Top 10 Poker Films That You Will Not Forget
1. Maverick (1994)
The movie unfolds around a poker player named Maverick, a quick-witted individual who teams up with a marvellous (and fake) southern-accented woman named Anabelle. Together, they set towards the tables and enter the game to win a little for themselves while keeping their eyes on the Winner Take All Poker game. The film is underlined by it’s fine use of rhetoric in conceptualising the two characters, while keeping the mood light-hearted. If you’re a poker fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this one.
2. Rounders (1998)
One of the top-listing movies ever to be set in the world of Texas Hold-em, Matt Damon and Ed Norton star as individuals who have their worlds turned upside down by the world of poker. As a reluctant student, Matt realises that he cannot pull away from his poker obsession, and loses much in the process. However, after meeting up with a characteristic old friend (Edward Norton), Matt is back on the tables sharking against anyone you could imagine.
3. Casino Royale (2006)
For any die-hard 007 film fans, Casino Royale offers a good mix of casino and action. Daniel Craig brings an entirely new generation to the James Bond series in this latest installation that has him hot on the trial of an international crime organisation within a high stakes poker game. The catch: Should Bond lose, the government would find themselves funding terrorism through poker on a global scale.
4. Croupier (2000)
There is always a darker side of gambling, and Clive Owen stars in this London-based film that unmasks the glitz and glamour behind the allure of of what the casino offers. The poker story is portrayed stylishly through the interactions of a dealer rather than of it’s players. Not all the glitters is gold, and Croupier takes this theme to heart.
5. Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
Poker film fans will appreciate Nicholas Cage for his unique acting, playing as an exploding human bomb. A romantic comedy staring big name actors, poker fans will find that the movie offers an alternative take on the money-based world of gambling by tieing the heart to the game.
6. Born Yesterday (1950)
Some of the best classic films are those that would inspire quotes that we still use today. Born Yesterday is a poker movie about a corrupt tycoon named Harry Brock, who hires a lawyer, Jim Devery, and a journalist to educate his ill-mannered mistress. A quote to remember: Never do nothing you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of the New York Times!
7. California Split (1974)
This is a poker movie about two friends who bond through their mutual love of gambling. As fun as it can be, there are certain risks involved as Charlie Waters (Elliot Gould) finds out when he pools his money with Bill Denny against the former world champion.
8. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Steve McQueen plays the “Cincinnati Kid”, a term coined to take on the top poker player known as “the Man”. McQueen boldly portrays the realism of a high stakes poker game, one that captures the audience through both it’s brilliant setting of a popular 1930’s subculture and it’s amazing supporting cast.
9. Casino (1995)
The plot revolves around the falling reign of organised crime in Vegas, only to be matched by the equivalent danger of big corporations. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci bring one of the movies to life with their ‘cool’ use of language, although it may be best to avoid using this to handle confrontations.
10. The Hustler (1961)
Still standing above it’s competition as one of the best poker movies that have ever been made, partly due to its daring in depicting popular icons of the time in less-than-heroic roles. Movies in this era usually featured generic typecasting, and Paul Newman’s pool shark stands knocking at the door of many personal risks and costs.
This list of films is not extensive of all the impressive poker movies out there, but nonetheless this is the best 10. Gambling can be both good and dangerous, and the thrill is portrayed very accurately in these stories that have left impressions through the decades.
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