The 5 Best Casino Movies of All Time

When it comes to casinos, there’s no shortage of movies portraying grit, glamour, and decadence. From heists and capers to gambling-based movies, casinos have played a key role in mixing gambling and casino action.

While gambling has evolved through online casinos, watching a good casino movie can provide some fantastic thrills, especially if you just want to enjoy a good movie. If you enjoy hitting a casino, you’ll probably love casino-related movies. This article explores some of the best, hence worth watching;

Casino Royale

A remake of Ian Fleming’s film, Casino Royale is an adventure-packed movie that stars Daniel Craig. This movie was also relaunched in 2006 with Daniel Craig playing the main role. One of the most remarkable things about it is that it lets you see a more lethal and less nymphomaniac James Bond.

Casino Royale also depicts James Bond without all those crazy gadgets. Since it’s a James movie, you can expect enhanced action, including criminal violence, criminal sequences, and lots of dirty mind tricks. The movie is also composed of some of the most superb casino scenes in the history of films. Cherished by James Bond followers worldwide, Casino Royale is probably one of the best in the modern age of the franchise.

The highlight is the fight at Monte Carlo in the ultimate poker game. Unlike other James Bond movies whose kills are just one-liners, Craig tends to be bloody, intimate and devoid of glamor: The movie opens with the restroom murder, and in the latter half everything gets waterlogged, gore-soaked, and shredded.

Release date: 2006
Setting: Montenegro
Box office: 616.5 million
Major quotes: “I have no armor left. You’ve stripped it from me”

Vegas Vacation

While Vegas Vacation may not be in the same standard as other popular vacation films, it incorporates plenty of Sin City to the screen. The movie centers around Las Vegas and involves gambling as the key part of the story.

The story is basically about trying to have a family-friendly experience in Sin City. In this movie, there is no time to get to know each other on a personal level or even bond with the family as they’re already out there. Right at the beginning of the movie, it’s quite obvious that the screenwriter Elisa Bell was not sure about the storyline. This means the whole film lacks any feeling of warmth.

That aside, the greatest addition comes from Wallace Shawn, an antagonistic dealer who mistreats Clark throughout the vacation and Wayne Newton, who falls in love with Ellen. While the film is clearly meant to be an exaggeration, several things make it one of the best.

Like the previous installments, family love prevails in Vegas Vacation. Once they’ve been reinvigorated by their love for one another, they get behind the wheel of one of the newly won cars and head to the Windy City. Vegas Vacation is not a masterpiece or even what you’ll consider good, but one thing is for sure, it’s something you’ll treasure especially if you are watching it for the first time.
If you are a movie enthusiast, Vegas Vacation will definitely take you back to your childhood days.

Currently, the movie is available to stream on HBO and you can also stream it on several services, including Apple TV, YouTube, and Vudu.
Release date: 1997
Setting: Las Vegas
Box office: $36 million
Major quotes: “Eddie this place is great. They don’t have any of these games at the Mirage.”


Released in 1995, Casino is a timeless classic movie based on real-life mobsters Tony “The Ant” Spilotro and Frank Rosenthal. Since they love cash and casinos offer a great source of cash, they head up to Las Vegas casinos. While De Niro ensures the money keeps coming, Nicky (Pesci) is slowly getting out of control with violence, break-ins, and murders starting to take place.

If you are like mobsters and gambling movies, the casino is something you’ll love. Wild, colorful and bloody, this movie is, for many, one of the best casino films out there. Based on a non-fictional book, it depicts Las Vegas as a place dominated by gangsters. The film starts with Rothstein’s car blowing up before moving to a series of events that leads to the moment.

The movie also shows how Rothstein stole from restaurants, table games, gift shops, and slot machines from the casino he managed. One of the most famous of all casino movies, it’s quite gruesome in some places thus not for the fainthearted. While there is no pool hustling, tense poker hands,odds-fixing or true love story, it’s still considered one of the best Vegas movies.

It’s actually a tale of deception, greed, money, power and murder. Action-packed, you can easily forget that gambling is not the main theme of the film.
Release date: 1995
Setting: Las Vegas
Box office: $116 million
Major quotes: “I was a hell of a handicapper, I’ll tell you that”


21 is a modern classic movie based on a true story. Set before online gambling came, the movie revolves around counting cards. In the movie, Campbell, a clever student struggling with fees, is enrolled by professor Rosa and immediately joins other students to plan to rob Vegas casinos over weekends.
But since gambling is something else altogether, what happens next is a fast-paced hedonism, trickery, and betrayal. The storyline features Kevin Spacey, who educates the students on how to play a winning Blackjack strategy.

The film is based on real events from the best-selling book Bringing Down the House. Because winning money from the casinos isn’t easy, the students face lots of obstacles such as group fighting, losing fights, being banned and all pitfalls that can come with being young and having access to easy money.
21 is a decent movie that will definitely please any regular moviegoer. Engaging and interesting, it features enough humor and stock characters that will amuse anyone watching it for the first time. While there’s not a lot to it beneath the surface, the movie is very interesting.

Overall, 21 is a fun movie starring a great cast such as Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, and Kate Bosworth.
Release date: 2008
Setting: Las Vegas, Massachusetts
Box office: $160 million
Major quotes: “This is a real-world involving first-class money-making business”


Croupier is a neo-noir, crime movie which was released in June 1998. Starring Nick Reding, Clive Owen, and Nicholas Ball, the movie is about Jack, who wants to make easy money. Due to this, he is caught up in casino life and very soon, his relationship with his girlfriend quickly deteriorates. He also violates many rules in casinos such as pulling off an inside job and fraternizing with his colleagues.

An intelligent and well-researched film, Croupier basically focuses on telling the story of the rough and unpredictable world of gambling. Compared to others, the film steers clear from the lavish lifestyle of Vegas casinos by giving you a completely different story. It basically takes an inside look at the day-to-day life of a dealer. To get inspiration from the book he is working on, he meets regular players and several other interesting people.

Like other casino films, robbery is part of the plot. This is a great movie from the other side of the blackjack table.
Release date: 1998
Setting: South Africa
Box office: $7 million
Major quotes: “You have to make a choice in life”

Wrap Up

If you are looking to fully immerse yourself in casino movies, these are the best options. Delivering more than a documentary, whether you’re a gambler or a non-gambler, you’ll get the actual feel of what’s happening in casinos. They can even make you interested in the gambling and casino world. Once you have some popcorn and a cold drink, you can fully immerse yourself and enjoy the world of casinos.