The world of gambling, cards and casinos is often a popular setting for movies. What can be more dramatic than the thrill of the bet, risking the chance to lose everything you have? Gambling movies allow us to get a glimpse into the lives of criminals and quietly root for the underdog. If you’ve got some free time, you’ll want to check out one of these top five movies about the gambling industry:
1. Hard Eight (1996)
Starring Philip Baker Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. Reilly and Samuel L. Jackson, the movie follows a down on his luck man, John, who finds himself under the tutelage of veteran gambler, Sydney. Sydney shows John the tricks of the trade and John, back on his feet, wins the heart of Clementine, a sometimes hooker. The movie has it all: drama, romance and thrilling excitement; it’s a definite must-see for any movie fan, but particularly those that love the thrill of gambling.
2. Boiler Room (2000)
If you drop out of college and are offered a lucrative position in an investment firm, walk away! This thrilling crime drama stars Vin Diesel, Giovani Ribisi and Nia Long, along with many faces that will have you asking, “Where do I know him from?” Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it is.
3. Croupier (1998)
Clive Owen gives a fantastic performance as Jack Manfred, a casino croupier turned author. While penning his life story, Jack quickly finds that he begins to give in to the temptations of the dark underbelly of the gambling world. While giving in to the temptations may help Jack write a stellar novel, it does nothing for his personal life or the life of his girlfriend.
4. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
A classic Steve McQueen offering enters the fourth spot on our list. The Kid, played by McQueen, is pitted against veteran card player Lancey Howard. In an intense game of five-card stud, the two duel it out with the help of Karl Malden, a dealer swayed off of his straight and narrow path. The movie may not be as exciting as some newer offerings but it’s still a must see for any gambling lover.
5. The Gambler (1974)
This movie features James Caan at his gritty best. The character portrayed by Caan is Axel Freed, a professor who has an intense familiarity with casino gaming. His knowledge quickly leads to addiction which has Freed bordering on the edge of self destruction. If you want to feel as though you’re living on the brink, this is the movie to watch.
Gambling movies give us the chance to pursue the thrill of the bet without having to use our own money! If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, choose from this list of top five gambling movies. You’ll be on the edge of your seat the entire time!
Andrew Greene is a freelance writer and blogs for http://www.poker.org.uk a great site for playing poker.