Hollywood and gambling have a long history together and, in a way, go hand in hand with each other. I favour the type of action pack movies where the main character, besides the ability to destroy an entire drug cartel, for instance, can sit at a poker table all cool and calm and pick clean every guy or girl that sits across him.
Every movie that includes some sort of gambling in its story always had awesome characters and managed to show their acting depth and ability. Just imagine one minute you are saving a damsel in distress trying not to get killed in the process, while in other you sit at a poker table and bet your life out in the next hand, cool as a breeze, all while watching your opponents sweating bullets.
Hollywood knows just how to deliver these types of movies and they do that marvellously. A little bit of action, a little bit of drama, sprinkle a gambling scene or two and you have a movie that will make us sit on the edge of the seat till the very end. Most of you probably have a few movies in mind, as reading this, and we probably are thinking about the same ones. From 007 to Ocean’s 11, all action-packed thrill rides with a cast from everyone’s dreams. O Hollywood we love you so much!
Below you will find a list of movies that have gambling incorporated in its story or revolving around it. We are not the first to make such a list and if you want to see what we might have missed or forgotten, check out the study by Newcasinosites.me.uk
Some of the movies below are well known some may be less but hey, here is a chance to decide if you want to check them out! Spoilers ahead, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
This one was made in 2003 by Sony Pictures and it is based on a true story about a well-standing bank manager who has a dreadful secret – he is hooked on gambling. Dan Mahowny works in a bank that is close to Atlantic City, and those two things paired with a gambling addiction translate into a very big problem for Dan. Revolving around gambling, its compulsion and the pitfalls of it the movie screams drama and the everlasting battle between a man and his addictions, while embezzlement and casino life fall into the background. It depicts a clear message – if you bet it all you will eventually lose it.
Made in 1998 by Shooting Gallery and it is supposed to show the other side of the casino and gambling life – the croupier side. Clive Owen plays Jack Manfred, an aspiring writer that so far hasn’t done anything of a big impact on his life. To pull himself out of the rut and to financially help himself and his girlfriend he starts a job as a croupier. This way of life drew him like a moth to light and he figured to use it to write a novel about it. His new “occupation” turns sour very fast and he finds himself stuck between infidelity and deceit. This movie shows a very honest and accurate picture of life on both sides of the table.
This is one of my personal favourites. Made in 1994 by Warner Bros. studio this movie shows just how gamblers work. Host a big and renowned tournament and watch legends gather around to once and for all show who has the best poker face. Mel Gibson played this role immaculately and I can’t think of anyone who could have to play it better. Bret Maverick is an old west poker expert who is trying to make it to the mentioned winner-takes-all tournament. In need of cash to buy in, he faces various mishaps and comic situations that serve as a prelude for the big game. Maverick is a type of a guy who will rather try and con you rather than fight which makes him a great strategist and the best wild west poker player.
Now here is a movie you can’t forget when making a list like this. Made in 2006 by MGM and Sony Pictures this movie is all about spies, beautiful women and gambling – life or money it doesn’t matter. I understand that this is primarily a Bond film and gambling is a side deal here but this movie showed one of the most nerve-racking high-stakes poker games ever. Just imagine that the fate of the world balances on a single poker hand and if Bond loses that one hand then a terrible terrorist organization will reap havoc on the western world. Besides Bond, a cool and calm MI6 spy, we have one of the most memorable villains as well. Remember Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen, a guy who had a scar on his left eye and cried blood whenever agitated.
Made in 2008 by Columbia Pictures it is based on a true story of six MIT students that were trained in card counting. Ben, our protagonist, is a math wizard and that came in hand just fine, especially when you need to learn card counting. Ben and his colleagues set sail and headed straight to LV to try and rip the House off. While they were a true team and worked together they were incredible. You could see some of the best hands dealt at Black Jack and the euphoria that followed. Oh, to be young and rich! To give the story a Hollywood twist, the team has a fallout and head of the casino security catches them red-handed. If you haven’t seen it already, then you can just imagine the treatment Ben received from the security chief.
Last but not least is this one made in 2017 by STX Films. It is based on a true story of an Olympic class skier who started the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and ran it for nearly a decade. Jessica Chastain played the role of Molly excellently and we saw just how Molly is exceptionally gifted – both extremely intelligent and a world-class athlete. This movie is great because it focuses on poker games and Molly’s navigation through the top. The whole bunch of interesting characters and top-notch poker players are all over which means that there is also a whole bunch of good and intense poker scenes.
I hope that you enjoyed this list and that we haven’t missed a lot or even disappoint with the picks. I also hope that if there is a movie you haven’t watched yet I didn’t spoil it too much. If I have, accept my sincerest apologies, but you have been warned at the beginning.