For a long time, movies have been a way for people to understand feelings, things they want, and how life can get complicated.
There’s one thing that moviemakers have always liked to talk about gambling. You know, the feeling when luck is on your side. These stories are so interesting that they keep us sitting on the edge of our seats. So, in this article, let’s talk about some of the greatest gambling movies. These movies have made a big impact on how we see movies.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001): One of the best gambling movies ever
Ocean’s Eleven isn’t just a regular gambling movie. It could easily find its place on lists of the coolest heist movies, the top George Clooney films, the greatest movies set in Las Vegas, and even those amazing movies that the Academy Awards missed. The story is all about a famous thief named Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney), who brings together ten other expert criminals to steal a huge $150,000,000 from the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand casinos.
But this movie is more than just about cards and dice in Las Vegas. It’s like a beautiful picture showing us that gambling isn’t only about those usual casino games. Danny Ocean risks everything, including his freedom, to win back his ex-wife Tess Ocean (played by Julia Roberts). Then there’s this powerful casino owner, Terry Benedict, who treats Tess like a poker chip just to get his stolen money back. And the team of eleven gamblers in Ocean’s crew put everything on the line for a big payday.
You know, in gambling, usually, the casino wins, but sometimes, a magical hand comes along and changes everything. Ocean’s Eleven tells us that every now and then, you’ve got to create your own luck.
Teen Patti (2010)
“Teen Patti” is a movie from India made in 2010, and it was directed by Leena Yadav. The story is all about math and chances, and it’s centered around the favorite card games in India: live Teen Patti games. The movie is about a super smart math person and his group of students who get really involved in a big experiment with Teen Patti, where they gamble with a lot on the line.
While they’re busy figuring out how chances and numbers work, their lives start to change in ways they never expected. The movie talks about having good friends, doing what’s right, and wanting to have a lot of money. And all of this is happening while they’re playing this really interesting card game that adds to the great watching experience.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Even if you’ve only ever tried your luck by using your social security number to play the lottery, the directors Joshua Safdie and Benjamin Safdie make you feel the wild ups and downs of a serious gambler in a way that can leave you feeling a little crazy and nervous while watching Uncut Gems. The main character, jeweler Howard Ratner, played really well by Adam Sandler, is ready to bet away anything just to escape from a never-ending pit of debt. He’s even willing to risk Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett’s 2008 NBA Championship ring and mobster money.
This movie shows us, without holding back, how gambling can be like a sickness that ruins not only a gambler’s life but also the lives of almost everyone around them. The one line that sticks in your mind might be when Howard, full of confidence that might be a bit misguided, says, “This is how I win.”
Killing Them Softly (2012)
When everything went haywire during the Great Recession of 2008, a lot of folks felt really desperate to grab some cash. The movie Killing Them Softly doesn’t hold back and hits you right in the gut with the tough lesson that trying to rob a mafia poker game is definitely not the smart way to go about it.
In the film, you’ve got Brad Pitt and the late James Gandolfini joining forces for a short while as Jackie and Mickey. They’re the ones given the job of making things right by bringing some street justice to three guys who pulled off that daring robbery.
But the twist is that Pitt’s character, Jackie, takes things into his own hands and becomes like a dark angel, punishing anyone foolish enough to gamble with their lives by messing around with the mafia.
People who are super smart and come from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) usually have the world at their feet, but there’s this bunch of them who chose a different path – they used their brains to count cards. The 21 movie is all about a real story of a team from MIT that traveled all around using math to outsmart casinos at the blackjack table. It’s a story that puts the dark side of gambling right on the big screen.
In the film, there’s a guy named Ben Campbell, played by Jim Sturgess, who starts by gambling just to pay off a huge $300,000 tuition bill. But then, something changes, and he starts using his smarts to become a master at the game. Along the way, he faces really dangerous situations, loses his friends, and ends up with very little to show for it except for a cool story to tell.
Seeing the brightest minds make some really not-so-bright choices could make anyone think twice about gambling. Because usually, winning feels like enough until you get greedy for more.
Molly’s Game (2017)
No list of the best movies gambling is complete without Molly’s Game. Most times in movies, gambling is shown as a place where only guys gather, but Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game is different. It teaches us that women can be really good at navigating the tricky world of underground gambling. The main character, Molly Bloom, played by Jessica Chastain, uses her cleverness and charm to shift from being an Olympic-level skier to working as an assistant at an underground poker game. Eventually, she even becomes the boss of her own secret poker games. And the interesting part is, she mingles with famous people, rich experts, and yes, you guessed it, Russian mobsters (they pop up in almost every gambling movie, don’t they?).
Just like in the best gambling stories, the poker table is just a small part of the whole deal in Molly’s Game. She’s really good at gambling with people’s secrets from her poker games to keep her money safe, especially when the FBI comes knocking. The moments between Chastain’s character and her lawyer Charlie Jaffey, played by Idris Elba, are enough to make the movie worth watching. But what makes Molly’s Game truly special is how it shows that different lives can become seriously tangled around a poker table, creating a unique connection between them all.