With the official grand opening of Cincinnati’s first casino The Horseshoe just one day away there is a lot of excitement in the city! Some are happy for the economic growth that it will provide to the city and others have their sights set on making a major come up!!! But hold hold tight…just cause you’ve seen a few flicks that glorify gambling doesn’t mean your ready. Here are the top ten movies you wanna check out to get a better feel of the gambling world.
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10. Casino Royale (2006)
Along with successfully rebooting the sputtering 007 series, this boisterous film helped fuel the Texas Hold’em frenzy with its insanely high-stakes showdown between James Bond and Le Chiffre. The final, improbable, ball-breaking hand brings four players all in, with successively impressive cards. But it’s not exactly a shocker when we learn who emerges top dog in this show — even if he does undergo some testicular torture of his own once the game moves outside the casino.
9. The Cooler (2003)
William H. Macy shines in one of his finest roles, as the house jinx brought out to chill any player on a big run. Maria Bello is the tough cocktail waitress who isn’t quite what she seems. And Alec Baldwin, the vicious casino boss, damn near steals the movie. A sexy, violent fantasy of disillusionment and crushed hopes. Kind of like Las Vegas itself.
8. California Split (1974)
One of the lesser-known Robert Altman films, this tour of poker rooms, casinos, race tracks and other fields of doom has been denounced as muddled and rambling. But the chemistry between the itching-to-bet George Segal and the ever-yammering Elliot Gould is terrific, and the aimlessness of their journey is the point, to the extent the movie has one. When a man’s obsessed with risk, winning doesn’t satisfy, and even the hot streak of a lifetime doesn’t guarantee a happy ending.
7. Casino (1995)
Based on the real-life rise and fall of goodfellas Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, Casino is a signature Scorsese romp, with plenty of blood, Pesci and De Niro, kinetic camera work, outrageous 1970s wardrobes, and a proliferation of f-bombs. It’s also a movie Hannum uses in class to teach students about Vegas history and gambling as a business — something the characters end up neglecting while they’re busy skimming the take, chasing messed-up broads like Sharon Stone, putting someone’s head in a vise or beating each other to death with baseball bats.
6. Rounders (1998)
Never play cards with a guy named Doc, Nelson Algren once wrote — or Teddy KGB. Unless you’re Matt Damon, and you’ve been to the school of hard knocks and figured out that poker is about brains, discipline and, yes, humility, not bluster and luck. John Dahl’s exploration of the game is gritty and thoughtful, yet oddly hopeful. In many ways, it’s a more detailed and realistic treatment than you’ll find in most gambling movies, despite the Hollywood touches.
5. 21 (2006)
21 is a 2008 American heist drama film directed by Robert Luketic and stars Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, and Aaron Yoo. The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling book by Ben Mezrich. Despite its largely mixed reviews and controversy over the film’s casting choices, 21 was a box office success, and was the number one film in the United States and Canada during its first and second weekends of release
4. Shade (2003)
The film’s name is a term for deception in the world of gambling, and this is eventually what the plot revolves around. Starring Sylvester Stallone as skilful card shark “The Dean”, Shade follows several people who come up with schemes to topple him and win a big payout. Of course, while everyone is trying to hustle The Dean, they are all trying to hustle each other as well, making for some interesting sub-plots.
3. The Gambler (1974)
James Caan’s searing portrait of a gambling addict — who also happens to be college professor, lecturing on Dostoyevsky when he isn’t hitting on 18 at the blackjack table or wheedling cash from his own mother — is unrelentingly grim. But it’s also addictively watchable, following the professor’s downward spiral to its logical conclusion. Much neglected after its initial release, this is an offbeat ’70s gem that deserves a closer look.
2. Croupier (1998)
Clive Owen, aspiring writer and dashing bastard, finds plenty of material when he takes a job at a London casino — along with corruption, lust and the kind of sangfroid that comes from watching people throw money away all night. Don’t fret too much about the weird plot turns of the last act and enjoy Owen’s sleek performance and the intelligent script, bristling with snappy dialogue and great noir narration: “Now he had become the still center of that spinning wheel of misfortune.”
1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
I decided to make this the #1 movie simply because of the name…duh!! In other movies references to the Cincinnati Kid are usually along the lines of having great skills and talent but never making it big. Hopefully we’ll have a new Cincinnati kid that can kill that stigma. The A classic poker fable with a big-name cast, led by icy-hot Steve McQueen and the incomparable Edward G. Robinson; Ann-Margret at her trampiest and Jack Weston at his sweatiest; and a bouncy title ballad, sung by Ray Charles. But the script (by Ring Lardner Jr. and Terry Southern!) is awash in clumsy melodrama and stock characters. The proceedings don’t really come alive until the final hand of five-card stud, which has a lot in common with the Casino Royale showdown. (Note to self: Never rely on an aces-over-anything full boat against 007 or The Man.) It’s a riveting sequence that makes you wonder what the movie would have been like if it hadn’t been in a coma for most of the first ninety minutes.