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Top 50 Best Poker Movies To Watch In 2022

AishwaryaAishwarya-Posted July 3, 2022


Top 50 Best Poker Movies!

 

Poker is synonymous with gambling, betting, illegal or immoral behavior, etc. The very mention of poker or gambling conjures up images of men and women with loads of cash, betting on the life and limb of others.

 

It smells of all things wrong. It was a game that was limited to the seedy dark rooms where gentlemen or ladies never wandered.

 

But, in recent years, poker has gained a reputation for being a high-stakes game for risk-takers and smart players.

 

It is a quick way to make money, and the level of skill and danger assigned to poker players make them legendary.

 

Whether you view the game as a sin, as a quick money maker, or as a recreational game, no one can ignore watching a good game.

 

The tense moves and watching money exchange hands are always exciting. So, here are a few poker movies that capture all the aspects of a good game, the danger, the loss, the victory, and all.

 

 

50. Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)

 

Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)

 

Honeymoon in Vegas is a film set in the land of gambling, casinos, and all things unsavory. The film is a romantic comedy, but the actual plot kicks off after a rigged poker game.

 

What follows after the poker game is filled with situational comedy. The antagonist rigs the poker game so that the hero is forced to borrow a large sum of money.

 

In exchange for the debt, the villain demands a weekend with the fiance of the hero. What happens during the weekend is the movie story.

 

The film has a good comedy track and recovered the money invested. It is a fun movie about the shady business of gambling.

 

 

49. Guns, Girls and Gambling (2012)

 

Guns, Girls and Gambling (2012)

 

Guns, Girls, and Gambling is a complex game of cat and mouse where a group of Elvis impersonators plays a game of poker as a front to steal a priceless Indian artifact.

 

The film is an action thriller with murder and mystery that does not clear up till the end. The film has an impressive cast of Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, Powers Boothe, Dane Cook, etc.

 

However, it only earned approximately $ 150,000 worldwide. The film is forgettable for the plot, but the cast makes the film watchable at least once.

 

 

48. Cold Deck (2015)

 

Cold Deck (2015)

 

Cold Deck is a Canadian film about the dark and seedy world of gambling. The film highlights how addictive gambling is and how low a gambler falls during his listing streak.

 

Bobby and Ben are friends who are on a losing streak. The gambling boss Chips abuses their addiction to encourage them to continue losing.

 

He even proposes a dangerous scheme to defraud another high-stakes gambler. The scheme costs have Ben his life, and Bobby realized his mistake.

 

What happens next is a tense poker match to even out the score. The film is worth a watch, although it is not a slick Hollywood crime flick.

 

 

47. Grinders (2011)

 

Grinders (2011)

 

Grinders is a documentary film about the life of Matt Gallagher. While most films about gambling revolve around people addicted to gambling or crime bosses, it is not the same with Grinders.

 

Gallagher is an out-of-work filmmaker, and he needs finances. He has a wife and a new child on the way, so his unemployment is detrimental.

 

This makes Matt Gallagher desperate, and he turns to illegal poker nights to earn fast money. But he soon realizes that the risk in a poker game is not just about the game.

 

As the influence of his poker games spreads to every aspect of his life and so does the risk of losing life or limb.

 

 

46. Vegas Vacation (1997)

 

Vegas Vacation (1997)

 

Vegas Vacation is the fourth installment of the film series National Lampoon’s Vacation. This film does not carry the moniker of National Lampoon’s Vacation, yet the storyline continues from where it stopped in the third installment.

 

The Griswold family plans to take a vacation with the bonus money that Chris earns, and they end up in Vegas.

 

As can be expected, Chris gambles away all the family savings while Rusty wins four cars at another slot machine.

 

Vegas Vacation is a comedy vacation film that revolves around the excesses, trappings, joys, and sorrows of life in Las Vegas.

 

 

45. Havana (1990)

 

Havana (1990)

 

Havana is a drama set against the backdrop of the Cuban revolution. A gambler follows his lady love into Havana on the pretext of a poker match.

 

While there, he gets heartbroken and inadvertently aids the Cuban revolutionaries in their fight. Robert Redford plays the Gambler Jack Weil, who gambles at the Havana casino as a pastime.

 

However, for the love of Bobby, played by Lena Olin, he gambles away his life’s savings and ensures the safety of her family.

 

The film has a bittersweet ending, but it only proves that Weil's gambles in life have resulted in heartache.

