Poker has always marked a space and pulled the interest of the audience exponentially as the decades go by. The skill game didn’t fail to cover the entertainment segment as well and has admirably caught movie producers’ interest around the globe; and consequently, delivered some of the best poker movies you could ask for from the world of entertainment.
There are numerous poker movies that have been made depicting this exceptional game of skill and deception and the stories spinning around it. So, here’s a thoughtfully curated bunch of the best poker movies for poker enthusiasts who would most likely admire and identify with and have a good time.
In the world of high-stakes Poker, Rounders movie narrates a story of passion, risk and the extreme price of friendship. The term ‘rounder’ in this context, refers to a person traveling around from city to city seeking high-stakes cash games.
A 1998 American drama, Rounders gives a glimpse into the underground world of high-stakes Poker. Directed by John Dahl, it stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton. The film follows two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing Poker to pay off a huge debt.
The film opened with mixed reviews and earned modestly at the box office. However, with the growing popularity of Texas Hold’em and other variants of the game over the years, the film went on to become a cult hit.
High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
The film is based on a true story about Stuey Ungar (Michael Imperioli) who grows up from being a teenage card prodigy to becoming a world-renowned gambling superstar. Stuey is victorious and enjoys a high-profile poker career, however, with success comes a troubling lifestyle of addiction and excess. Vincent (Michael Nouri), a gangster with a family connection, offers a second chance in the form of a Las Vegas rummy competition. The film opened to mixed reviews and was a great hit.
The 2006 movie featured Daniel Craig’s debut as the super-efficient secret agent, James Bond. Casino Royale is set at the beginning of Bond’s career as Agent 007 just as he is earning his license to kill. The bond must defeat Le Chiffre, in a high stakes Poker game in order to stop his business from financing terrorists. One of the most thrilling poker movies, the stellar Bond flick earned almost $600 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing James Bond film until the release of Skyfall in 2012.
Shade is a 2003 neo-noir crime drama set in the world of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles. Featuring a rich cast that includes Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Roger Guenveur Smith, Melanie Griffith and Sylvester Stallone; the tale unfolds with a group of hustlers trying to collect the resources needed as they plan one last job to con a legendary cardsharp which goes horribly wrong. Shade was open for only five weeks in six theatres, and it grossed $459,098 in worldwide ticket sales.
Based on the 1950s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins and directed by Richard Donner; Maverick is a 1994 American Western comedy film, easily of the best poker movies for the aficionados. Mel Gibson stars as Bret Maverick, a Poker player who would rather con someone than fight them. He needs an additional three thousand dollars in order to enter a Winner Take All Poker game that begins in a few days. The film received a favourable critical reception for its light-hearted charm and was successful in earning over $180 million during its theatrical run.
The Cincinnati Kid
Despite being made in 1965, The Cincinnati Kid has stood well in these times as one of the best poker books and movies ever made. The movie depicts the era of the 1930’s gambling precisely and features some of the biggest stars of the time. It has been thoroughly praised for its pacing, acting, story and the climax.
The Cincinnati Kid tells the story of Eric The Kid Stoner, a young Poker player, who seeks to create his reputation as the best in the game. This quest leads him to challenge Lancey “The Man” Howard, an older player widely measured to be the best, culminating in a climactic final Poker hand between the two.
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