If you are planning a movie night with your friends, are you game for a gambling thriller? Here’s a short list to consider if you want to dig into it.
Most of the gambling movies follow a similar plot trope. It falls under a specific genre that typically tends to be low-budget and isn’t instant hits. However, gambling movies are fun to watch, even if you aren’t a frequent player on gambling sites. For this reason, they hold a special place in the heart of everyone who enjoys the excitement of a thriller.
Of all the movies in this list, only a single movie was welcomed into the National Film Registry. The same movie also took home awards at the Oscars. Maybe, it is the lack of recognition gambling movies receive that makes them degrade into a cult classic.
Whether the movie industry will welcome more gambling movies remains to be seen. Until then, here are four movies you can watch. These will help you learn a bit about the various casino games—baccarat, craps, poker, or roulette. So, grab some popcorn and coke, round up your friends, and let the show begin.
A comedy movie about a casino in a basement, The House gives the serious gambling industry a hilarious twist. The extraordinary journey of the Johansens, a seemingly average family in this movie, will surely make you laugh. The couple, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler lose their daughter’s college scholarship at the last moment and decide to make things right by any means possible. And the solution they come up with is to open a casino in their basement. However, things get out of control really fast.
With illegal gambling, there always comes the risk of criminals and authorities prying around, which was the case with Johansens. The only thing missing from this whole scenario was the Strip poker game. Nonetheless, that doesn’t translate to any less entertainment.
Rain man isn’t essentially a gambling movie, instead, it is a ‘road movie’ with its central part set in Las Vegas. And, this is the only movie in this list that has earned four Oscars—for the Best Picture, Best Actor, and the Best Director. Rain Man also became the yardstick for movies portraying characters with autism.
The movie stars Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman and depicts that the famous casino game blackjack can be beaten. All casino scenes in the movie are shot as realistic as possible, and it is really amazing to see Vegas and how the city’s casinos used to be three decades ago.
A gambling movie featuring a poker story, Mississippi Grind, is about two young poker players who take a trip from Iowa to New Orleans. While the couple is terrific at Texas Hold’em, they are also reckless, resulting in many satirical and entertaining situations.
The two players are heading to New Orleans, stopping by casinos along the way, practicing winning at poker games, so they could make it big in the high stakes poker game there. But, of course, unforeseen events happen on the way, making the pair’s entire experience less than perfect.
To put it short, poker lovers will enjoy watching Mississippi Grind. However, if you aren’t, you might end up falling for the game.
One of the best gambling movies ever made, The Gambler portrays the life of Mark Wahlberg, a literature professor with a love for blackjack. However, while a bit of gambling never hurts, Mark allows things to get too far. After an unlucky session at the tables, he ends up owing more than $200.000 to a bunch of gangsters, and the entire movie shows him struggling to find a way to get out of his troubles.
The climax of this movie comes off as slightly predictable. Mark’s life again takes a positive turn with a single roulette spin that offers the views the much-needed adrenaline rush.
Though The Gambler can’t be thought of as the best scriptwriting masterpiece, it is definitely a fun watch, particularly for blackjack lovers. What’s more, the story will walk you through a lot of negative aspects of gambling. The movie excels in portraying an average gambler’s mentality, which is what makes it one of the best casino movies of the last decade.