The 1995 film ‘Casino’ is widely regarded as a classic of its genre. A rating of 8.2 on IMDB and an audience score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes are testaments to that.

Set in early 1970s Las Vegas, the film tells the story of mobster Sam Rothstein (Robert De Niro), head of the Tangiers Casino. After initial success, his hot-headed enforcer (Joe Pesci), ambitious wife (Sharon Stone), and her con artist ex (James Woods), bring trouble.

Casino is based on an adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi’s true story about a man who ran four casinos for the Mafia. Scorsese uses it to shine a light on the history of Vegas, from its seedy beginnings to the modern city we see today.

Want to know how the mob can skim millions from slots games or take from the gift shop and poker tables? Scorsese details the power, corruption, and greed at play as he rips open the underbelly of casino life.

If you like ‘Casino’ then we recommend checking out these five films below

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

How do you remake a 1960 heist film with a cast list that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr? Simple, you cast an equally stellar list of stars such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts.

Just out of prison, Danny Ocean plans to rob the vaults of the three largest Las Vegas casinos and win back his wife. Rounding up a team of expert career criminals, he sets about pulling off the most sophisticated casino heist ever.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this sleek, stylish movie allows each and every star to shine. The joy comes from watching great actors such as Damon, Pitt, and Clooney having a blast together on screen.

This popcorn movie with its cool ensemble cast and easy humor is a perfect antidote to the violent reality of some other casino mob movies. With ticking clocks, impenetrable alarm systems, and a love story thrown in, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable two hours of your time.

In ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, Soderbergh has crafted a slick blockbuster every bit as impressive as the glamorous Las Vegas strip it’s set around. This is the best entertainment movie about the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’.

Heat (1995)

Written and directed by Michael Mann (Collateral, Miami Vice, Public Enemies), this film is a grim, engrossing crime thriller. Beginning with an armored car robbery that goes wrong, the movie turns into a 2-hour 50-minute epic manhunt.

This is a story about Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), an obsessive cop on the trail of Neil McCauley, (Robert De Niro) a no-nonsense criminal mastermind. The film divides its attention between equally the two characters as Hanna tries to track down McCauley.
The cop and the criminal are shown to be similar people, divided only by a badge. They share the same experiences and messed-up relationships, both inevitably trapped in the ‘heat’ of the city.

Mann’s famous directorial style is at play here, with bullets flying everywhere and chaotic action scenes that dazzle. The musical touches that he loves so much give the movie and Los Angeles, a distinctive, atmospheric quality.

‘Heat’ is at its heart a tragic, soulful heist movie focusing not on good or evil, but the choices people make.

Bugsy (1991)

Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, played by Warren Beatty, may have been a gangster but he’s more commonly known as the Father of Las Vegas.

Back in the 1940s, Vegas was nothing more than a dusty crossroads in a state that allowed casino gaming. But Siegel had a vision of the Las Vegas we see today and set about building his own casino – The Flamingo.

Director Barry Levinson tells the story of Las Vegas’ early days and the man who was convinced the mob’s future lay in the desert. However, the film focuses more on the love story between Bugsy and his girlfriend Virginia Hill, played by Annette Benning, than historical facts.

The film secured ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a leading role, Best Screenplay, Director, and Music.

The Color of Money (1986)

Hard to believe, but Paul Newman won his one and only Oscar for ‘The Color of Money’, revisiting the character of Fast Eddie Felson. This sequel to the 1961 film ‘The Hustler’ is a movie about an aging pool shark at a crossroads in his life.

When Fast Eddie discovers a young, talented pool player called Vincent (Tom Cruise), he tries to mold him into a hustler. But Vincent’s cocky attitude causes problems and makes for a rocky and tempestuous relationship.

This Martin Scorsese film mines the drama in the conflict between Fast Eddie and Vince, in what is essentially a road trip relationship movie. The Father-son dynamic plays out on the baize, as the young firebrand and old hustler clash.

Rounders (1998)

Director John Dahl’s thriller takes us from the smoky backrooms of New York to the glamorous casinos of Atlantic City. Matt Damon plays Mike, a law student with great prospects and a loving girlfriend (Gretchen Mol) – that’s until his friend Worm (Ed Norton) turns up.

Worm needs Mike to return to the poker table to help pay off his debt to Russian mob boss Teddy KGB (John Malkovich). While Mike is a “rounder” (a skilled player who plays straight), Worm is a cheat and constantly messes everything up.

Inevitably, time runs out and the friends have just eight hours to raise the money, culminating in a showdown game against Teddy KGB.

Author: David

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