People enjoy films for all kinds of different reasons. For some, a good film is truly a piece of art to analyze and critique in the same way that we look at literature. For others, it’s simply an escape from reality, a way to relax for a few hours with no concern for the real world. However, another reason that people enjoy films is to take part in the actions they depict – to be a part of a thrilling experience that trumps the average real world activity. And nothing quite beats the thrill of a gambling or competition-based film.
In that spirit, here are 3 films that are worth a gamble!
There’s an undeniable thrill to poker that simply captivates audiences (and makes them want to visit Las Vegas Hotels to plan a trip to the strip!). “Rounders” – a film starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton – captures this thrill in its most satisfying and horrifying sense all at once. The film is about Mike (Damon), a young man trying to get out of the underground poker ring to focus on his girlfriend and life in general. Mike is having some success with his reform when an old friend and poker partner – Worm (Norton) – comes to him for help, and needs a massive sum of money to get out of trouble. Naturally, the two are pulled back into the underground poker circuit, using their considerable skill to plea high stakes wagers that go beyond just money.
This isn’t exactly a gambling story, but for those horse racing enthusiasts who like to place bets at horse racing, it’s easy to understand the appeal. Plus, it’s a classic underdog story! “Seabiscuit” is a film based on the true story of an undersized and overlooked race horse that became an uplifting sensation in America during the Great Depression. Starring Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard, a young man just trying to get by in the Depression (who ultimately becomes a jockey), the film captivates audiences with its stirring depiction of underdog survival, and of the thrill of beating the odds.
Based on the book “Bringing Down The House: The Inside Story Of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas For Millions,” which in turn is based on a true story of just that, “21” is an incredibly enjoyable gambling film, specifically highlighting the thrills of Blackjack. In the film, Kevin Spacey plays Micky Rosa, the delightfully scheming professor who puts together a ring of advanced mathematical students and teaches them to count cards (and thus win at Blackjack). When Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) – a math prodigy who needs money to stay in school – comes into the fold, the group become unstoppable at counting cards. From that point on, however, the thrill of winning and the dangers of getting in too deep are in constant conflict as the film spirals into a tense, gripping story – but never one that takes itself too seriously to be fun!
Do you have any films that you would add to this list?