Poker In The Silver Screen: Poker Movies And Movie Scenes You Should See
Poker has been a popular game for centuries, and it is no surprise that it has made its way onto the silver screen. Aside from its popularity and long history, the game and its players are widely regarded as cool, making it a good theme. Heck, even just one poker scene is already solid if done right. Here are a few movies that are either about poker or have one scene that features the game:
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
The Cincinnati Kid is a classic poker movie starring Steve McQueen as The Kid, a young gambler who wants to take on the best player in the world, Lancey Howard (played by Edward G. Robinson). The movie is full of great poker scenes and has become a cult classic among poker players.
But before it attained cult classic status, it was at first regarded as a mere The Hustlers knockoff, except that it’s about poker instead of pool. Thankfully, it managed to get the recognition it deserves. It may have taken decades, but hey, better late than never.
Rounders is a modern poker classic starring Matt Damon as Mike, a talented poker player who gets caught up in high-stakes gambling. The movie also stars Edward Norton as Worm, Mike’s friend, and fellow gambler. For many poker players, Rounders is why they started playing the game. It’s practically their Top Gun.
If you want to be like Mike, sign up at GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. With many concurrent players, you’re sure to find a game anytime, making it the perfect place to sharpen your online poker skills.
The Sting (1973)
The Sting is a classic caper movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two con men who team up to take down a mob boss. The movie features an iconic poker scene in which the two main characters fleece a group of mobsters out of their money.
Photo by Pixabay
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale is the second most recent entry on this list and is also the only one based on a James Bond novel. The movie stars Daniel Craig as James Bond, who must defeat Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelsen), a terrorist financier, in a high-stakes poker game. The scene where Bond and Le Chiffre were at the poker table was a very tense one. It has since become a popular meme on social media, so you’ve probably already seen it despite not knowing where it’s from.
All this poker talk aside, this movie is arguably one of the best Bond movies, making it a must-watch for any fan of the franchise.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Ocean’s Eleven is a heist movie starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon as a group of criminals who plan to rob three casinos in Las Vegas. The film features a scene where Rusty Ryan, played by Brad Pitt, explains a few poker basics: betting, poker hands, and many other things. However, this is a heist movie, not a gambling movie, so the highlight is the Ocean’s crews’ talent when taking what isn’t theirs.
Lucky You (2007)
Lucky You is a drama starring Eric Bana as Huck Cheever, a talented but unlucky poker player who falls in love with a singer (played by Drew Barrymore). The movie features some great poker scenes and also stars Robert Duvall as L.C. Cheever, Huck’s father, and a famous poker player.
Maverick is a comedy western starring Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick, a con artist and gambler who enters a poker tournament in an attempt to win the money he needs to pay off his debts. The movie also features Jodie Foster as Annabelle Bransford, a con artist and love interest for Maverick.
Molly’s Game (2017)
Molly’s Game is a drama based on the true story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), a former Olympic skier who becomes the target of an FBI investigation after she runs high-stakes poker games.
The movie is a must-watch for any fan of true crime stories or poker. It’s also a must-watch for fans of director Aaron Sorkin, who also directed A Few Good Men and The Social Network.
Hard Eight (1996)
Hard Eight is a crime drama starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Sydney, a professional gambler who takes a young man, played by John C. Reilly, as his disciple. Among the cast is Gwyneth Paltrow playing Clementine, Sydney’s love interest.
The Cooler (2003)
The Cooler is a drama starring William H. Macy as Bernie Lootz, a man who is cursed with bad luck and works as a “cooler” at a casino in Las Vegas. It stars Alec Baldwin as Shelly Kaplow, the casino owner.
What makes The Cooler interesting is that it’s not a major Hollywood studio project. Instead, it’s an independent production on which a few Hollywood stars have joined. Back then, indie movies weren’t that hyped yet, making The Cooler’s success remarkable.
Photo by Unsplash
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a crime comedy starring Jason Statham as Eddie, a man who must pay off a debt to a ruthless gangster (played by Vinnie Jones) after losing to them in a game of poker. It also stars The Police vocalist Sting as one of the members of Eddie’s poker group.
The movie was popular enough to inspire people to play poker back in the early 2000s. And ironically, the poker scene wasn’t included in the initial overseas release. This, however, was corrected in its 2001 debut in America.
Play Poker Like In The Movies
Poker has been featured in many great movies over the years and these are just a few of our favorites. Surely, there will be more poker movies and scenes in the future as the popularity of the game continues to endure. So, what are your favorite poker movies? Let us know in the comments below!