 

 

44. Luna's Game (2001)

 

Luna's Game (2001)

 

Luna’s Game is a Spanish film about the vengeance of a daughter. Luna is a poker player who has made a living with her poker skills.

 

She finds out the ones who have killed her father and sets out to take revenge on them through a poker game.

 

The film captures the seedy, dark, and sinful life of a gambler who does whatever it takes to get money and goes to any length to attain his goals.

 

Luna, being a woman, breaks into this world and plots her vengeance, and gets away.

 

 

43. Killing Them Softly (2012)

 

Killing Them Softly (2012)

 

Killing Them Softly is a crime film based on the novel Cogan’s Trade by George V Higgins. The film opens with a mob-protected gambling den that runs illegal poker nights.

 

The manager of this den is another crooked man who steals from the business by hoodwinking the mob. Three small-time thieves plan to use the crooked manager as an excuse and steal from the mob during one of their poker matches.

 

While the thieves manage to get away with the loot, the mob figures out that they were cheated and sends out hitmen to collect the dues and eliminate all threats.

 

The film has Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, etc. as the hitmen and thieves.

 

 

42. Two For The Money (2005)

 

Two For The Money (2005)

 

Two For The Money is not exactly a poker movie, but it is about the gambling and betting involved in sporting events.

 

The film explores the well-established world of betting in football matches. Brandon Lang is an ex-footballer who has a knack for picking winners.

 

Lang is discovered by Abrams, who runs a sports consulting operation, which successfully predicts winning matches during the season.

 

As the consultancy starts winning, they attract unsavory elements who don’t like to lose money. The greed, paranoia, and suspicion get the best of the operation, and everything falls apart.

 

 

41. Poker Night (2014)

 

Poker Night (2014)

 

Poker Night is not an outright poker film but a hostage escape film. A rookie police detective Stan is kidnapped by a psychopath and held hostage along with Amy, the daughter of another detective.

 

Stan has to rely on the insights that he gained from his superiors during an informal poker night. Stan's senior detectives had shared their wisdom on murder cases during the poker games, and this will help Stan and Amy figure out the kidnapper’s plan.

 

The film received an unfavorable review, yet it has a 5.39 approval rating on Metacritic.

 

 

40. The Card Counter (2021)

 

The Card Counter (2021)

 

The Card Counter is a film produced by Martin Scorsese. It explores the fallout of the war on terror in Afghanistan against the backdrop of the World Series of Poker.

 

An ex-serviceman, who is dishonorably discharged for his role in Abu Ghraib, becomes a poker player. He becomes a card counter who lives in guilt and paranoia.

 

He avoids any form of personal relationships, but when he gets a chance to help a past associate, he takes it.

 

The film has excellent performances from Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, and the cast. The reviews were average to good, and it received a rating of 7.8 from Metacritic.

 

 

39. Finder's Fee (2001)

 

Finder's Fee (2001)

 

Finder's Fee is a film about a poker game where the stakes are high, and the players get unwillingly sucked in.

 

The film has a thorough plot by Jeff Probst, and he received high praise for his screenplay. The film opens with a man finding a lost wallet.

 

He good-naturedly informs the owner of the wallet to collect it. However, problems start when the wallet contains a winning lottery ticket, and it gets dropped into the poker pot during a weekly poker match.

 

Knowing that the pot holds a winning ticket, the owner of the wallet has no other way out but to play the game and try his luck.

 

 

38. Mississippi Grind (2015)

 

Mississippi Grind (2015)

 

Mississippi Grind is the story of two gambling addicts as they travel across the southern states trying their luck.

 

Gerry is a middle-aged senior gambler who is out of luck and neck-deep in debt, and Curtis is a rookie gambler starting out.

 

Both the gambling addicts stumble their way around winning some and losing some bets. They try their luck at poker, horse races, Texas Holden, etc., but always end up losing in the end.

 

Gerry even sells his car and steals it from his office to fund his addiction. The film takes a grim look at gambling addicts and their life.

 

It was praised by critics for its plot realism and acting.

 

 

37. Card Stud  (1968)

 

Card Stud  (1968)

 

5 Card Stud is an old buddy system Western with two or more major actors playing the hero and the antihero. 5 card stud is a type of poker game, and this game becomes the central point of the plot.

 

In an inconspicuous casino, a group plays a poker game, where one of the players cheats. He is dragged out and lynched to death in frontier justice style.

