The penchant for gambling is a thrilling and engaging pastime not only for the gambling pros, but for movie directors, writers and movie fanatics alike. Whether one wants to freshen up his/her mind, relax with family and friends or wants to learn new strategies, casino movies can provide all of these in a single package. Casino movies aren’t just great for edutainment purposes; they are also part of a rare breed of movies which are adaptable for any movie genre. Whether one is into action, real-life documentary or comedy, there is a casino movie for you out there. There are many iconic casino movies, and some of them always feature on top 10 lists of all time great movie productions and favorite’s lists. When you haven’t watched these movies, make some time as they make good viewing either alone or with family and friends.
Arguably the greatest casino movie today is the classic namesake ‘Casino’. ‘Casino’ brings to our living rooms the fast and dangerous Las Vegas life. Depicting the two-sided nature of Las Vegas life, the intoxicating glitz and glamor juxtaposition by the mobster brutality and cruelty, Martin Scorsese showcases the real world of Las Vegas. The movie is brought to life by the brilliant Robert De Niro (Sam “Ace” Rothstein), a well-respected and civilised casino operator with strong ties to the mob whose career is threatened by the re-emergence of a long-time friend Joe Pesci (Nicky Santaro) a mafia lord with his own dreams and ambitions of becoming the new boss in the city. ‘Casino’ has everything in it, an enthralling plot, including attention attracting themes like greed, deception, money, power, and murder capped off by the very best actors including the seductive Sharon Stone. ‘Casino’ is a movie which you can watch a dozen times and never feel bored.
The first of the Ocean’s trilogy, Ocean’s Eleven is another great movie shot in and exposing the Las Vegas life. A team of con-artists led by George Clooney (Danny Ocean) and his old pal Brad Pitt (Rusty Ryan) with nine other criminals with their own specialties attempt to make the heist of all heists. A plan is laid out to rob 150 million dollars from an underground vault supplying three major Las Vegas casinos. The movie is a suspense filled, with viewers always on the edge of their seats waiting to see how the next grand move of the plan will be executed. The fact that Ocean decides not to reveal all the reasons for the heist to his team (Andy Garcia ‘Terry Benedict’ the owner of the three casinos is married to Ocean’s ex, Julia Roberts ‘Tess’) makes viewers wonder how the team would react when they finally learn of this great betrayal, will they jump ship and expose the plan or will Ocean quieten them before any leaks. Ocean’s Eleven is a movie that is not only enjoyable, but effortlessly re-watchable too.
A new flavor to casino movies has been introduced by filmmakers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore in their comedy film series, “The Hangover.” Unlike the previously discussed movies, The Hangover portrays the double nature of life in Las Vegas but it does so in a light, comic way. Three friends are in town for a friend’s bachelor party, however, they wake up oblivious of the previous night’s events. In an effort to recount the previous night’s events, find the lost bridegroom and make it on time for the wedding the trio experience the Las Vegas life and in so doing we get to know more about Las Vegas and its casinos with them.
These are some of the iconic casino movies to hit our screens in recent memory and expect to watch more and more with time.