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The best Las Vegas casino movies

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Casinos are great fun, whether you’re in Monte Carlo, exploring the Las Vegas strip, in your home town, playing online or simply watching a casino themed film. They make for hours of endless fun and with online casinos becoming increasingly popular, we thought we’d roll back the years and pick out some of the best Las Vegas Casino movies.

The Hangover

The Hangover is the ultimate feel good film and will have you laughing whatever mood you’re in, it’s certainly the best movie out of the trilogy. The goings on in this film perfectly apply to the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” as a bachelor party goes horribly wrong.

Bradley Cooper and Zack Galifianakis both star in the film and wake up to a trashed hotel room and a missing stag as well as a very angry Ken Jeong after them. Their quest to remember the events of the night before, leading them to win big in the casino so they can find their missing friend who they presume to be kidnapped, will have you stiches. It’s certainly dramatized (maybe not for some) but it’s a light-hearted insight into what can happen when you can’t handle night out in Vegas.

To be on the safe side, and encase you do need to need to gamble your way out of trouble like the guys in The Hangover, you can try your hand at an online casino before you embark on big, bad Vegas.

Oceans 11

Ocean’s 11 is not quite as light-hearted as the Hangover and Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 original will have you on the edge of your seat. George Clooney and his associates are planning a heist on the three of the biggest casinos in not only Vegas but also the world, Bellagio, the MGM Grand and The Mirage.

Led by Danny Ocean, he and his gang of ten (hence the name Ocean’s 11) are hell bent on revenge against arch nemesis Terry Benedict who owns all three casinos, by completely clearly out of their vaults. The team may be clever and may be save but a heist of over $150 million won’t be an easy task under a watchful Benedict.

It will be interesting to see where they go with Ocean’s 8.

Casino

Casino (1995) will come in the list of any top casino film, Vegas related or not. Directed by the talented Martin Scorsese and filmed in the luxurious Riviera Hotel, who better to take on the role of a fierce gangster than Robert De Niro.

Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro are two mobsters who head to Vegas in order to make their mark and try to run a mafia-affiliated casino, but it is not without its problems and when the casino is hit, an enforcer is sent to take charge of the security. The duo struggles to handle the enforcer as well as the gambling empire and as smooth as they are, Ace falls in love a hustler named Ginger whilst Nicky falls into a despair of drugs and violence, both of which are met with drastic consequences.

Although brutal, this film is a must see and it is a powerful insight into the mob connections of Las Vegas.

Leaving Las Vegas

Whilst the other films in this list are set amongst the glamour and the lights of the best hotels and casinos Vegas has to offer, Leaving Las Vegas is set in the ghettos and suburbs of the city, and like Casino, it covers some pretty dark topics.

Nicolas Cage stars as Ben Sanderson, a once successful Hollywood screenwriter who has decided to end his personal and professional life with excessive drinking and little else.

After having enough of LA, Sanderson decides Las Vegas is the place to drink himself to death and when settled there, he hires a high end prostitute named Sera played by Elisabeth Shue.

Though their sexual encounter was not what it was cracked up to, the pair feel a deep connection which eventually turns into love. Though there is no happy ending, Sera sports an unhealthy relationship with her dangerous criminal pimp and partner Yuri, still, Sera and Ben decide to live together for as long as they can, basing their relationship of the agreement that they must not change the path that life has set out for them. But as Sera watches Ben slowly dying she struggles to stick to that agreement.

It’s a heartbreaking story that rightly earned Cage and Shue numerous awards, including an academy award for best actor.

What are your favourite Las Vegas movies?

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