 

One of the other players, Morgan,  tries desperately to stop the lynching mob but fails. Years later, Morgan realises that someone out there is taking revenge on the mob for the lynching, and he is next.

 

The film has fine performances from Robert Mitchum and Dean Martin.

 

 

36. Ocean's 11 (1960)

 

Ocean's 11 (1960)

 

Ocean's 11 is a heist movie set in Las Vegas where the team aims to steal from five different casinos on the night of a New Year party.

 

This film is the inspiration for the Steven Soderbergh film series of the same name. Ocean's 11 boasts of a star cast with five of the Rat pack, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

 

We also have Cesar Romeo, Angie Dickinson, Richard Conte, etc., playing supporting roles. The film is an exciting heist film set in the early days of Las Vegas and had enough star power to light up the Vegas strip.

 

 

35. Dark City (1950)

 

Dark City (1950)

 

Dark City was made in 1950, and it was one of the earliest films by Charleston Heston. The film is mystery suspense with strong performances from the cast.

 

The film has Heston playing a crooked gambler who cheats a man out of $5000. This drives him to suicide, and this triggers the conscience of the gambler.

 

When the dead man's brother starts tracking down the perpetrators, what will the gambler do? This is the crux of the film.

 

Heston himself felt the movie was nothing but a B-grade thriller, but it gave him his breakthrough.

 

 

34. Bugsy (1991)

 

Bugsy (1991)

 

Bugsy is an Oscar-nominated film and a biographical tale about the rise and romance of the mobster Bugsy Siegel and Virginia Hill.

 

The film is not an outright poker film but it deals with the underbelly of the world of mob-protected gambling, betting, and crime.

 

The film stars Warren Beatty as Bugsy and Annette Benning as Virginia Hill. The story is a romanticized version of the mob wars and power struggles.

 

 

33. Smart Money (1931)

 

Smart Money (1931)

 

Smart Money is a movie about gambling in the early days when cheating was rampant, and gambling was illegal.

 

The film was a success and was nominated for the 4th Academy Award in the Best Story category. The story is about a small-time barber, Nick, who runs an illegal gambling den.

 

Once he tastes success, he gets ambitious and confident in his skills and goes to the big city. Although he faces initial losses, he makes a comeback and starts to win big.

 

He makes Smart Money but cannot escape the long arms of the law.

 

 

32. The Cooler (2003)

 

The Cooler  (2003)

 

The Cooler is an award-nominated film with an Academy Award nomination for Alec Baldwin, two Golden Globe nominations, and two SAG nominations.

 

The film also won a Satellite Award for Maria Bello and a National Board of Review award for Baldwin.

 

The Cooler is an unlucky player who is sent to break the winning streak at a poker table. Shelly is an old-fashioned casino manager who employs Bernie as his cooler and prides his old-school ways of managing the casino.

 

The business also runs smoothly, but troubles begin when the cooler falls in Love. With love, the Cooler’s luck turns, and he starts winning.

 

Shelly desperately tries to bring back his bad luck, and this makes up the plot of the film.

 

 

31. Ocean's Thirteen (2007)

 

Ocean's Thirteen  (2007)

 

Ocean’s Thirteen is the third film in Steven Soderberg’s Ocean’s film series. Although Soderberg drew inspiration from the original Ocean’s 11, the story and plotlines have been built on and modernized.

 

In the third installment, Reuben Tishkoff invests in a casino in Las Vegas, but his partner swindles him and steals his ownership rights.

 

To avenge Tishkoff, Ocean brings the team back together and plots an elaborate scheme to sabotage the opening of the casino.

 

In the typical fashion of the Ocean's film series, the team makes an airtight military-style plan and successfully executes it.

 

He rigs the casino’s slot machines and poker tables causing large-scale losses and also usurps the food inspector who comes to grade the hotel standard.

 

 

30. The Color of Money (1986)

 

The Color of Money  (1986)

 

The Color of Money is a Martin Scorsese film and the sequel to the 1961 film The Hustler. The cast is made up of Paul Newman reprising his role as Eddie Felson, a pool hustler, and a stake horse.

 

The film revolves around the pool game of nine-ball. In this installment, Eddie Felson has retired from pool hustling, and he has become a liquor distributor in Chicago.

 

When he meets a young and upcoming pool hustler, Vincent, and his partner Carmen, Felson becomes embroiled in the game of pool hustling and betting.

