The Cincinnati Kid, Casino, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story and Casino Royale: 4 Best Casino Movies You Should See ASAP
When it comes to cinematic settings, few are more glamorous and dramatic than the casino. Thrillers, dramas and even comedies are just a few of the genres that have embraced the average brick-and-mortar casinos ambience, as it often offers everything from silly shenanigans to intense, sometimes deadly climaxes.
That said, not every casino-based movie is created equal, so we thought we’d take a look at the movies that are actually worth watching. In fact, the films we’ve found should be watched as soon as possible as they stand out in the cinematic world in their own right. Let’s take a look...
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Let’s start with one of the absolute classics of casino cinema: The Cincinnati Kid. In this iconic film, we follow Steve McQueen as a newcomer to the gambling scene with big dreams of beating the notorious high-roller Lancey Howard. Our main character The Kid must earn a reputation for more than just winning low-stakes, back room table games and instead must step to the front of the house to claim victory in the casino.
It’s no surprise that this movie has won so many awards, considering the fact it stars Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Robinson and Joe Pesci as Nicholas “Nicky” Santoro. The movie focuses primarily on Ace as the character is recruited by the mob to operate the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas, though Nicky has the important job of ensuring the mob don’t get out of hand. As far as gangster movies go, few are superior to this Martin Scorsese casino classic.
High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)
Played by Michael Imperioli, Stu Ungar is the son of a successful bookie looking to make his mark in the world of high-roller tournaments before eventually becoming a poker player. Though in 2017 we may find it hard to imagine in a world of easy access to big online poker brands with exclusive, worldwide tournaments such as 888poker, Ungar fights hard to get in on the game. Eventually, he managed to achieve his third victory at the WSOP Main Event, but as you’ll see in the film it isn’t all smooth sailing.
Casino Royale (2006)
British spy James Bond has visited many casinos throughout his lengthy career, but few trips have been more intense than Daniel Craig’s version of Casino Royale. In his first movie as the MI6 agent, Craig is given the task of stopping a terrorist attack on Miami International Airport. To this is, Bond must bankrupt the terrorists’ financier Le Chiffre during a high-stakes poker game. Of course, 007 doesn’t have an easy time of it but you’ll just have to watch the movie to see how it all turns out.
Of course, there are many more casino-based films out there for you to watch, with honourable mentions to Rounders (1998), The Hustler (1961) and Mississippi Grind (2015). Plus, we’d love to know which casino movies you’re a fan of, so let us know in the comments below and we’ll give them a watch!