Top 5 Casino/Poker Movies

californiasplitRounders:

Not too much to say about this movie. For Texas Hold’em fans this is their filmatic-Bible.  Rounders is inescapable, and a bit overrated, but all around enjoyable, especially for John Malkovich’s great performance (and accent).  My friend works for a custom poker chip manufacturer and he says he gets at least a dozen orders a month from people asking to recreate the bear-emblazened personalized poker chips from this movie.

A little drunk on its own arcane exotica as a gambling movie, Rounders is a film that takes us inside a world of high-stakes card players but falls short on such essentials as character development, relationships, that sort of thing. Still, it is a real curiosity, written by a couple of guys (David Levien and Brian Koppelman) who appear to know something about the dark underbelly of card hustling for fun and profit.

The Cooler.

– I’m a bit biased since I’m a big William H. Macy fan. He does get somewhat typecast as the feckless loser too often (as he does in this film) but he does it so well. Alec Baldin is really good in this as well.

The unluckiest man in Vegas – a guy whose bad luck is contagious – is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers’ action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets “lady luck,” which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance.

Croupier

– I’ve already written about this film, but it is really worth seeing especially if you are a modern film noir fan. This is a really dark, really well done film that doesn’t gloss over the seedy side of the Casino business. This movie makes me think of red caviar and stale Moët.

Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere fast. To make ends meet, and against his better judgment, he takes a job as a croupier. He finds himself drawn into the casino world and the job gradually takes over his life; his relationship with girlfriend Marion begins to deteriorate.

California Split

– It’s by Robert Altman. An American treasure. What more can I say? See this before Atlman’s ghost rolls up in a Benz, Mercedes benz rims and all, and slaps you into it cognizance,

California Split’ directed by Robert Altman, revolves around two gamblers Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) and Bill Denny (George Segal), bonding through their mutual love for gambling. Charlie is a witty, clever gambler while Bill is an amateur who works in a magazine. As the film progresses Charlie and Bill bond over the roulette tables and Bill slowly gets hooked to gambling and runs into debt with his bookie (Joseph Walsh).

Casino

DeNiro, Sharon Stone, Martin Scorsese. This movie is to gambling movies what Godfather is to mobster movies. DeNiro looks cooler than escalade rims in this.

This Martin Scorsese film depicts the Janus-like quality of Las Vegas–it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this paradoxical world.

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