4 Top Casino-Inspired Movies of all Time
Casino movies continue to be a jackpot at the box office for Hollywood filmmakers who use action and drama to glamorize the world of gambling on the big screen. The winning elements in these films often include a casino as the backdrop, playing cards, some blood, sweat, tears — and sometimes a heist.
Here are four of the top casino inspired movies of all times brought to you by Tinsel Town.
This Martin Scorsese classic gives audiences a glimpse into the operational side of casinos during the golden era of mob gaming. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone, who was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, do a superb job in telling the story of two mobsters and a manipulative wife who rise to the top of the gambling world in Las Vegas. Excess money, power, and drugs prove to be too much for the trio and soon they find themselves at the mercy of the FBI and mob bosses. “Casino” made $116 million and proved that audiences were willing to swallow the immense level of violence in the film if it came with compelling storytelling and cinematography.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
If ever there was a film that inspired you to pack your bags and visit glamorous Las Vegas, this one is it. A 2001 remake of the 1960s film which starred Frank Sinatra’s Rack Pack, “Ocean’s 11” is pure excitement from beginning to end. It tells the story of the recently paroled Danny Ocean and his over the top plan to pull one of the biggest heist in history with the help of his 11 felon pals. Unbelievable? Maybe. But audiences believed three casinos being robbed simultaneously was possible and helped the film gross over $450 million at the box office.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your card games you may pick up a thing or two from “21.” The film tells the story of a group of MIT students who use their math and card counting skills to tilt casino games in their favor. Critics praised the film for being realistic in its depictions of card counting and strategy. Audiences loved the fascinating scenes shot throughout Las Vegas casinos. Yet actual casinos shunned the film fearing a new wave of card counters would be born. Even without their support, “21” made nearly $158 million at the box office.
Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig makes his debut in one the most successful films in the James Bond franchise. In the action packed “Casino Royale,” Special Agent 007 receives his first assignment in Madagascar to bring down Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a weapons dealer and terrorist sponsor, in a high-stakes poker game. The physically dramatic tit for tat between Bond and the villains made this an audience favorite and helped bring in over $599 million at the box office.
Though one can argue how accurately these films depict true life in the casino world, the box office revenues seem to show that realism is secondary to entertainment value for moviegoers. As long as the films continue to embellish the world of gambling with action and drama there is an audience that will pay to go see them.