 

What follows is an entertaining session of nine-ball with high stakes. Paul Newman won an Academy Award for his performance as Eddie Felson.

 

 

29. Owning Mahowny (2003)

 

Owning Mahowny  (2003)

 

Owning Mahowny is a Canadian film about gambling addiction. The lookout is based on a true story and stars big names like Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hurt, Minnie Driver, etc.

 

The film received generally positive reviews, and the critic, Roger Ebert, named the film the best movie of the year.

 

The story follows Dan Mahowny, a bank employee, as he abuses the trust of his manager to embezzle money from the bank to fund his gambling addiction.

 

The bank is unaware of the activities of Mahoney as he visits Atlantic City every week and spends large sums by gambling them away.

 

The police were able to uncover the scam accidentally while investigating a known bookie.

 

 

28. Croupier (1998)

 

Croupier (1998)

 

Croupier is a casino employee who assists and monitors the bets and gambling that take place during a game.

 

He ensures that nothing illegal happens at the table, so he is a target in case of any loss.

 

The film, Croupier, is about Jack Manfred, who is appointed to that job and slowly gets sucked into the seedy world of gambling, illegal betting, cheating, etc.

 

He inadvertently plays a part in a plot to cheat at a poker game. By the end of the movie, he realizes that he had been set up and used for the benefit of his father and another gambler.

 

The film garnered high praise, but it was disqualified from the Academy Award as the film was telecast on Dutch TV.

 

 

27. The Gambler (1974)

 

The Gambler (1974)

 

The Gambler is a highly acclaimed film written by James Toback. The film received a four-star rating from Roger Ebert for its well-paced, tight, and intriguing plot.

 

The performance of James Caan was also praised, and he received a Golden Globe nomination. The story is about an English professor who leads a double life.

 

On the face of it, he is well-loved by his family and students and has very friendly and cordial relations with all his associates.

 

On the flip side, he has a gambling addiction and is heavily in debt, and his bookie is threatening to take his life or limb.

 

The film showcases the deterioration of a respectable man. The film was remade in 2014, but no one could replicate the magic of James Caan’s performance.

 

 

26. House of Games (1987)

 

House of Games (1987)

 

House of Games is a brilliantly diabolical plot that was written and directed by David Mamet. This neo-noir crime thriller is a psychological thriller that keeps us riveted to our seats.

 

The film starts with a psychologist who stumbles into the world of conmen and gets fascinated by it. She decides to study them and write a book on them.

 

As she gets deeper into their world, she becomes emotionally connected with one of the conmen, only to realize that the whole thing was a con and she was the target from the start.

 

What happens next and how she reconciles with her experience form the rest of the story. The film is a must-watch.

 

 

25. Hard Eight (1996)

 

Hard Eight (1996)

 

Hard Eight is the directorial debut of Paul Thomas Anderson, and it is based on the short film Cigarettes & Coffee.

 

The film is a study of the life of a senior gambler who maintains a dignified face that hides the dirty truth and reality of hardened criminals.

 

The film follows Sydney, a senior gambler who takes a forlorn homeless young man and grooms him to become a decent gambler.

 

He even finds a young lady for him and gets them married. Sydney looks upon the young man as his son, and the young man reciprocates the sentiment.

 

Later, we see the real face of Sydney and realize that the dignified face was just a garb to hide the ugliness of his gambling life.

 

 

24. Atlantic City (1980)

 

Atlantic City (1980)

 

Atlantic City is an award-winning film about shallow affections, deep loyalty, and ever-shifting relations within the gambling world. Sally is a casino worker who dreams of being a blackjack dealer and trains hard to become one.

 

She dreams of going to Monte Carlo and settling there. However, before she can go, her messy past catches up with her and derails her plans.

 

At this junction, an aging small-time gangster steps in to help her out. Sally uses his affection for her and achieves her dream.

 

This hard-hitting film was nominated for five Academy Awards and won numerous other awards like BAFTAs, Golden Globes, etc.

 

 

23. A Big Hand For The Little Lady (1966)

 

A Big Hand For The Little Lady (1966)

 

A Big Hand For The Little Lady was released in the UK as Big Deal At Dodge City. The film is based on a TV play titled Big Deal At Laredo.

 

The film was praised for its intriguing plot and masterful performances from the cast. The movie starts with the buildup of a yearly high-stakes poker game between a group of wealthy men.

 

Next, we see a young family that stops by on their way to the next town to buy a farm.

