A Professional Casino Reviewer’s Favorite Gambling Movies

As one of the oldest human pastimes, gambling and betting are deeply engrained in the very fabric of human society. 

In light of this, it seems natural that gambling and betting have featured so frequently in a wide variety of films over the years. That way, even when you are taking a break from your online casino of choice, you can still live out your high-rolling dreams.

Adam Nadeau, who started casino review site Playcasinos.ca when he was still in college, shared with this list of his favorite gambling movies that are currently available on Netflix. “With everything from romantic comedies, fast-paced action movies and engaging thrillers drawing on this setting, the casino has proved to be a firm favourite with directors and film fans alike,” he says.

Playcasinos.ca’s top pick: Uncut Gems (2019)

“Perhaps one of the best gambling movies to come out in recent years is Uncut Gems.”

“Beyond the many memes that it has generated since it was released, Uncut Gems is simply an excellent movie,” Adam says.

Written, directed and produced by the up-and-coming Safdie Brothers — Josh and Benny — Uncut Gems is an incredibly tense, nerve wrecking, and at times truly hilarious film, that captures the euphoric highs and despondent lows of high-stakes gambling.

Adam Sandler puts in a deservedly award-winning performance playing Howard, the gem dealing, gambling-addicted high roller who is brought to his downfall by the allure of scoring big.

“Beyond Sandler’s truly incredible performance, what the Safdie Brothers’ film really gets right is that it never veers into moralising. All they ever try and do is to bring you along for this hectic, angst-inducing ride.”

“In what is actually a perfect metaphor for casino gambling itself, you can’t help but want to press play and to watch it all again as soon as the credits roll.”

Playcasinos.ca’s dark horse: Croupier (1998)

“One of the most overlooked aspects of the gambling world in cinema is that of the dealer. In fact, although a dealer is always present in gambling movies, they rarely have a substantial role in the action beyond someone to whom anger and frustration are occasionally directed.”

This is what makes the 1998 ‘Croupier’ such a classic.

Starring a notably fresh-faced Clive Owen, Croupier explores the dark underbelly of the gambling world and at the same time provides a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the inner workings of a casino.

“Director Mike Hodge tells this story from the dealer’s perspective — in this case, the ‘croupier’,” Adam says. “Interestingly, Hodge tells this story outside the lavish locations that casino movies are typically set in. The action centres on small, private card rooms in London.”

“These two aspects help to elevate Croupier from being a formulaic portrayal of the gambling world to something a little bit more unique. For these reasons alone, we would recommend giving it a watch.”

Playcasinos.ca’s classic choice: Casino (1995)

“As by far one of the most iconic gambling movies, you would be verging on negligent to write up a list of the best gambling movies and not include Scorsese’s 1995 classic ‘Casino’,” adds Adam.

Featuring an all-star cast of Scorsese’s favourite actors, Casino features Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci putting in predictably excellent performances. 

Casino tells the rise and fall of Sam Rosenthal, the owner of ‘Tangiers Casino’, who is in deep with the mafia. Showing a notably darker vision of Las Vegas than is typically depicted, Casino is a fast-paced, high-rolling movie that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. You can check out gclub too.

“If you want a unique insight into the dark years of Vegas in the 1970s and 1980s, Casino is definitely worth your time.”

Playcasinos.ca’s action selection: Casino Royale (2006)

“Although the more hardcore Bond fans among you will probably try and argue that the 1960s originally is a far superior movie, I would heartily disagree,” Adam says.

Released in 2006, Casino Royale is a reimagining of this classic Bond movie for the modern era. It was also Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond and represents an important milestone in the latest era.

The movie sees Bond — played by a then baby-faced Daniel Craig — embarking on a mission to prevent the mob-banker Le Chiffre — played by the ever wonderful Mads Mikkelsen — from winning a high-stakes poker game.

“Casino Royale is the perfect mix of action and drama, and also features some of the most iconic gambling scenes in movie history. The high-octane action will keep you engaged until the closing scene and leave you longing for an immediate re-watch.”

Playcasinos.ca’s highroller’s option: Molly’s Game (2017)

“In a world dominated by male protagonists, the 2017 flick ‘Molly’s Game’ is a breath of fresh air,” says Adam. “it features the incredibly talented Jessica Chastain play the leading role of Molly Bloom. In addition to Chastain, the cast also includes the likes of Idris Elba, Kevin Costner and Michael Cera. While this might seem like somewhat of a rag-tag, ensemble cast, Sorkin manages to make it work.”

Based on the autobiography by the real-life Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game is also the award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin’s first outing as director. As such, you can expect plenty of plot and character development as we have come to expect from Sorkin’s work.

“The film revolves around the titular character Molly Bloom who has found herself running a high-stakes poker game for high-profile public figures, celebrities and mafioso. This eventually lands her in trouble with the FBI, which is when things take a turn for the worse.”

“If you are looking for a compelling, well-directed movie that has a strong plot and plenty of excellent performances, I would highly recommend giving Molly’s Game a view.”

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