After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers a link to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a man who finances terrorist organizations. Learning that Le Chiffre plans to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, MI6 sends Bond to play against him, gambling that their newest “00” operative will topple the man’s organization.
Box office: 599 million USD
A young detective becomes an unwilling participant in a deadly cat and mouse game when he is kidnapped by a serial killer. To survive, he has to use all of the wisdom imparted to him by veteran detectives during poker nights.
Believing that he has been swindled, Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake) goes to Costa Rica to confront online-gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Block’s promises of immense wealth and power have a seductive effect on Richie, until he learns the shocking truth about his new mentor. When Richie is coerced by the FBI to help bring Block to justice, he faces the biggest gamble of his life: outmaneuvering the two forces closing in on him.
Box office: 62.7 million USD
Budget: 30 million USD
A blackjack team made up of devoted Christians wins millions from casinos as they try to find a place for faith and God in the arena of high stakes gambling.
Initial release: June 11, 2011
Jack Weil (Robert Redford), a professional gambler, enjoys the hedonistic lifestyle of Batista’s Cuba, where he is organizing a crucial poker game that could make or break him. He meets seductive Bobby Duran (Lena Olin) and is surprised that she, a wealthy woman, is aiding Fidel Castro and his communist rebels. Apolitical Jack doesn’t usually take sides, but after Bobby and her husband, Arturo (Raul Julia), are arrested, he contemplates risking everything to help their cause.
Budget: 40 million USD
Box office: 9.243 million USD
Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich). Under pressure from his girlfriend, Jo (Gretchen Mol), he promises to quit gambling. This lasts until his friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton), gets out of prison and needs to pay off an old debt. The pair come close to earning the money back but are caught cheating. Then Mike finds out the debt is owed to Teddy and makes one last-ditch effort to beat the Russian.
Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New Jersey penitentiary, the wry, charismatic thief is already rolling out his next plan. Following three rules: Don’t hurt anybody, don’t steal from anyone who doesn’t deserve it, and play the game like you’ve got nothing to lose. Danny orchestrates the most sophisticated, elaborate casino heist in history.
Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a talented poker player who must balance an intense love affair with the feats he must accomplish to win a slot in the world championship game in Las Vegas. If he makes it to the table, there is a chance he may have to compete against his father (Robert Duvall), a poker legend who abandoned Huck’s mother years ago.
Initial release: September 8, 2006
Budget: 55 million USD
Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a brilliant student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, needs some quick cash to pay his tuition bills. He joins a group of students who, under the leadership of unorthodox professor Mickey Rosa (Kevin Spacey), use their math skills to win big in Las Vegas. Seduced by a beautiful teammate (Kate Bosworth) and loads of money, Ben learns that the stakes are higher than he ever imagined when he crosses paths with casino enforcer Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne).
Box office: 157.9 million USD
Budget: 35 million USD
Carefree single guy Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) rooms with two lovely prostitutes, Barbara Miller (Ann Prentiss) and Susan Peters (Gwen Welles), and lives to gamble. Along with his glum betting buddy, Bill Denny (George Segal), Charlie sets out on a gambling streak in search of the ever-elusive big payday. While Charlie and Bill have some lucky moments, they also have to contend with serious setbacks that threaten to derail their hedonistic betting binge.
Initial release: August 7, 1974
Box office: 5 million USD (rentals, US/Canada)
House of Games
After one of her patients threatens suicide, psychiatrist Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse) confronts the source of his anxieties, a downtown bookie named Mike (Joe Mantegna). Once she decides that Mike is not a serious threat, however, she herself becomes interested in his world of high-stakes gambling, and makes use of her skills at reading “tells,” becoming entrenched in his dealings. Things get dangerous, though, when Mike turns out not to be a bookie at all, but a con man.
Box office: 2.586 million USD
In early-1970s Las Vegas, low-level mobster Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) gets tapped by his bosses to head the Tangiers Casino. At first, he’s a great success in the job, but over the years, problems with his loose-cannon enforcer Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), his ex-hustler wife Ginger (Sharon Stone), her con-artist ex Lester Diamond (James Woods) and a handful of corrupt politicians put Sam in ever-increasing danger. Martin Scorsese directs this adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi’s book.
