Best Casino Movies of All Time

It’s no secret that Las Vegas is one of the most well known and most visited places in America. Per Statisca.com, Vegas is the second most famous gambling hub in the world (#1 is Macau, China) and had over 43 million visitors in 2016. Even Hollywood has a fascination with the excitement that is Las Vegas and has produced hundreds of movies centered around Vegas and its casinos over the years. Some have been blockbuster hits while others are less noticed.

Whether you like the glitz and glamour of Vegas and the excitement of winning the jackpot, or the underbelly side of Vegas with the thrill of high stakes gambling where the bad guy gets beat at the poker table, there is a casino movie out there for everyone. Let’s look, in no particular order, at 5 of the best casino-based movies of all time.

Ocean’s Eleven

Filmed in 2011, this remake of the 1960’s rat pack film tells the story of a group of 12 men who come together to attempt to pull off a $150 million heist. It features three of Vegas’ most prominent hotels; MGM Grand, Bellagio, and the Mirage. Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon (among others), this movie greatly reflects the thrilling glitz and glamour that is what Vegas is all about.

Casino

Following the success of Goodfellas, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro team up again to star in this 1999 movie telling the story of how the mob built Las Vegas. Casino shows the darker side of Vegas, with one man trying to be a respectable businessman while the other is overcome with greed and power. This movie is based off true events, making it even more exciting to watch.

National Lampoons Vegas Vacation

Filmed in 1997 and starring Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold) and Beverly DiAngelo (Ellen Griswold), this movie is the 4th in the Lampoon Vacation Franchise. Watch as Clark takes his family to a vacation in Vegas and all the chaos that ensues. From a mishap at the hoover dam, to Ellen being swooned by non other than Wayne Newton, to Clark visiting the betting tables and blowing all his money, this classic Chevy Chase film is a must-see.

The Hangover

Following a crazy night at a bachelor party, three groomsmen wake up hungover only to discover the groom is missing. In addition to their missing friend they also discover an abandoned baby in their hotel closet, a tiger in their bathroom, and a gangster demanding they return the bag of cash they stole from him. Since they have no recollection of any events that took place the night before, they embark on an adventure across the city of Las Vegas (baby in tow) to piece together the night and to find the missing groom. It’s hard to not love the hilarious debauchery that goes on in this movie.

Rain Man

This classic film was directed by Robert Ebert and filmed in 1988. Although the entire premise of this movie does not take place in a casino, one of the most memorable parts of the movie does. Tom Cruise plays Charlie, the younger brother of an autistic man named Raymond. Together, after Charlie kidnaps Ray from a mental facility, they embark on a cross country adventure that takes them to the memorable gambling scene that changes their lives. This feel-good movie is about overcoming limitations and loving others as they are.

While Hollywood continues to produce some great movies about casinos and viewers continue to watch them, it will be hard to top these movies. But let’s hope they keep them coming, because everyone loves a good casino movie! Vegas, anyone?

  

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