If you’re a fan of movies, 2023 is an excellent year for you, as there are loads of ways to watch them, especially online, thanks to streaming platforms. One of the most popular genres right now is gambling because of the dramatic highs and lows and rollercoasters of emotions provided, but which gambling movies should you be watching in 2023?
Is there a better place to start than with the 2006 action thriller Casino Royale, a movie from the iconic James Bond series? Casino Royale, as the title suggests, is a casino-themed movie. And, with so many scenes set in a casino, it’s easy to see why this is the pick of the bunch in the gambling genre. But what really helps Casino Royale to stand out is the showdown at the poker table between Bond and terrorist banker Le Chiffre.
Big Momma’s House 2
We wanted to include a movie in this list that wasn’t too serious and provided some great comedy and laughter, and Big Momma’s House 2 is one of the best. Starring Martin Lawrence as ‘Big Momma’, there’s an epic gambling scene that occurs because Big Momma, who is really FBI agent Malcolm Turner, has infiltrated the Fuller family as part of a case and accompanies Mrs Fuller on a trip to play bingo. After the events that unfold, Mrs Fuller would have been much better off exploring popular bingo games online and saving herself the hassle.
Most gambling movies are fiction based. However, some happen to be based on a true story or real-life events, and 21 is arguably the best that fits into this category. In 21, an MIT professor realises that some of his top students could put their math skills to work to learn how to count cards. And they do so to great effect at some of Las Vegas’s biggest and best casinos. But, with huge rewards on the table, there comes a lot of risk, and not everything is plain sailing.
While some gambling-themed movies are solely focused on the gambling element, which is fine, others include gambling as part of an overall story or adventure, as seen in the legendary film The Hangover. In this Todd Phillips-directed film, a group of friends head to Sin City for a traditional Vegas-style bachelor party. But, as you will expect, things go drastically wrong on many fronts, and the group wakes up the following day and has no idea what has occurred in the previous twenty-four hours.
There have been a couple of movie versions of The Gambler released over the years, and both tell the same story, which sends out an important message in many ways. In the latest version of The Gambler, Mark Wahlberg assumes the role of Jim Bennett, a literature professor who has a gambling problem. And thanks to said problem, he’s got into deep trouble with a loan shark who he must pay back. As always, the only ways to resolve the debt are extreme measures, as documented in the movie.
You will never watch a gambling-themed movie or a film with gambling in it that is plain sailing and where everything runs smoothly and goes to plan. The reason is that gambling isn’t like this either. There are highs and lows. All four of these films do a great job documenting that, taking viewers on the journey of peaks and troughs, with some excellent storylines making the action gripping throughout.