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8 Best Films About Gambling and Poker Ranked

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8 Best Films About Gambling and Poker Ranked

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Casinos are often associated with glamor and opportunities to turn life completely around. It makes you a winner, or it makes you a loser: a whole drama of human life that became a perfect scene for movie makers.

On the other hand, we movie lovers, usually get amazed by those characters – sometimes successful, sometimes not. But they have stunning poker faces and strategic minds. How come?

As you can find on this website, there is some homework to do in order to develop strategic thinking while playing the game. Now maybe rewatch those movies, but this time with more ideas about the gambling world.

find The Gambler, Roundersand six other films based on gambling and poker in the list below.

The Gambler (1974)

The Gambler comes from director Karel Reisz and tells the story of Alex Freed, an English professor who hides his gambling addiction behind an almost noble and inspiring demeanor.

Struggling to pay his ever-growing debts incurred due to his sprawling addiction, Alex finds the idea of ​​going to Vegas for one big payout incredibly seductive. He takes his wife there, and things start spinning out of control in no time.

Actor James Caan plays the role of Alex Freed with grace and brings the nuances of the character to the forefront with just the right amount of emphasis.

Casino (1995)

The dynamic duo of director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro never miss when they team up together. Scorsese’s previous film with De Niro and Joe Pesci, goodfellasshowcases how the auteur understands the criminal underbelly of America, and Casino is brilliant proof of that.

Robert De Niro plays the role of Ace, a man who wants to operate a casino where the primary customers are mobsters. The twist is that he wants to do it right.

However, Joe Pesci’s Nicky Santoro works against him. Not to mention, De Niro’s narration features the iconic line that is the key to it all: “In Vegas, everybody’s gotta watch everybody else.”

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

It doesn’t get any better than this. Steve McQueen plays the role of “the Kid,” who thinks he has what it takes to establish himself as the best gambling player in town. The only problem is, he just might be the fish taking on the sharks.

McQueen’s performance is at its finest, and the script gives him plenty of space to dig deep into the character.

The Cincinnati Kid focuses not on the pool-playing aspect of poker but on the game itself. Those familiar with the game will fall in love with it, but those looking to get in on the action will understand that poker is subtle yet deeply transformative.

The Color of Money (1986)

Tom Cruise is usually known for his thrilling performances in action blockbusters. In The Color of Moneyhowever, Cruise is seen as a pool player named Vincent, who is dealing with the harsh reality of the game and the fate that comes with it.

Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie Felson, who formerly appeared in the prequel The Hustlermeets Cruise’s Vincent at the crossroads. Their interaction serves to provide a mirror to Eddie Felson from when he was young, like Vincent.

It should be noted that Paul Newman received the only Oscar in his career for this filmwhich serves as a testimony to how great a film The Color of Money is.

Rounders (1998)

It’s the Holy Grail for those who are fascinated by both cinema and gambling. If you’re only interested in the shimmer surrounding a standard Atlantic City experience, then Rounders isn’t the film for you.

If you, by any chance, want to peer deeper into the anxieties and stakes involved in gambling, then the Matt Damon starrer flick will offer you the experience of your life.

While Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott is trying to get away from gambling after losing money to a Russian gangster named Teddy, his friend Lester comes back from prison and wants to help paying off his debt.

The Sting (1973)

Paul Newman became associated with the genre of gambling after The Hustlerand The Sting solidified his presence in it as it won the Best Picture accolade at the Oscars.

Newman’s Shaw teams up with fellow conman Robert Redford’s Kelly, and the two work together to bring a mobster down.

Their plan is intricate and well thought out. It matters not if you don’t exactly get it as you watch the film. These two conmen incorporate card games and horse racing and play the system rather than playing the game.

It all comes together like a big domino effect, and rooting for the unlikely duo comes naturally.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Enough with the depressing stuff about gambling. Here’s a film that you will want to see when you want to think about gambling.

Instead of yet another cautionary tale, Ocean’s Eleven shows us the unlikely yet iconic duo of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. They are cool, fun, in it for the big haul, and have a nauseatingly mind-bending plan to back it all up.

Ocean’s Eleven isn’t necessarily concerned with gambling but with the infamous aesthetic of the casino that draws millions to Vegas.

Despite being farthest from the truth, the Steven Soderbergh film is one of the most associated with gambling.

The Card Counter (2021)

Paul Schrader redefined cinema after he wrote Taxi drivera film that made legends out of both Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.

With The Card Counteractor Oscar Issac plays a man who roams from one casino to the next for something that seems missing from every gambler’s life: control.

Some of these movies can still be available on Netflixor other streaming services, and some of them not, but many have already become classics and surely deserve your attention.

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