On the big screen, casinos are the backdrop for heists, personal journeys, glamorous nights, complex relationships and much more. From star-studded casts to award-winning stories, casino movies have it all. If you’re looking for the best movies about casinos to get ready for the slots and games, we’ve got you covered.
What Are the Best Movies About Casinos?
The top casino movies range from moody noire films to action-packed heists, so you’re certain to find something you like. With that said, here’s our list of the top 10 casino movies.
1. Croupier (1998)
We’ll kick things off with “Croupier,” an intriguing movie starring Clive Owen as Jack Manfred, an aspiring, down-on-his-luck writer. Manfred takes a job as a croupier, similar to a dealer, to inspire his writing. He goes against the casino’s code of conduct and gets wrapped up in a risky heist.
This movie takes a deep dive into the psyche of this cold character for a moody, complex story. It got overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, nabbing a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 79% audience score.
2. California Split (1974)
This classic dramedy often tops the list of the best casino movies, offering a stellar performance from Elliot Gould, who plays a casual gambler. He and his seasoned friend, played by George Segal, head on a gambling streak to win big. They have their ups and downs as they take on the betting world in this Robert Altman film.
“California Split” was well-received by critics and casual viewers alike, with an 87% rating from critics and 83% from audiences.
3. Molly’s Game (2017)
Based on a true story, “Molly’s Game” has a fantastic cast and a captivating script. Jessica Chastain plays Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who runs an exclusive poker game for the wealthy and famous. One night, she gets arrested by the FBI and wrapped up in a high-stakes investigation into her players, some of whom are members of the Russian mob.
Chastain and director Aaron Sorkin were nominated for several big awards for “Molly’s Game,” including an Oscar, a BAFTA and two Golden Globes. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a great reception, too. It got an 82% critic score and an 84% audience score. Other big stars in this movie include Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Jeremy Strong.
4. Rain Man (1988)
“Rain Man” was a massive hit, earning over $354 million worldwide at the box office. A selfish, debt-laden Los Angeles car salesman, played by Tom Cruise, learns that his wealthy father left millions to someone else in a trust fund. He suspects his newly discovered older brother, who has autism and lives in a mental institution. Cruise’s character breaks his brother out and uses his savant-level math skills to win big in Las Vegas.
While the casino isn’t the main theme of this movie, it still deserves a place on our list of top casino movies. It offers a feel-good watch and some exceptional performances. It took home four Oscars, including Best Picture. Unsurprisingly, critics and audiences loved it, too. “Rain Man” earned an 89% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 90% from audiences, and it grossed $171.2 million in the U.S.
5. Casino (1995)
This classic film from Martin Scorsese features an enticing duo in Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci. It’s an epic drama that shows us two sides of Las Vegas. We get to see the glitz and glam, as well as a cruel, seedy underside that’s packed with mobsters. Based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, “Casino” offers a thrilling crime drama that’s sure to draw you in.
As one of the best casino movies out there, “Casino” got several nominations for Oscars and Golden Globes. Audiences seemed to like it even more than critics. It earned a 79% rating from critics and a whopping 93% from audience members on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Uncut Gems (2019)
In a unique dramatic role for Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems” has him starring as a slick New York jeweler with a gambling addiction. When he comes across a rare, expensive opal that should pay off his debts, the protagonist gets involved in some dicey deals. Drama ensues and involves the mafia and a big casino showdown.
Critics loved “Uncut Gems,” giving it a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences only gave it a 52%. This thriller-comedy film grossed $50 million at the U.S. box office.
7. Casino Royale (2006)
If you put all of the James Bond films in order of best to worst received, “Casino Royale” would come in at No. 4, according to Rotten Tomatoes. This beloved franchise gave us a mature, reinvented Bond with the introduction of Daniel Craig and his excellent poker face. He goes up against Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Le Chiffre, a formidable player who finances terrorist organizations. It’s easily one of the top casino movies you could watch, packed with action and thrills.
“Casino Royale” raked in $167 million at the U.S. box office and has a 94% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences love it, too, giving it a 90%.
8. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
“The Cincinnati Kid” is an oldie but a goodie. It’s a black-and-white film starring Steve McQueen as an up-and-coming poker player making a name for himself during the Great Depression. He eventually comes up against the best in the game, Lancey Howard, and the threat of a fixed game. It’s a dramatic journey through the era’s gambling scene.
This movie holds up well, with an 86% rating from critics and a 78% from audiences.
9. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
While “Ocean’s Eleven” isn’t a gambling movie, it is a casino movie. In this action-packed heist film, Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, gets a skilled group together to rob the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. Other stars include Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon. The movie offers plenty of excitement and drama as one of the top casino heist movies.
“Ocean’s Eleven” grossed $183.4 in the U.S. and had a great reception, with an 83% rating from critics and 80% from audiences.
10. Mississippi Grind (2015)
In this modern homage to “California Split,” a gambling addict named Gerry, played by Ben Mendelsohn, brings his new friend Curtis, played by Ryan Reynolds, on a gambling road trip. They head to New Orleans for a high-stakes game.
“Mississippi Grind” is a bit divisive, earning a 91% rating from critics and just 55% from audiences. You’ll have to watch for yourself to decide where it stands.
Visit Tachi Palace Casino Resort and See the Real Deal
While these films delve into lavish worlds with gambling and casinos, nothing beats the real thing. At Tachi Palace, you can get the full casino experience from the comfort of the West Coast. Find us in Lemoore, CA, not far from Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles and other southern California cities. Try your luck at slots, bingo and over 21 table games in our high-energy casino.
Learn more about everything you can do at the casino, and plan your trip today!