The 10 Best Casino Movies You Can Binge This Weekend

If you’ve got a few hours to kill this weekend and you’ve been dreaming of vacationing in Sin City then this list of top casino movies is for you. There’s nothing more glamorous, dangerous and exciting than the history of Las Vegas casinos and the lethal mob bosses that started them. The following movies perfectly capture the allure of Vegas casinos with their twinkling lights, stacks of cash, and all the bells and whistles.  

#1. Casino (1995)

This Martin Scorsese masterpiece is a perfect mix of the excitement of running a Vegas casino and the harsh reality of being a casino gangster. Robert De Niro plays a pitch-perfect Sam Rothstein, a casino operator whose mob-ties keep his books bloody. Extensive scenes of how casinos are approved, built, and how casino security works, will delight anyone who has ever wondered how it all operates. You’ll get an inside look of a powerfully connected man who tries to balance his civilized home life with the violence of a mob-run casino. 

#2. Ocean’s Eleven (Trilogy) 

Based on a 1960’s heist film of the same name, Steven Soderbergh mastered the re-make on this one with a slick fast-paced style and a stacked deck of A-list actors. The result was the highest-grossing casino movie to date at $1.7billion worldwide when it opened. The luxury, glitz, and glamour are perfectly replicated on screen, making you feel like you are right in the mix. Danny Ocean, fresh out of the clink, assembles a crew of the best thieves in the business to rob not one but three casinos. Since there is nothing on earth more complexly guarded than a Vegas casino, you know you’re in for a high-stakes treat. George Clooney plays Danny and other celebs include Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and more. 

#3. Casino Royale (2006)

The third adaptation of Ian Fleming’s wildly popular James Bond novel by the same name, Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig as everyone’s favorite super spy. Early in his 007 career, Bond is tasked with bankrupting a terrorist in a high-stakes poker game in Las Vegas. Of course, there are plenty of beautiful women, expensive cars and things that go boom, throughout the movie. 

#4. The Hangover 

Vegas isn’t all violence and gambling though, people from all over the world come to the strip to party it up for special occasions, like birthdays, weddings, and bachelor parties. A rag-tag group of friends embark on a Vegas adventure two days before their friend Doug’s wedding and lose the groom, along with their memories. Now it’s up to this wolf pack to retrace their steps through Vegas to find him in time for the wedding and they encounter a mountain of hilarious obstacles along the way while also perfectly showcasing beautiful Vegas casinos and hotels.  

#5. Swingers

Another cult-classic casino comedy, Swingers, which still rocks 20 years later, was written by directing legend Jon Favreau who also helps star in the film along with Vince Vaughn. In the movie, Favreau plays a NY transplant who is trying to get acclimated in LA when his girlfriend dumps him. His pal Trent (Vaughn) who is a self-proclaimed ladies man tries to help his buddy out with a trip to Vegas. It’s a fun romp of a movie that includes lots of cool Vegas casino scenes. 

#6. Leaving Las Vegas

Showing a darker side of the city of lights, Leaving Las Vegas is a stark look at people struggling on the stress of Las Vegas. Nicolas Cage plays an alcoholic screenwriter who falls in love with a prostitute. Their quirky relationship is threatened by his self-destructive tendencies as they stumble around the strip night after night. The movie was acclaimed by fans and critics alike.

#7. Rounders

Rounders takes us on a tour of the casinos and underground card games around the country as an honest law school student who happens to be great at poker tries desperately to help get his childhood friend out of his dangerous gambling debt. This movie shows the dark side of gambling when the allure and excitement can lead to addiction. Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich all expertly play their roles in this highly emotional drama.  

#8. Bugsy

This thrilling tale of how the iconic gambling haven was developed stars Warren Beatty, as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, one of the most notorious mobsters in history. Bugsy moves from New York to California to help develop Las Vegas with booze and gambling. This historical drama is a period piece you can’t miss if you love the rich history of Vegas casinos. The cast is incredible too with Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, and Elliott Gould. Many of these actors are casino and mobster movie regulars.  

#9. Rain Man

While the whole movie doesn’t take place in a casino, it contains one of the most classic Vegas scenes of all time. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star as unlikely brothers who take a road trip together after their father’s death. Hoffman’s character is an autistic man who has superior math skills that his brother hopes to use for counting cards in Vegas. Cruise and Hoffman riding down an escalator in their matching suites is one of the most recognizable movie scenes ever created. 

#10. The Gambler

Going way back to the 1970s, James Caan darkly portrays the horrors of gambling addiction with his obsession with high-stakes card games. There is plenty of old-school casino scenery to keep history buffs happy. The movie delivers on the highs and lows of winning big and losing big at a Vegas casino. 

Casinos attract thrill-seekers from all over the world and it’s no wonder we find them so appealing. “Casino have a way of making you feel like you’re about to become something very special, and if they don’t, then that casino isn’t doing its job,” says Mike Tan of Online Casino Gems. One thing is for sure, these movies will help convince you it’s time for a casino vacation.