Casinos appear prominently in many blockbuster movies. They’re the perfect glitzy and glamorous settings and add a level of excitement to films, as there’s no other place where fortunes can be won and lost by the roll of the dice. Here are the top ten movies where casinos take centre-stage:
10. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an alluring film about a reporter and his lawyer going to Las Vegas for a drug-fuelled weekend. The film is based on the true story of Hunter S Thompson, who was chasing the American dream of absolute excess.
One standout scene is when Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) take acid and head into a casino bar and are soon confronted by reptiles acting like humans. While an extremely odd film at times, it will be remembered for years as a modern masterpiece.
A reformed gambler Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) is forced to help out a friend who has run into a gambling debt with the wrong crowd – the Russian mob, to be precise. Mike had previously sworn off gambling after losing $30,000 in an illegal poker game, however when his friend is told he has 5 days to pay up, he is forced to once again take a seat at the poker table.
The movie’s twist comes as Mike discovers that the person his friend owes money to is the same mobster that Mike originally lost his $30,000 to. With that extra motivation he goes on to play the poker game of his life.
8. The Hangover
The Hangover is in many ways the ultimate Las Vegas bachelor party movie. The movie’s premise is that after a night of gambling and partying throughout Las Vegas, the bachelor party wakes up to find that they have lost the groom. From there we get a glimpse into the previous night as they meet people they don’t know but who most definitely know them. Their weekend ends up so disastrous that you’d be forgiven for thinking that they might have been better off sticking to online gambling on a site like Netbet Casino. This funny and fast-paced film shows Las Vegas really is the ultimate destination for a weekend to remember (or not remember).
Casablanca is often heralded as one of the greatest movies ever made. It tells the story of a neutral American in French Vichy-controlled Morocco. Much of the movie is based in Rick’s Cafe, a gambling den where anyone who’s anyone is likely to be seen.
The movie develops into story of murder and subterfuge when one of Rick’s regulars entrusts him with two valuable letters which allow anyone to travel freely through occupied Europe. When a love interest enters Rick’s life the situation heats up, and it soon becomes clear that they need to get out at all costs.
6. Rain Man
Rain Man is the story of an autistic savant who has an incredible gift for mathematics and keeping track of numbers. Raymond Babbitt is charged to be looked after by his yuppie brother, played by Tom Cruise. Soon into the movie, Charlie Babbitt realises he has the opportunity to make money from his brother’s gift and teaches him to count cards. The critically acclaimed film is the classic story of someone exploiting a less abled person who in the end becomes his main protector.
MIT math students are taken under the wing of their professor and shown how to use mathematical probability to win at blackjack. For Ben Campbell the chance to raise the $300,000 he needs to go to Harvard is too tempting to turn down.
Initially Ben says he only wants to count cards until he raises his tuition, however as is often the case, once he’s in, he’s in too deep. Greed and arrogance soon overtake Ben and threaten to destroy everything the group has built up.
4. The Cincinnati Kid
This movie follows the story of a young poker ace in the 1930s as he travels from big game to big game. When the Cincinnati Kid crosses paths with another gambler rumoured to be the best in the business, the allure of playing the best is too much to pass up. Leading up to the biggest game of his life, people begin to appear who all want a part of the action while others want the Cincinnati Kid to opt out of the game before the stakes become too high.
James Bond is the ultimate king of cool, therefore it should come as no surprise that he is also a world class poker player. There are many ways to catch a villain, but one of the most creative ways is to play him in a high stakes game of poker to essentially leave him bankrupt and force him into the protection of the MI6.
This movie stands out for its beautiful locations and actioned-packed scenes that leave viewers on the edge of their seats.
2. Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven was such a hit because it was essentially playing out a fantasy that everyone has thought about at least once in their lives – to carry out a large scale robbery and get away with it.
The movie is the story of 11 master criminals who join forces to carry out a highly technical and lucrative robbery of the Bellagio. As the movie progresses it is discovered that the ring leader isn’t targeting the casino just for the cash but also for something more valuable: an estranged partner who is in a relationship with the casino’s owner.
Topping the list has to be the one and only Casino itself. This movie features the perfect blend of greed, murder, power and money. The star of the film is Robert De Niro, who plays Sam Rothstein, a bookmaking wizard who is brought in by the mob to run one of their Las Vegas casinos.
After showing us how efficiently the mafia can run a casino, things begin to turn sour once the mob finds out underbosses are stealing and the FBI has their eyes and ears on the team’s every move. The movie finishes up by explaining how the period that the mafia ran Las Vegas was the glory days of the city and that multinational corporations have changed it for the worst, which sounds exactly like what a mobster would say.