Finally a ranking of the best poker movies, all in our ultimate Top 6! Whether you’re a poker fan or just a thrill-seeking moviegoer, this list will inspire you to have many great nights out.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – 1998, United Kingdom
Guy Ritchie’s first feature film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is Jason Statham’s film debut. The 21-year-old British actor plays the role of Bacon. Along with his buddies Tom and Soap, Bacon tries to raise 100,000 pounds on various gaming tables to finance Eddy, who is considered one of the most talented poker players of his generation.
The goal – to participate in an exceptional game that will eventually turn out to be a setup by an old enemy of Eddy’s father. The young player finds himself in a perilous situation to say the least: he must find a way to pay back this swindler within a week or risk having his fingers cut off.
What follows are improbable and violent adventures that may remind some people of Snatch, although with less madness, humor and successful direction.
Lucky You – 2007, USA, Germany
Walking the casinos of Las Vegas where he is well known, Eric Bana (Troy, Munich), as Huck Cheever, is what we call a gambler. He wins a lot and loses everything in the process.
Nevertheless, he seduces the beautiful Billie Offer, played by Drew Barrymore (E.T., Scream, Charlie’s Angels), and introduces her to the joys of being a professional poker player. The film ends at the end of the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker.
Emphasizing the romance of the story more than the poker, Lucky You used Doyle Brunson as a technical advisor, which is reflected in the quality and verisimilitude of the hands played, which is rarely the case in movies.
The Great Game – 2017, USA, Canada
Based on the true story of Molly Bloom, The Great Game looks at the sultry journey of this former ski champion turned organizer of very private, very expensive and mostly illegal poker games in the mid-2000s.
First film directed by Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter of Steve Jobs and The Social Network known for his very dense writing, Molly’s Game stars Jessica Chastain, in the role of the one that the press in the United States had nicknamed “the princess of poker”, alongside Kevin Costner and Idris Elba.
Before being arrested by the FBI in 2013, Bloom ran the most exclusive underground games on the planet, which brought together rich businessmen, some champions of the professional circuit and especially sportsmen and Hollywood stars – the names of Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio or Ben Affleck have been mentioned.
The entrance fees for these parties were reportedly as high as 250,000 dollars. The Great Game tells the story of how this young woman managed to set up an ultra-selective meeting in Los Angeles and then in New York, starting from nothing and describes her descent into hell.
Maverick – 1994, USA
Another story featuring brigands, Maverick focuses on the character of Bret Maverick, a professional poker player who is looking to finance his participation in a big tournament at any cost. In this quest for money, the protagonist will face many obstacles, more or less grotesque, threatening his life and his dollars.
On his way, he crosses the path of the beautiful Anabelle Blansford, an unscrupulous gambler who makes his head spin. A good mix of humor and action in good old western settings and landscapes (the film was nominated for an Oscar in the best costumes category). In this comedy, Danny Glover makes a kind of cameo in a robbery scene where his reunion with his Lethal Weapon buddy is surprising to say the least.
The Cincinnati Kid – 1965, USA
In the 1930’s in New Orleans, Eric Stoner, nicknamed the Cincinnati Kid, is an occasional poker player who already has many victories. When an undisputed poker master comes to town, his manager – Shooter – organizes a tournament.
A very long game of Stud 5 (also known as the… Kid) is about to begin. We won’t tell you more, but you should know that The Cincinnati Kid is regularly ranked among the best Steve McQueen movies!
Poker Night – 2014, USA, Canada
Jeter, a young police investigator joins much older colleagues for their usual poker game in which they confide some of their experiences to young Jeter.
But one night, after one of these poker nights, Jeter and his new girlfriend Amy are kidnapped by a psychopathic madman. Only his ingenuity and the clues he finds in each of his fellow cops’ stories will allow him to escape and unmask the culprit.