There are literally hundreds of casino films you can watch but they are not all created equal. Some casino films make for epic viewing, others are not worth your time. Here are five of the best casino films you can watch without worrying about the time you could have spent playing pokies!
Casino: The very best of the casino films
No list about casino films would be complete with the granddaddy of them all: Casino. The 1995 Martin Scorsese film is one of the best ever movies, not just the best of the casino films. Casino is a story of greed, deception, money, power, and murder between two best friends.
The casino scenes were shot at the Riviera casino, which has since been demolished. Scorsese filmed the scenes between 1:00-4:00 a.m. as not to disrupt real gamblers. Casino is based on the story of the also demolished Stardust Casino.
Both main characters, played by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, are based on real-life mafia mobsters. The film shows the seedier, darker side of what Las Vegas was reported to be like. Scorsese even hired convicted cheaters to help film people cheating in the casino scenes! Add it to your watchlist today!
Everyone loves a good heist especially when the robbers target a lavish casino. This is what makes Ocean’s Eleven one of the legendary casino films. Ted griffin wrote the story and Steven Soderbergh directed Ocean’s Eleven.
It has an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Julia Roberts. These stars helped Ocean’s Eleven made $450 million, the fifth highest-grossing film of 2001. The story revolves around an attempt to rob the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand simultaneously. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) knows there is $160 million in Bellagio’s vault.
Check out Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen if you enjoy casino films.
While not really part of traditional casino films, The Hangover is a box office hit from 2009. The Hangover follows a group of friends at a buck’s party in Las Vegas. This hilarious comedy is massively over the top, yet it is great fun. Even boxing legend Mike Tyson makes a cameo appearance!
Several Las Vegas casinos feature in The Hangover and there is some gambling too. One of the characters uses his card counting skills to win $82,400 playing blackjack. The Hangover is definitely one of the casino films you have to watch as comedy fans love it. Be aware, however, that the two sequels fail to live up to the hype.
The 2006 edition of Casino Royale, the 21st in the James Bond series. It is the first time Daniel Craig played the titular James Bond. Casino Royale features an ultra high stakes poker game involving the casino film’s main villain.
This villain lost more than $100 million in a botched investment so needs to beat Bond and Co. Unfortunately, while the film is great, the final poker scene is poorly written. In fact, it is so bad that it has to be seen to be believed. OK, so that may be a slight exaggeration, but watch it for yourself. Just remember the main villain is a mathematical genius who has to win then tell us the scene’s not bad!
Blackjack fans need to check out the 2008 film 21 even if it’s not one of the best casino films. Twenty-One follows the infamous story of the MIT Blackjack Team in Las Vegas. The team were maths geniuses who were proficient card counters. Over a period of a few years, the team took the casinos for millions at the blackjack tables.
All the Las Vegas casino scenes are shot at Planet Hollywood and Red Rock Casino. See if you can spot them!