 

The young father who is a gambler enters the poker game with all the family’s savings and a tense game ensues.

 

The climax is a surprise that is unexpected and entertaining. The audience loved the movie.

 

 

22. Bet Raise Fold (2013)

 

Bet Raise Fold (2013)

 

Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker is a documentary film about online poker games. The director, Ryan Firpo tracks a group of online poker players who started out when Internet poker was in its nascent stages and became multimillionaires.

 

The film studies the online poker industry that boomed in the early 2000s and created a generation of young poker professionals.

 

The film tracks the lives of three players, in particular, one is a young mother, another is a poker savant, and the third is a host at the World Poker Tour.

 

The film looks into the rise of illegal gambling in these online poker games and the crackdown by the US government, which led to the ban of online poker.

 

 

21. Uncut Gems (2019)

 

Uncut Gems (2019)

 

Uncut Gems is a tense and nerve-wracking movie about the world of gamblers, gambling debts, and loan sharks. The film received high critical acclaim for the story and direction by the Safdie brothers.

 

The acting of Adam Sandler in a rare serious role was highly praised. The story starts with an illegally mined black opal, which is smuggled into the USA by Howard Ratner.

 

He is a gambling addict and a jewelry store owner. Ratner is heavily in debt, and his brother-in-law is the loan shark who is threatening him.

 

The film has a realistic plot with strong performances and a nail-biting climax. The film is a must-watch film.

 

 

20. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is not strictly a poker film. However, the film is set in the home of gambling and poker, Las Vegas.

 

The story for the movie is adapted from Hunter S Thompson's novel of the same name. The film was a flop, but it rose to cult status over the years.

 

The story starts with a pair of reporters who go to Las Vegas to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race.

 

However, they make the mistake of stocking up drugs for their journey, and in their drug-induced hallucinations, the reporters do the weirdest antics and cause chaos.

 

The film became a cult classic with a large fan following to this day.

 

 

19. The Gambler (1974)

 

The Gambler (1974)

 

The Gambler is a highly acclaimed film written by James Toback. The film received a four-star rating from Roger Ebert for its well-paced, tight, and intriguing plot.

 

The performance of James Caan was also praised and he received a Golden Globe nomination. The story is about an English professor who leads a double life.

 

On the face of it, he is well-loved by his family and students, and he has very friendly and cordial relations with all his associates.

 

On the flip side, he has a gambling addiction and is heavily in debt, and his bookie is threatening to take his life or limb.

 

The film showcases the deterioration of a respectable man. The film was remade in 2014, but no one could replicate the magic of James Caan’s performance.

 

 

18. The Hustler (1961)

 

The Hustler (1961)

 

The Hustler is a legendary film about a pool hustler who dreams of making it big. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.

 

The Hustler is the first part of the story of Eddie Felson from The Color of Money. Fast Eddie Felson is a rookie pool hustler who wants to challenge Minnesota Fats, the biggest name in the pool.

 

He uses his talent and hustles his way into the major league professional pool players. The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes.

 

 

17. The Sting (1973)

 

The Sting (1973)

 

The Sting is a movie about two con men who have to escape the law and the mob bosses who are pursuing them.

 

The film starts out as a story about grifters, and the poker game is the set-up. Hooker pulls a con and steals $11000 from a courier, but the money belongs to a ruthless mob boss.

 

To escape the mob, Hooker escapes to Chicago to his old friend, who is also hiding from the FBI.

 

Both gather a team of con artists and build an illegal poker game to con the mob and escape the cops.

 

The film brought together Paul Newman and Robert Redford, even before Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

 

 

16. Casino (1995)

 

Casino (1995)

 

Casino is a nominated film made by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the novel Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi.

 

The film was nominated for Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe for Sharing Stone. The film starts with Sam Rothschild, a gambling expert handicapper.

 

He is sent to manage the casino in Las Vegas on behalf of the Chicago Outfit. The mob bosses are heavily involved in the operations and don't tolerate any form of dishonesty.

 

However, Sam realized that Las Vegas is changing him, his friendships, and even his relationship with his family. The film was highly acclaimed for its depiction of real-life casino managers and mob men.

 

 

15. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

 

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

 

Ocean's Eleven is a remake of the earliest version starring the Rat Pack. This Steven Soderbergh remake uses the same premise as the original but weaves its own plot, and ending the film was a highly successful comedy.

 

Billy Ocean is released from jail and meets up with his old associate Rusty. They both plan to steal from the three major casinos in Vegas that Terry Benedict owns.

