Who doesn’t love a cool gambling flick? Hollywood certainly does and if you look at the box receipts of 2200 million US dollars generated by gambling themed movies in the last 25 years, even the audience loves them!
Well, these are some of the best gambling movies we could find, in Netflix and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!
Martin Scorsece directed this 1995 classic starring Rob de Niro, essaying the role of Ace Rothstein. Ace is an expert casino player, sent on a mission to smoothen things at the Tangiers casino in Vegas. His employers? The Chicago mafia! De Niro is ably supported by Joe Pesci (playing the role of Nicky Santoro), whose brutality and readiness to use the gun provides a character contrast to the icy-cool De Niro.
The movie exposes the dark underbelly of the shiny casino world, the way it once was, where money rules and any violation of trust is repayable only with ultimate price. It shines a spotlight on how the mafia laundered money, the sophisticated evasion techniques and the money-driven Nevada politics and the tug of war with the Gaming Commission. All of which makes for a tantalizing and complex tale with multiple plot points and layers.
It will always be known for De Niro’s mind-numbingly cool line – ‘“There are three ways of doing things around here: the right way, the wrong way and the way that I do it.” Available on Netflix.
This must be surely one of the most original and coolest gambling flicks ever. The premise is a true story – How a gang of students, studying in the highly prestigious MIT attempt to pull off a heist at a Vegas casino by playing Texas Hold’em and blackjack.
What makes them do it? Well, the main protagonist, Benjamin Campbell, is in a fix as he can’t afford to pay the astronomically high fees of 300K USD after getting admission into Harvard’s prestigious Medical School. But Ben is also freakingly good at math. So, in a twist of fate, he joins a professor in MIT who is already developing a complex algorithm of play blackjack and somehow gain the edge at a casino.
Though Ben was initially hesitant, he plunges into his new endeavor with zeal, fuelled by the easy money and greed that keeps spiraling out of control. Ben multi-tasks, jumping between Vegas and his college, putting himself under undue stress and begins to crack. This is a movie that has got it all – action, drama but what truly elevates it to another level is the accuracy with which it captures the trails and tribulations of the gambling mind. Available on Netflix.
3. Snake Eyes
This features one of our favourite actors of all time, Nicolas Cage. Cage is a cynical, unethical detective looking for his big chance just before a big boxing bout in Atlantic City. The reigning champion is Lincoln Tyler who is about to take the ring to reclaim his status as the Champion. But what ensues is a major upset!
Cage is asked to investigate if the bout was fixed but this involves a probe against a shady bookie. In a parallel plot, a decorated army officer, essayed by Gary Sinise, who is Cage’s best buddy, tracks down a dreaded assassin who is also linked to the betting business.
All the threads come together seamlessly in an elegantly crafted climax, with the casino providing the perfect backdrop for this crime drama dripping with stunts, twists, money power and betrayal. Carla Gugino, as the female lead, gives a stellar performance. Available on Netflix.