Winter has drawn in and with it, darker nights and piles of blankets on the sofa. Put simply, it’s the perfect time to stick the kettle on and settle in for cosy nights with the best movies going.
These days it’s never been easier to settle in with a movie thanks to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but actually deciding which films are worth your time? Well, that’s not so easy.
As luck would have it though, we’re here to help. We’ve been browsing through the annals of cinematic history to find the finest gambling movies of all time. Here’s our top five.
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Steve McQueen is one of the most watchable, iconic screen actors of all time, but it’s his role in The Cincinnati Kid that we’re most fond of. McQueen plays a young poker player by the name of Eric Stoner, out to build a name for himself on the poker scene. However, he discovers that the game is run by one figure – Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson) – and the only way to make it is to beat him in a game.
Rain Man (1989)
Described as one of the 5 casino movies to add to your watchlist by Coolcat Casino, alongside iconic casino pictures like Casino Royale, Rain Man is one of the all-time great dramas, picking up the Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year. It tells the story of Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), a car dealer who returns home after his father passes only to discover he has an autistic older brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). We won’t spoil what happens, but it involves a high-stakes trip to Vegas and some very advanced card counting.
Owning Mahowny (2003)
Would you give a man with a gambling problem access to tens of millions of dollars? That’s exactly what happens in this astonishing true story. Canadian bank employee Dan Mahowny (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) finds himself in a position to syphon money from the accounts at his bank in order to scratch his gambling itch. He’s spurred on by the sleazy casino boss Victor (John Hurt), as his life begins to unravel.
You can’t discuss gambling movies without talking about the elephant in the room – Casino. Directed by Martin Scorsese and often underrated in comparison to Goodfellas, Casino is perhaps the finest movie produced on Vegas. Set in the early 1970s, it follows low-level mobster Sam Rothstein (Robert De Niro) as he’s placed in charge of the Tangiers Casino. Over the years, problems with maniac enforcer Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), his ex-wife Ginger (Sharon Stone), her con-artist ex Lester Diamond (James Woods) and corrupt politicians cause Sam huge issues, threatening his both position and life.
The Sting (1973)
With a truly all-star cast which reflects the best of the 1970s and a script which sizzles, The Sting is one of the finest gambling movies ever made, still scoring 93% at Rotten Tomatoes 45 years after its release. When their mutual friend is murdered, small-time grifter Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and old-pro Henry Gondroff (Paul Newman) join forces to make ruthless crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) pay for what he’s done. Together, they devise a plan so cunning that Lonnegan won’t even know he’s been robbed, although, as anyone who’s ever seen a heist film will attest, things don’t go exactly to plan in this absolute classic.
Got your own favourite gambling movie that you missed? Share it with us in the comments below!