Are you in the mood for a gambling themed movie? Here we have listed our 3 favorite casino movies and explained why we love them so much!
"Casino (1995)" is a cinematic masterpiece directed by Martin Scorsese that delves into the world of gambling, power, and the mob in Las Vegas. The film is based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, who had full access to a man who once ran four casinos for the mob, and whose true story inspires the movie.
The film features Robert De Niro as Sam (Ace) Rothstein, a gambling prodigy who supervises a thriving hotel casino in its glory days. The story follows Ace's rise and fall in the casino business, his relationships, and his dealings with his friend turned foe, a mafia enforcer. The film is as much about the history of Las Vegas as it is about its characters, showing how the city allowed people like Ace to flourish and then spit them out.
One of the film's strengths is its authentic depiction of the operations of a Las Vegas casino. It provides an interesting insight into how the mob skimmed millions out of the casinos, making the first hour of the film play out like a documentary. The parts of the film that delve into how Vegas operated and how Ace dealt with crooked gamblers are particularly engaging.
The performances in the film are outstanding. De Niro delivers a powerful performance as Ace, a character who is as much a heartless individual as he is a victim of his circumstances. Sharon Stone, who plays Ginger McKenna, a hustler who wins and subsequently betrays Ace's love and trust, delivers a superb performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination.
The film is also noted for its violence, which includes a torture-by-vice sequence and a shockingly edited beating scene.
However, it's not just about violence and crime; it also offers a deeper exploration of its characters and their motivations.
The film's visual style is dazzling, with Scorsese giving the setting a surreal and breathtaking intensity. The rivers of cash, mountains of neon, high rollers, and lowlife hoods all contribute to the film's money-mad mirage. The film's soundtrack, which includes a mix of jazz, classic rock, and pop, adds to its appeal.
Despite its violent and tragic elements, "Casino" is a beautiful and often exuberant movie. It's a compelling film that's exceptionally well-crafted, offering a grandly conceived study of what happens when mob-controlled casino gambling takes over Las Vegas. It's an excellent movie that stands out in the genre and is highly recommended for mob movie lovers.
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"Rounders" (1998) is a film that has garnered a reputation as a cult classic, particularly among poker enthusiasts. Directed by John Dahl, the movie stars Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, a law student and gifted poker player who must navigate the risky waters of high-stakes poker to help his friend Worm, played by Edward Norton, pay off massive debts to loan sharks.
The film is celebrated for its realistic portrayal of the poker world and its dark, engaging narrative. Roger Ebert noted that "Rounders" cheerfully embraces the world of compulsive gambling, with the protagonist risking everything from his tuition money to his relationship. The movie's strength lies in its richly atmospheric setting and the colorful performances by its cast, which also includes John Malkovich as the formidable poker player Teddy KGB and John Turturro as Mike's mentor Joey Knish.
Critics have praised the film for its well-crafted script and the genuine performances of its actors, particularly Damon and Norton. The dialogue is snappy and clever, contributing to a movie that is perfectly paced and engaging throughout.
While some may find the plot to be a familiar tale of overcoming adversity, the film's depiction of the poker lifestyle and its strategic intricacies make it stand out.
Despite some criticism for its portrayal of poker hands and the obviousness of certain tells, "Rounders" remains a beloved film for its dramatic portrayal of the poker world and the depth of its main characters. It's a movie that not only appeals to poker players but also to those who appreciate a well-told story of risk and redemption.
In summary, "Rounders" is a compelling drama that captures the essence of the poker world with authenticity and style. Its engaging performances and smart storytelling make it a standout film that continues to be appreciated by audiences, whether they are poker aficionados or simply fans of good cinema.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Ocean's Eleven (2001) is a slick, entertaining, and star-studded caper movie directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film features George Clooney as Danny Ocean, a charismatic thief who, fresh out of prison, assembles a team of eleven to pull off an audacious heist on three Las Vegas casinos.
The film is celebrated for its witty dialogue, delivered with aplomb by its high-wattage cast, which includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts, among others. The screenplay by Ted Griffin is elegantly epigrammatic, contributing to a movie that is perfectly paced and engaging throughout.
The film's strength lies in its ability to keep the audience rooting for clever con artists and thieves throughout, with the fact that their target is a ruthless and violent business tycoon meant to lessen the moral implications. The film is consistently funny, exciting without being overly suspenseful, and engaging without being overly immersive.
Despite some criticism for its lack of character development and a plot that some may find weak, "Ocean's Eleven" remains a beloved film for its dramatic portrayal of the heist world and the depth of its main characters. It's a movie that not only appeals to fans of heist films but also to those who appreciate a well-told story of risk and redemption.
In summary, "Ocean's Eleven" is a compelling drama that captures the essence of the heist world with authenticity and style. Its engaging performances, smart storytelling, and coolly stylish presentation make it a standout film that continues to be appreciated by audiences, whether they are fans of heist films or simply fans of good cinema.