 

They enlist the help of Reuben Tishkoff who hates Benedict. They soon make a team of ex-cons and associates to build an elaborate and perfect scheme to steal from The Bellagio, the Mirage, and MGM Grand.

 

 

14. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

 

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

 

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a British crime caper from Guy Ritchie. The film catapulted him to international acclaim and also introduced Jason Statham, who was a professional diver.

 

The film was an unexpected hit. Figure friends pool in all their savings and put it into a high-stakes poker game.

 

The game is rugged, and the friends end up losing £500000. They have one week to repay the poker boss, and in the meantime, their neighbors are a group of small-time thieves.

 

This gives them a plan to scan both parties and get away with the loot. The movie received a score of 66 on Metacritic, and it was highly praised by critics.

 

 

13. 21 (2008)

 

21 (2008)

 

21 is a film about the real-life card counting team called the MIT blackjack team. They were a group of math geniuses who counted cards at The MGM casino and made millions.

 

The film does take creative liberties and withhold key calculations, but it is based on the novel about the team.

 

The film starts with a brilliant MIT student who has a chance to attend Harvard medical school, but it's short on tuition money.

 

A corrupt Math professor uses his brilliant mind to count cards and brings him into the MIT blackjack team.

 

However, the team had a falling out with the professor, and he betrayed their identity to the casino security. The film has a suspenseful climb and a gripping narrative.

 

 

12. California Split (1974)

 

California Split (1974)

 

California Split has been called the greatest gambling movie ever made. It follows the events in the life of Bill Denny and Charlie Walters.

 

Both are gambling addicts, while Bill is a rookie addict, and Walters is a veteran who has experienced ups and downs.

 

Denny and Walters pawn all their belongings and immerse themselves in the gambler lifestyle moving from race tracks to casinos.

 

As a last-ditch, the friends pool all the money and go to Reno, where Denny has a winning streak.

 

Despite their big payday, Bill Denny grows disillusioned and opts out of gambling. Being a good friend, Walters sports him, and they part.

 

 

11. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

 

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

 

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is a biopic about the life, struggle, addictions, victories, and losses of Stu Ungar.

 

He was the greatest player of Texas Hold’em and Gin. He is one of the only two players to win the World Series of Poker Main Event three times.

 

He is the only person to win Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker three times. The film begins with Ungar in a motel room on his last day.

 

We see him retell his life to a stranger. Ungar was the son of a bookie and got an early start as a gin player.

 

Slowly, he graduated from Gin to Texas Hold’Em and poker. While his poker life was a hit, his personal life was in shambles.

 

He was addicted to cocaine, and his marriage had ended. At the end of the movie, in a poignant scene, we see Stu Ungar leave the motel room with the stranger to whom he narrated his life. It is indicated that the stranger was the grim reaper.

 

 

10. All In: The Poker Movie (2009)

 

All In: The Poker Movie (2009)

 

All In: The Poker Movie is a documentary that follows the popularity of poker in American culture. It follows the sharp rise in poker professionals and the online poker boom that took place in the 2000s.

 

We also get to listen from old and new poker professionals about the changing environment. The film highlights the impact of online poker games till there was a crackdown on Black Friday by the US government.

 

In the DVD extras, we are also provided with the insights of poker players into the government crackdown and the fallout.

 

The film is a serious study about the changing landscape in the Poker industry. It is a must-watch for viewers interested in the history of the game.

 

 

9. Lucky You (2007)

 

Lucky You (2007)

 

Lucky You is a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the World Series of Poker. The film is a remake of the Goerge Stevens film from 1970, titled The Only Game in Town.

 

It was, in turn, adapted from a Broadway play with the same name. Huck is a regular poker player in Vegas who has learned the game from his father.

 

He is estranged from his old man and holds a deep resentment for being abandoned. Although Huck is a good poker player, he has a reputation for being hasty, and hence, he cannot find a bookie to enter the World Series of Poker.

 

The film plot revolves around how Huck gets his entry ticket to the WSOP and also reconciles with his father while finding a girl for himself.

 

 

8. Deal (2008)

 

Deal (2008)

 

Deal is a poker movie for hardcore poker fans. The film showcases a simple story of a senior poker player who takes in a young rookie and teaches him the tricks of the trade.

 

He shows him all the tales and wisdom that he has gathered over the years with the intention of sending him to WSOP.

 

Burt Reynolds plays the senior gambler who trains the rookie hoping to split the winnings halfway. The film did not get the best reviews from critics as the plot is rich in poker games and thin on plot.

 

Yet, the film is worth the watch to get a feel of real poker games, with many veteran players having cameos in the film.

 

 

7. Shade (2003)

 

Shade (2003)

 

Shade is a crime thriller where a group of hustlers attempts to pull a sting at a poker game.

 

However, they are caught unawares by the mob enforcers who come there to collect their money. It becomes a suspenseful game of poker with twists at every turn.

 

The film's cast comprises Jamie Foxx, Gabriel Byrne, Thandiwe Newton, etc. They come up with masterful performances, especially during tense Poker games.

 

The plot has fights, drama, suspense, and thrills to keep everyone satisfied.

 

 

6. The Grand (2007)

 

The Grand (2007)

 

The Grand is a unique concept film that was made by Zak Penn and stars Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Dennis Farina, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Werner Herzog, etc.

 

The Grand is an improvisational comedy movie that is set during real poker games. The script of the film is not a defined plot but rather a general sketch of the characters.

 

The director gathered the actors and put them into actual poker games that were taking place. The actors improvised based on the character assigned to them and played the part.

 

The poker games are real, and the script is impromptu. This makes the film all the more fun and entertaining.

 

 

5. Casino Royale (2006)

 

Casino Royale (2006)

 

Casino Royale is a James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, etc. Of course, the main plot of the film is to foil the plot of terrorists to acquire funds for their arms deals and save the world.

 

However, the set-up for their fight is a poker game. In this Bond film, poker games and gambling are an intrinsic part of the financing scheme of the terrorists, so James Bond has to buy his place with a deposit of $10,000,000 and win the 'winner takes it all' poker game.

 

 

4. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

 

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

 

The Cincinnati Kid is one of the best poker films starring the Cooler King, Steve McQueen, and Edward Robinson.

 

The film has the best poker matches, and the game of choice is 5 Card Stud as played in the olden days.

 

This game may not be popular for poker nights today, but in the film, the matches are tense and accurately portrayed.

 

The Cincinnati Kid is an up-and-coming poker player, who wants to make a name among the big players. He goes around winning all his matches till he encounters the biggest name in the poker world, Lancey Howard.

 

Once he beats Howard, he will become the unofficial king of Poker.

 

 

3. Maverick (1994)

 

Maverick (1994)

 

Maverick is a western about a poker player who is short of $3000 for a deposit to enter a winner-takes-it-all poker tournament.

 

To make a fast buck and collect the much-needed deposit for the poker tournament, he turns to gambling. Maverick, the poker player, portrayed by Mel Gibson, enlists the help of Annabelle Bransford and attempts all kinds of debt collections, misadventures, and more to make up the money needed.

 

The film offers a fun and entertaining adventure where the duo comes up with ridiculous schemes to make money.

 

The film is a must-watch for the entertainment value more than anything.

 

 

2. Rounders (1998)

 

Rounders (1998)

 

Rounders is one of the best poker movies that are at the top of every list of best movies.

 

The film stars Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, and more. The film is a crime drama that showcases gambling addiction, ruin, and renewed hope.

 

Matt Damon is a poker player who manages to blow away all his savings that he won in a high-stakes Poker game of Texas Hold’Em.

 

He loses all his money to Teddy KGB and swears away from the habit of gambling. He stays strong till his old friend is released from jail and enlists Damon to help him make a fast buck.

 

The film has everything that a poker fan loves, and we get to witness stellar performances from Edward Norton, John Malkovich, Matt Damon, and all the cast.

 

 

1. Molly’s Game (2017)

 

Molly’s Game (2017)

 

Molly’s Game is a true story about the underground poker matches that took place illegally and involved major Hollywood actors, wealthy businessmen, Italian and Russian mafia too.

 

The plot of the film revolves around Molly Bloom, who starts work assisting a real estate developer running his underground Poker matches out of the Cobra Lounge in LA.

 

After running foul with the real estate developer, she parts ways and sets up her own business. Here, she is successful but encounters many unsavory characters and innocent business as well.

 

As her success grows, Molly’s Game attracts the Russian and the Italian mafia and eventually the FBI. The film is a must-watch for the screenplay by Sorkin.

 

It earned him nominations at the Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Writers Guild Awards, etc. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba also garnered praise for their roles.

 

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