Netflix is packed with movies in just about every genre you can imagine, and gambling films are no exception. From true stories to classic works of fiction rendered on the big screen, any gambling fan looking to soak up the atmosphere of casino culture will enjoy these movies.
Casinos are often very glamorous venues, with opulent architecture, grand buildings, and plenty of people dressed in finery. For many, though, these casinos are located far away, and they can be inconvenient to get to. Instead, many choose online casinos and perfectly scripted movies as their way to enjoy casino game vibes without having to travel.
While online gambling companies have developed their products quite a bit over the last two and a half decades, the experience still doesn't quite reflect the atmosphere of a land-based casino. One way to capture more of this is to play a virtual reality game, while another way is to enjoy gambling online and kick-ass casino movies.
So if you’re looking to enjoy the casino experience through your Netflix account, here are six movies you need to watch.
1. Ocean’s Eleven
A legendary movie with an all-star cast, Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of a 1960’s heist film of the same name. A team of criminals, played by actors including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon, plot to steal $150 million from three of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas.
The elaborate plot involves using deception, stealth, acrobatics, computer hacking, and an EMP device as means of hitting the score. The first half of the movie is spent with the lead plotter, Danny Ocean, recruiting his team of 11 and preparing for the heist, acquiring a key card, cutting power to the city, and creating a scale model of the casino. The second half follows the theft step by step as the team deceives the casino owners on the night of a major boxing match.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, this 1995 film is based on a true story. The lead character, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, is a seasoned gambler who gets asked to manage a Las Vegas casino. Through another strong cast that includes Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci, Casino delves deep into the lives of high rollers in Las Vegas and the challenges of Casino management.
The film is based on a non-fiction book called “Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas,” with the main characters all based on real-life people. Therefore, it is an excellent depiction of life in the shoes of the big players of the city and its casinos. So if this side of Las Vegas intrigues you, then be sure to check out Casino on Netflix.
3. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
A film set in Britain, instead of Vegas, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, is another heist film. This time, a young card player loses half a million pounds in a game of three-card brag (a British game that has some similarities to poker) that had been rigged.
To pay off the debt, the lead character brought a group of his friends together to steal money. Unlike in Ocean’s Eleven, the heist is not on a casino, but on a low-level, local crime gang. Things don’t go to plan, though, and the group of friends have to mop up the mess they find themselves in.
4. The Gambler
The 2014 film The Gambler is a remake of another movie of the same name that was released in 1974. A down on his luck English professor finds himself underperforming at work, insulting his students and owing $100,000s to a loan shark. The professor ends up being kidnapped and forced to convince one of his students to win a college basketball game by 7 points.
The Gambler is a film that has a story where nothing is what it initially seems. It contains a lot of metaphors that make it a film that requires some deep thought to understand all of the messages. If this is your type of movie, then you will love The Gambler, but otherwise, you may want to choose something else.
5. Casino Royale
Ahead of the release of Daniel Craig’s last outing as Britain’s most famous spy, why not catch another great film in the series? The Bond films are synonymous with fast cars, hi-tech gadgets, and casinos, no more so than Casino Royale. The 2006 release is the third time the 1953 book of the same name has been adapted into a movie and is the first of the series to have Daniel Craig play 007.
The plot is set at the beginning of Bond’s career, unlike other recent films that see the British secret agent depicted well into his life working for MI5. Casino Royale was the first book written by Ian Fleming, and a remake of the film helped to relaunch the series in a way that shows Bond in a more vulnerable position as he was tasked with bankrupting a crime financier through a high-stakes poker game.
Another movie about high-stakes poker, Rounders, tells the story of two friends that must win to pay off a massive debt. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, the film became popular a couple of years after its original release date during the poker boom of the early 2000s.
One of the lead characters has a dream to win the World Series of Poker and regularly plays in informal and underground tournaments. In one of these, he loses $30,000 in one hand and vows to give up the game. He sticks to his promise until a few months later, when he meets up with an old friend, and they end up playing poker. The film then follows the pair’s ups and downs as they take on a range of characters at the poker table.
Whether it’s an easy watch, or something more thought-provoking, Netflix has a vast library of gambling and casino themed movies for fans to get stuck into.