What gambling movies should I watch?

Who doesn’t love a casino movie? There are so many amazing casino movies out there that are the perfect thing to watch at the end of a long day, but it can be hard to know which one to watch first. Here we have given you a handful of favorites that should help you settle down and enjoy. There is a selection of dramas, comedies, and thrillers that are sure to entertain.

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems came out in 2019 and took the internet by storm because it marked a significant shift in the career of Adam Sandler, which had, if we are being kind, stagnated a tad recently. Despite having a theatrical release at the back end of 2019, the film was then released on Netflix at the very start of 2020 and this no doubt influenced how well it was received.

Adam Sandley plays a Jewish-American jewel trader who supplements his income with a dangerous, and often disastrous, glambling habit that plays a central role in the movie. Despite his character being slimy and a bit of a deadbeat, you can’t help but root for him and want just one of his bets to pay off. Adam Sandler absolutely smashed it with this one.

Starring alongside Adam Sandler is a star cast featuring Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, and Idine Menzel, while Kevin Garnett, John Amos, and Trinidad James also feature as themselves in the movie. Can you blame them for wanting in? Cinematic genius and Hollywood royalty Martin Scorsese served as an executive producer while Josh and Bennie Sadie directed.

The Hangover

This one counts, right? You can’t mention gambling movies without thinking about The Hangover – it embodies everything we think of when somebody mentions Las Vegas. It is whacky, goofy, and downright hilarious – what’s not to love? The scene where Zach Galifianakis becomes a card-counting genius will forever live on in the meme hall of fame.

The film follows a friendship group who have to retrace their steps around Las Vegas following a pretty boozy night as they try to locate the friend who they lost along the way. The plot is genius but it is the cast that makes it what it is. The comedic genius of Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong is side-splittingly good and provides so many great moments.

Released way back in 2009, The Hangover cost only $35m to make which makes the enormous $479m it generated all the more impressive. It looks like this was a gamble that paid off. The trilogy as a whole generated a whopping $1.4b, representing a great return on the $218m that was spent on the series. Warner Bros. struck gold with this one.

Casino Royale

The first James Bond movie to feature the current Bond actor Daniel Craig, Casino Royale was released over 15 years ago in 2006. Feel old yet? The movie was the 21st movie in the James Bond franchise and is based on the 1953 Ian Flemming movie of the same name. Did you know that the movie starring Daniel Craig is actually the third movie adaptation?

The movie is centred around the agent’s assignment that requires him to bankrupt a dangerous financier who has been funding terrorists. How does Bond choose to do this? He decides to try and take the villain’s money away by coming up against him at the poker table. Mads Mikkelsen does an amazing job at playing the villain – he absolutely understood the brief!

The movie wasn’t cheap to make, costing $150m, which was a gamble given that this was Daniel Craig’s first time playing the iconic British intelligence agent, but it was clearly a gamble that was worth the risk, given that the movie generated approximately $620m. This installment is a fan favourite and for good reason – do you think Casino Royale is great?

Ocean’s Eleven

The first installment in the remade Ocean’s franchise, Ocean’s Eleven was released in 2001 and featured an ensemble task that included so many Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Julia Roberts. The original Ocean’s franchise was released in 1960 and is still loved by many over 60 years down the line.

The success of Ocean’s Eleven, grossing $450m against a budget of $85m, allowed the studio to produce a further two movies which were also very well received and also enjoyed a huge amount of commercial success. The trilogy as a whole grossed around $1.4b, which is over four times as much as all the budgets for all 3 movies – not bad going Warner Bros!

The movie was centered around a plot to steal $160m from a casino owner, portrayed by Andy Garcia. The movie is exhilarating and full of close calls and potential banana skins. The success of the trilogy allowed the creation of an all-female movie called Ocean’s 8 which was released in 2018, though it received mixed reviews despite doing well commercially.

The Big Short

Despite not being a classic gambling movie, The Big Short is about one of the biggest bets of all time, and it really is a movie about the genius and amazing foresight of a few select men. The movie is a true story-inspired tale which is centered around the run-up to the financial crash, which nobody apart from a select few seemed to know anything about.

Christian Bale plays a character called Michael Burry, a real-life man who was one of the first people who saw that a financial meltdown was on the horizon, and used the liquidity of his hedge fund to short the housing market, which he was certain was about to crash. As we all know, the housing bubble did indeed crash and it set in motion a worldwide chain of events.

Starring alongside Christian Bale is a very strong cast that features the likes of Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, who also served as producer and worked closely with director Adam McKay. The complex nature of the financial crisis is made easier to digest thanks to often funny ‘breaking the fourth wall’ explanations that feature well-known celebrities.