Based on: Casino; by Nicholas Pileggi
God of Gamblers
A hustler (Joey Wong) and his girlfriend try to take advantage of a legendary gambler (Andy Lau) suffering from memory loss.
Cantonese: Dou2 San4
Mandarin: Dǔ Shén
High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
In this film based on a true story, Stuey Ungar (Michael Imperioli) moves from teenage card prodigy to world-renowned gambling superstar. Early on, Stuey takes a liking to gambling, but his obsessive habits put him in debt to the mob. Vincent (Michael Nouri), a gangster with a family connection, offers a second chance in the form of a Las Vegas rummy competition. Stuey is victorious and moves on to a high-profile poker career, but with success comes a troubling lifestyle of addiction and excess.
Initial release: 2003
Initial DVD release: March 15, 2005
All In: The Poker Movie
Filmmaker Douglas Tirola examines the growing popularity of poker, and the crackdown on online gambling.
Honeymoon in Vegas
After losing $65,000 to professional gambler and con man Tommy Korman (James Caan), penniless private investigator Jack Singer (Nicolas Cage) agrees to let Korman borrow his beautiful fiancée, Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker), for a Hawaiian getaway to pay off his debts. But when Betsy — who looks just like Korman’s late wife — begins to fall for her charismatic captor, the commitment-phobic Singer must race against the clock to track them down and win her back.
Initial release: August 28, 1992
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty). Harry cheats and Eddy loses, giving him a week to pay back 500,000 pounds or hand over his father’s pub. Desperate, Eddy and his friends wait for their neighbors to rob some drug dealers, then rob the robbers in turn. After both thefts, the number of interested criminal parties increases, with the four friends in dangerously over their heads.
Budget: 1.35 million USD
This film update of the “Maverick” TV series finds the title cardsharp (Mel Gibson) hoping to join a poker contest with an impressive payoff. In order to enter, Maverick must first put up a large cash sum. He scams hopeful contestants Annabelle (Jodie Foster) and Angel (Alfred Molina) in a preliminary card game to win the money he needs, making enemies of both players. While trying to evade Annabelle and Angel, the crafty Maverick realizes a cunning marshal (James Garner) is also on his tail.
Box office: 183 million USD
MPAA rating: PG-13, PG
Tiffany (Thandie Newton), Charlie (Gabriel Byrne) and Vernon (Stuart Townsend) are con artists looking to up the ante from their typical scams. They figure a good way of doing this is taking down Dean “The Dean” Stevens (Sylvester Stallone), a well-known cardsharp, in a rigged game. However, they first need enough money to enter a game with Stevens, so they decide to strike a deal with fellow crook Larry Jennings (Jamie Foxx) to scam a local gangster — which turns out to be a bad idea.
Box office: 459,098 USD
Budget: 6.8 million USD
The Cincinnati Kid
Young poker player Eric Stoner (Steve McQueen), also known as the “Cincinnati Kid,” wants to build his reputation by beating the best player around, Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson). Through Stoner’s friend, “Shooter” (Karl Malden), a game with Howard is scheduled. However, Stoner discovers the game is being fixed against Howard by Slade (Rip Torn) out of revenge for a bad loss he suffered to Howard. Stoner objects because he feels he can take the match on his own merits.
Jack Faro (Woody Harrelson) is the grandson of a casino legend and a former poker champ himself, until he lost it all, including the casino he inherited, to liquor and alimony. In order to win back his casino, Jack must enter the upcoming World Championship of Poker, where he will face stiff competition from famous players like Deuce Fairbanks (Dennis Farina) and Lainie Schwartzman (Cheryl Hines).
Initial release: June 7, 2007
Budget: 3 million USD (2007)
Box office: 114,669 USD (USA)
Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to take revenge on the ruthless crime boss responsible, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hooker and Gondorff set about implementing an elaborate scheme, one so crafty that Lonnegan won’t even know he’s been swindled. As their big con unfolds, however, things don’t go according to plan, requiring some last-minute improvisation by the undaunted duo.