mix, if you’ve not seen it already. Take our word for it and watch bond take home over $110 million from the bad guys in the movie – It’s all in a days work for Bond – alongside all the action and intense drama!

11. Ocean's Eleven

This movie brings all the handsome and dashing actors of the noughties. We’re talking Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon etc. Based on a very epic and near impossible casino Heist, you see the characters carefully plotting away and making some serious diversions of money from the famous casinos within Las Vegas. The plan leads the characters into taking over $160 million from the casinos, but along the way they make some enemies that catch with  them and ends up with thekind of action that you like watching.

Alongside the serious cash maneuvers, would this movie be complete if there were not any love entanglements too? Ocean’s love and ex-wife played by Julia Roberts will be a chess piece in his game too. In addition to wanting to get the money, he wants to get the girl, so at this point within the movie, you really do have something to roll with. You want romance? You got it. Action? Got it. Crime? Check that too!

10. High Roller: Stu Ungar Story

So this movie is based on a true story. The legendary Stuey was known for playing poker in most of  the poker joints around. He was so good that many often looked up to him and wanted to get in on his amazing talent. Little did he know that his life wasn't always going to be the best representation of luck. This film portrays the rise and fall of his gambling life, from the beginning of his luck, all the way to his undoing.

He had a pretty bad gambling problem, which caused him to spend away all his winnings that he managed to secure, in addition to the status of best player within society. You can understand why this makes great movie entertainment, despite it being sadly true! The movie captures the essence of what it is for most problem gamblers out there. Not many can win and walk away, casino gambling and sports betting always reels you back in, as it did to Stu.

9. The Gambler

The Gambler is a story of an esteemed academic who is also a hardcore gambling within the casino industry. When we say hardcore, we mean addicton and this film highlights it all. The movie is about bringing to light the damage that can occur when you are addicted to gambling, as is James Caan’s character.

As he goes deeper and deeper into a bad mental headspace, the gambling that he can’t seem to get away from doesnt help him much either. You find him borrowing money from all sources, that will eventually actually cause harm and a threat to his own life. This film really does build up to a climax, one that you just can’t turn away from unfortunately, despite how sad it really is.

8. 21

So 21 is a modern take on the old school retro movies of today. This movie is based on a series of children who are very much talented when it comes to mathematics. The maths professor of these five young talents identifies a way where he could win big and that is by card counting. Of course being that it is school term, academic trips to casinos is very much called for, as you will see. The group of talented players will end up testing out their new skills within Vegas and really making the game of Blackjack an exciting and adrenaline filled session.We highly recommend watching this one.

7. Croupier

Croupier is a casino movie all the way down to its title. Featuring one of our favourite actors, Clive Owen, you come to see how crime and gambling make great movie content. Owens acts as this movie's croupier and with that, he becomes very involved within a planned casino heist. This movie doesn't really rave about the highs of casino and that winning buzz, but rather quite the opposite. It doesn't touch upon the addiction and dark side of gambling, but the huge differences between the casinos in the US and UK, making it quite refreshing. Owens has always been a great one when it comes to hitting the british accent right.

Owens – as Jack – portrays the other side of a casino world. The actual perspective that comes from the dealer, and this dealer in particular, is happy when he sees players lose. It’s a very dark movie in that sense, and really does bring out bitterness and money laundering at its finest. Of course, as with any casino movie, there are love interests too, making the croupier tackling multiple interests at once.

6. Rain Man

Rain man is a popular movie title starring Tom Cruise. This movie deserves a spot on the list. Tom Cruise is your regular everyday spoilt individual, whose business ventures are not working out as of late. When his rich business father passes away and leaves Charlie (Cruise) with practically nothing and he suddenly comes to realise that he has an autistic brother too, played by Dustin Hoffman. Cruise realises that he can use his brother's numerical talents towards some serious casino hi-jinks, making cash in the process.

They of course hit the Blackjack tables and count cards until their winnings are of a dizzying amount. The reason why we thought this movie was more than appropriate, even though Rain man is not directly a gambling movie of sorts, is the story of brotherhood and family that reflects as the movie goes further along. Cruise and Hoffman's bond as brothers strengthens, making this movie definitely one of a kind to watch. Be prepared with a box of tissues at your side because you’re definitely going to need it!

5. Molly’s Game

This movie is another true story that brings to light a crime drama that stars Jessica Chastain (Molly) as the main character and lead of the movie. Molly becomes a suspect in a lead investigation by the FBI, for running a successful poker empire within Hollywood. All the elite players and celebrities share the love for her venues, yet beneath all the back story, the cops know that there is something fishy about the charade that has been built. Molly is of course hiding something. The business that she has built for herself, is in fact a cover up for a Russian mob she has been conspiring with. This story is based on the champion Olympian Skier who turned to money laundering and illegal activity as her past time. Who would have suspected?

4. Rounders

This movie is everyone's favourite Matt Damon movie. Why? Because he is super cute in his youth and his acting isn’t too bad either. Damon plays Mike McDermott, a law student that turns to the poker tables as a pastime. He decides to quit the low-stakes tables and join the high-stakes, with all his savings and of course loses to a Russian gangster. He promises himself never to play again, he does not hold that promise to himself for too long.

This movie really does highlight what gambling is like to the early 20’s age group. Unless you are in some serious money, your experience may somewhat relate to McDermott. Nevertheless, this movie is a road of self discovery for Mike and you will join the road along with him for this movie. There is also a love interest and life commitments that McDermott must tackle to make his way, so you pretty much see a bit of everything that goes on in your typical young gamblers life.

3. The Gambler

This movie brings Mark Wahlberg, a literature teacher who is relatively wealthy and has a weakness for gambling. Of course, as with any gambling fanatic, sometimes they find themselves digging a deeper hole everytime they give in and do not know how to say no to those gambling urges! Jim (Wahlberg), sees himself at a point where he owes countless amounts of money to loan sharks (we are talking hundred of thousands in dollars) and despite all of this, he keeps asking for more and more relentlessly.

It seems that Jim really does have a death wish and no idea of what he is actually getting himself into. However, you’ll come to see that just like the rest of us that watch this movie, Jim is a character that starts to grow on you, as he seems to fear nothing and no one. Call that brave or stupid – it really is up to you!

2. Win It All

This movie brings relatively new and less mature actors to your screen. With Jake Johnson as Eddie, many of you may know him from his introductory role into acting from the TV series New Girl. However this role really challenges the audiences ‘type cast’ perception, as he portrays a major gambling addict that won't stop until he wins it all!

The storyline behind this movie is the fact that Eddie meets a mysterious loan shark who offers him $10,000 if he happens to keep a bag with unknown contents safe, until the loan shark leaves prison. One of the rules was of course, not to touch anything from the inside and does Eddie manage to do that? Of course he doesn't. He takes out money from the duffel bag and uses it to fuel his casino gaming, with every hope and intention of paying it back. This movie highlights the social consequences that come to life from Eddies bad decisions. It’s a pretty good representation of how addiction gamblers tend to never know when to say no and enough is enough.

1. Casino

This movie is a story of Rothstein (played by Robert De Niro) and his stint working in Las Vegas. Believe it or not, it’s actually based on a true story. Rothstein's job is to be the floor manager and oversee all the actions and events that occur within the Tangiers Casino for the self interests of the mob families associated. Along the way of course, he has a love interest, as what is a gambling movie without a love entanglement really?

Everything seems to be coming along fine and well, until Rothstein's childhood friend Nicky Shows up and starts to cause havoc in the casino.Everything from mob families, to love and authorities come crashing down on Rothstein’s head- a really gambling affair. It makes for some great entertainment for us though…

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