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Here are the best casino themed movies for you to watch if you're missing the real thing while in lockdown.

Here are the top 5 casino movies you must watch

If you were to go to a movie theater or go online to platforms like Netflix to watch movies, you would discover that there are thousands upon thousands of movies with different genres that you can watch. There are many genres, some of which include drama, fantasy, horror, sci-fi, comedy, and many others, but they often mix these genres to produce masterpieces.

Due to the thousands of available options, it becomes challenging to choose which movies to watch; this is especially so for someone like me. But as an avid casino enthusiast, one of the types of movies I watch out for when I want to watch a movie is the ones that feature casino or gambling scenes. But even with these specs, there are still many to choose from. Here are some of the most popular casino movies of all time. 

Casino Royale (2006) 

Casino Royale shows that 007 is not only good at fighting, shooting, and killing, but he is also quite good at gambling. The movie is a continuation of the James Bond collection and a remake of the 1967 film with the same title. James Bond (Daniel Craig), along with MI6 agent Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), is sent on a mission to stop a well known terrorist banker Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). Their mission led them to Le Casino Royale in Montenegro, where Bond participates in an exclusive game of Texas Hold’Em with Le Chiffre to prevent the latter from winning funds for terrorist organizations.

21 (2008)

Counting cards during blackjack games, though not explicitly illegal, is an activity that is not allowed at casinos.  But this is what Professor Micky (Kevin Rosa), a mathematics professor, teaches some mathematically adept students how to count cards in a secret club at M.I.T.

The protagonist of the movie, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgees), is a brilliant M.I.T. student who dreams of becoming a doctor and wants to transfer to Harvard. He soon discovered that being from a middle-class family, without a scholarship, he can’t afford to pay for the school. To get funds for his medical school, Ben agreed to Professor Micky’s arrangement and joined his elite team, and pretty soon, he was joining them on trips to Vegas. The movie is based on a true-life story.

The Cooler (2003)

The cooler is a terrific movie that showed an insight into the concept of luck and gambling superstitions at casinos. William H Macy portrays this movie’s protagonist, who is an unusual character who has terrible luck. If he should stand beside a player who is on a hot streak in a casino, such player’s luck will drastically change for the worse, which is why they called him the “cooler.” Casinos hire him to change the luck of players on hot streaks at their casinos, and it always worked every time. However, no one anticipated that the cooler’s fortune would change suddenly, and he would become a lucky charm for gamblers in casinos. His employers were so not happy about the new development.

Croupier (1998)

Croupier shows the casino world from the perspective of a dealer. The protagonist of the movie Jack Manfred (Clive Owen), is an aspiring writer who works as a croupier at a casino. He got the job not only to make ends meet, but the planned to use the experience he gains from the lifestyle of working at the casino to get some inspiration for his novel.

Jack never imagined that his decision of making underhanded arrangements with a player would take over his life and spiral everything out of control. The movie went on in a different direction than the traditional gambling and casino movies and showed more of a dark side of the industry.

Rain Man (1988)

Tom Cruise portrays the role of Charles Babbit, a spoilt businessman who is surprised and pissed off that he has been neglected in his father’s will. When he met his older brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), who happens to be an autistic savant, Charles thought of a brilliant idea. He decided to take his brother along with him to Vegas with the hope of using his talents to count cards at blackjack tables to win big. The movie explores family ties, mental prowess, and the boundaries of legal and illegal activities that many individuals try and exploit in casinos.

Different actors have played different roles in gambling and casino movies, and apart from acting on the big screens, there are many celebrities who love to gamble in real life. There are still many more popular movies that feature casinos and gambling, and some other notable mentions include:

  • Casino (1995)
  • Rounders (1998)
  • The Gambler (2104)
  • Molly’s Game (2017)
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