The top 3 casino-based movies of the modern era

It is the very nature of casinos that make the following 3 films so gripping and exciting to watch. These temples to gambling, in many ways glamorous and exotic, but so often tinged with undertones of sadness and underworld influence; make the perfect setting for any movie.

From the tension and the quick wins of the live roulette tables, to the intensity and gamesmanship of the poker tables, a casino is the perfect backdrop for a great cinematic experience.

The Cooler (2003)

the cooler casino movie

William H. Macy stars in this Wayne Kramer directed movie, playing Bernie - a man who appears to be in many ways the complete epitome of a 'loser.'

Regarded in the film as the 'unluckiest man in Vegas,' Macy's character is employed by the mobster boss of a casino as it turns out that not only is Bernie unlucky, but that his bad-luck can be passed onto other simply by standing in their vicinity. With this in mind he is paid to stand near the casinos 'high-rolling' players to ensure they lose money to the casino.

This works only until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and his luck turns around, leading his nasty casino director to try and break up his budding romance and ruin his life.

21 (2008)

Based on the best-selling book 'Bringing down the House' by Ben Mezrich, 21 follows the fortunes of a crack team of MIT mathematicians. The team is brought together by professor Micky Rosa (played by Kevin Spacey) under the guise of a Blackjack club, to go to Vegas and win millions of dollars at the blackjack tables by employing 'card counting' techniques to all but guarantee success.

The film focuses on the life of young MIT student Ben Campbell who hails from a working class background, and is struggling to afford the $300,000 needed to study at the prestigious university. After being introduced and inducted into Rosa's 'blackjack team' his desire to make money finds him taking multiple weekend trips to Vegas, winning thousands of dollars at a time.

But just as Ben starts to get used to his jet setting lifestyle, events take a turn for the worse and Ben has to fight for not only the money he has won but his own safety.

Croupier (1998)

One of the best casino based films of recent years is undoubtedly the Mike Hodges directed Croupier, starring English actor Clive Owen as an aspiring writer who takes a job as a casino croupier.

Although as a writer Owen's character Jack never planned on becoming a croupier, casino life and the characters that exist within it draw him in. This fascination eventually begins to dominate his life at the expense of his relationship with his girlfriend Marion.

The film really gets going when Jack meets and befriends a down-on-her-luck gambler called Jani, who is struggling to pay off her debts and needs an inside man for a planned heist of the casino - which is where Jack comes in. As with any good gambler, Jack takes into account the odds of what seems to be a simple a well planned heist - but as any good gambler will also tell you, you never quite know how the cards will fall.

roulette movie chips

There are of course many other notable casino films that we could mention. There is the James Bond classic Casino Royale and the highlight of De Niros career in CASINO. We could also list Casino Jack, Ocean's 11 and the lesser known Matt Damon and Edward Norton film Rounders which is all about high stakes poker. The list is endless.

We have many games at online casinos that are based on TV and Movies. Games like Gladiator, The Mummy, The Dark Knight, Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Tomb Raider, Scarface and Baywatch are all really popular and based on movies. I wonder why there aren't any games based on casino movies. I think this is a really good idea.

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