Poker and film are a match made in heaven, as evidenced by the fact that some of the best films of all time — be they thrillers, action films, or comedies — feature scenes where characters play poker. While films such as Molly’s Game (2017) and Rounders (1998) focus specifically on the ups and downs of the high-stakes poker world, many others use poker to create interesting scenes for characters while still moving the film’s plot forward.
Because of poker’s naturally thrilling and social nature, it can easily create drama, suspense, or even humor in a film. But what else is it about poker that is so utterly entertaining, immersive, and rewarding? We know when we’re given the chance, we can’t keep ourselves away from online Agen IDN Poker. To help us stay on top of our game, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best poker movies in cinematic history.
We begin our exploration with Mississippi Grind, an independent featuring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn described as cool and surprisingly well-crafted entertainment. Both characters enjoy the gambling scene tremendously, but Curtis (Reynolds) is the charismatic chap with plenty of swagger and ability at the casino.
Together with Jerry (Mendelsohn), he sets off for a major poker tournament in New Orleans. The on-screen chemistry between the protagonists is extraordinary, and the gambling games are filled with flair. The movie is an entertaining ensemble, an underrated comedy-drama caper that explores the human desire for hedonism.
Mississippi Grind is festooned with wild entertainment, perilous exploits, and some incredibly important life lessons. Its melancholy and mania are fused together in a sizzling-hot entertainment masterpiece for the avid poker player.
Win it All
Here’s a movie bursting with comedic entertainment value. Win it All is not necessarily a poker movie per se, but it most definitely is a gambling movie, with enough casino-related references to whet the appetite of aspiring poker players. If you enjoy the thrill of winning big at the tables, Win it All does a fine job of getting you excited for the gambling activity to follow.
The story is a little cheesy, but definitely captivating. Eddie Garrett (Jake Johnson) is asked to hold onto a duffel bag. The owner, his buddy, is heading off to prison and will give him $10,000 for the bag upon his release. Eddie is asked not to open the bag, but finds it impossibly difficult not to sneak a peek inside.
Upon learning the bag is filled with cash, Eddie goes off the rails and ends up in debt. He must recover this cash before his buddy returns, and that’s when the story really gets going. This is premium-grade entertainment for fans of lighthearted comedy and it’s certainly a step in the right direction for budding poker players.
The 2006 James Bond movie, Casino Royale, was more than just Daniel Craig’s premiere as the iconic spy, it also refreshed the Bond franchise as a whole. The original Casino Royale book by Ian Fleming has Bond and the villain Le Chiffre’s gamble over baccarat, a game that is based more on luck than strategy.
2006’s Casino Royale switched the game to poker, as Texas Hold’em had become increasingly popular. The swap amped up the excitement of the gambling scenes and set up Bond as a strategic and observant card shark.
Casino Royale takes place early in Bond’s career, as he has just received his “license to kill” from M16, the British Secret Intelligence Service. In Madagascar, Bond uncovers a link to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a villain who finances terrorist organizations. When M16 learns that Le Chiffre plans to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, they send Bond to play at the Casino Royale in Montenegro with hopes he can topple Le Chiffre’s organization.
Casino Tycoon & Casino Tycoon 2
Here’s a pair of aces for poker enthusiasts. These Hong Kong tales are packed with action, drama, and suspense, telling the story of a Hong Kong refugee who becomes a casino tycoon. Also known as Gambling City Magnate, these movies were a big hit in Asia back in the late 1990s.
The film stars Andy Lau as Benny Ho Hsin and Joey Wang as Vivian Chang Lo-Erh. This casino-inspired film was written by Wong Jing and was inspired by legendary characters like Yip Hon, Henry Fok, and Stanley Ho.
The story takes place in Macau after the Japanese invasion during World War II. For poker players, there’s plenty of inspiration to take out of these films, and if nothing else, you get to see a pair of pocket rockets (aces) in action. Casino Tycoon and Casino Tycoon 2 reeled in tens of millions of Hong Kong dollars, and many action fans regard these foreign films as winners.
The poker boom that made Casino Royale into a poker movie instead of a baccarat movie also elevated Rounders into a cult classic. The 1998 casino noir drama, Rounders, starring Edward Norton and Matt Damon didn’t get the appreciation it deserved until poker was all the rage.
Rounders is titled after the slang term for a person traveling around from city to city seeking high-stakes card games, a “rounder”. When gifted poker player and law student Mike McDermott (Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich), his girlfriend, Jo (Gretchen Mol), makes him promise to quit gambling.
McDermott agrees until his old friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton), is released from prison. Worm needs to play off old debt and enlists Mike to help. When Mike finds out the debt is owed to Teddy and he makes one last-ditch effort to beat the Russian.
Bringing the poker trope all the way back to the Old West, 1994’s Maverick is based on the 1950’s television show of the same name. The television show created the stereotypical poker player, one who would rather con than fight, which is still the most used personification of the game’s players.
Maverick’s title character, played by Mel Gibson, hopes to join a poker contest with a jaw-dropping payout that will differentiate him as the best poker player of his time. However, the game requires a $25,000 entrance fee of which Maverick is $3,000 short.
To come up with the money, Maverick scams hopeful contestants, the young con artist Annabelle (Jodie Foster) and cranky gambler Angel (Alfred Molina) in a preliminary card game to win the money he needs, making enemies of both players. Full of twists, turns, all-star cameos and sleights of hand, Maverick brings a bunch of fun to the poker film genre.
A little less commercially known, but revered by critics, Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game is the true story of Molly Bloom, the beautiful, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade. Based on Bloom’s memoir: Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, the film stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom.
After Molly experiences a career-ending injury in the 2002 Olympic qualifiers, she decides to spend a year in Los Angeles before going to law school. Molly takes an office manager job which includes running her boss, Dean’s (Jeremy Strong) underground poker ring. Molly quickly learns the ropes, and begins her own underground poker empire, using the contacts she gained from her work with Dean.
Molly’s players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. As her client list grows, Molly becomes increasingly addicted to drugs and winds up in over her head, eventually raided by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons.