Poker seems to be everywhere these days – on TV, the internet, and even magazines. But it’s been on the big screen for years. We thought it was high time to give you the run down of our 5 favourite poker themed films.
1. Rounders (1998)
Starting with the quintessential poker film, Rounders is synonymous with poker. After losing his entire bankroll in a single hand of a high stakes poker game, Matt Damon quits the game to focus on law school. But the release of his best friend (Edward Norton) from prison ensures his retirement is short lived and the pair have to hustle against the clock to pay off debts owed to the ruthless Teddy KGB (John Malkovich). The film also features legendary poker player Johnny Chan.
2. Casino Royale (2006)
James Bond has long been associated with casino’s, although he’s normally seen at the Blackjack or Baccarat tables. Casino Royale sees a young Bond (Daniel Craig) playing in a super high stakes poker tournament in Montenegro, bankrolled by the UK government. Bond has to stop Le Chiffre, banker to the worlds terrorists, from winning the money he desperately needs to pay his customers.
3. Maverick (1994)
Set in the Wild West, Maverick follows the highs and lows of a poker playing hustler (Mel Gibson). He has three days to gather together the money he needs to play in a high stakes ‘winner takes all’ poker tournament. It’s con or be conned in this film!
4. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Guy Ritchie takes us to the world of East End London Gangsters for this film. A young card sharp convinces his friends to pool together £100,000 so he can enter a high stakes card game. Unfortunately the game is rigged and he ends up owing £500,000 to Harry “The Hatchet” Londsdale. With their body parts (and lives) on the line, they decide to pull a heist.
5. 21 (2008)
Not strictly a poker film, but definitely one worth checking out. Inspired by a true story, 21 follows a group of M.I.T. students and their professor as they attempt to use card counting to beat the house at blackjack.