There’s an inherent drama in the films themed around gambling, as they are essentially about the risk factor. Actually, it’s to do with the human nature. People like the sight of someone putting his well-being at stake in the hope of winning big more than making rational, cautious and prudent decisions.
Here in this article, we will take you through some of the best Hollywood movies themed around gambling. Although you might not witness the characters gambling at their favourite online casino platforms in these films, something that has become a norm today, you’d definitely find big casinos in the backdrop. Further, these movies offer enough twists & turns which is a hallmark of gambling-related films. Let’s begin!
Uncut Gems – 2019
This Josh and Benny Safdie films is pretty intense by any standards, and a lot of its nerve-wracking ability is because of how beautifully Adam Sandler plays the role of Howard in it. He is a hopeless gambling addict who is unstoppable till he destroys himself completely. What really sets Uncut Gems apart is how Sandler gets into the character and sucks the audience into his sickness, making everyone think that he might somehow be able to pull himself out of his situation. The Safdies have managed to inject Howard’s mania into the audience’s veins, riding on his crazy rush.
Hard Eight – 1996
The first film of Paul Thomas Anderson was actually an expansion of his earlier short film titled Coffee & Cigarettes. It was actually also a big pain for the filmmaker as he almost lost rights to it. Although Hard Eight can’t be compared to Paul’s other masterworks, it was an amazing debut indeed. The movie is focused on a lonely man who has learnt and mastered the art of surviving in the Las Vegas’ underworld, by staying quiet, until he comes across people who actually require his help. Although it’s less showy compared to Anderson’s first film, it’s very moving indeed. It comes across as having thorough understanding of the Sin City and the people you never notice whenever you’re there.
Mississippi Grind – 2015
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, the Half Nelson filmmakers created this amazing retro two-hander prior to jumping aboard the Marvel bandwagon. The film is about two habitual gamblers who drive down all the way south to a poker game in New Orleans, involving huge payoffs. Many consider this as the Ryan Reynolds’s best performance till date. The actor delivers an amazing performance as Curtis who befriends Ben Mendelsohn’s troubled character named Gerry. Mississippi Grind is a lot about gambling and depression, which takes a lot from the Hollywood of the 1970s era, particularly a Robert Altman movie titled California Split, which was a big hit in 1974. However, that cinematic referencing doesn’t at all blunt the melancholic and desperate pull of Mississippi Grind. The film reeks of half-drunk beer cans and stale cigarettes – the perfect depiction of non-stop gambling.