The Best UK Casino Films
There’s an almost inextricable link between those who love a casino visit and those who love movies. What we especially love, however, is mixing the two!
While the likes of the Oceans series have dominated over the years, it is not only the American movie industry that has broached this subject. British filmmakers have also added a strong casino or gambling element into their plots.
Check out what we believe are the top 4 films to have come out of the UK with a casino/gambling theme.
A sequel, sort of, to the classic Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, this is said by most movie buffs to be director Guy Ritchie at pretty much his best.
In true Ritchie style, gambling is a key part of this story, especially where Benicio Del Toro’s character is concerned, although strictly speaking, it’s not casino-based. Snatch is funny, dark, dramatic, and somewhat of a rollercoaster.
A diamond is missing, various nefarious groups are looking for it while Gyspy bare-knuckle fighter Micky, played by Brad Pitt with a wonderfully inaccurate accent. The main protagonists, not least Jason Statham, have to gamble in more ways than one to win the day.
Directed by Bristol-born Mike Hodges, Croupier is a thriller in which Clive Owen plays the very part that helped ingratiate him to American audiences.
The lead character is Jack Manfred, a man trying to make a living as a writer who is employed as a croupier. The story surrounds the dealers and players in the casino and the strange relationship connecting them all.
Ultimately, Jack needs to decide whether to walk away from the table or risk gambling with fraud. We’ll say no more!
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
A genuine classic and our second entry from Guy Ritchie. Lock, Stock is set in a strange time. In fact, it’s hard to work out whether you’re watching in the present time or twenty years previously, and it is once more full of action, suspense and comedy.
An awesome cast featuring Jason Statham, Jason Flyming, Dexter Fletcher, Frank Harper, Nick Moran, and many more wend their way through the easy end of London.
After losing in a rigged underground poker game, Nick Moran’s character faces some serious pain if he and his friends cannot pay a hugely inflated debt to a local gangster which is to be collected by Vinnie Jones.
The gambling element is great, once more in more than one way, the soundtrack is fantastic, and a climactic scene that reaches a crescendo to the tune of Zorba the Greek is one of the best-shot scenes in British film history.
Casino Royale (2006)
We couldn’t ever leave this one out, in fact, it has to be no.1. The long-running James Bond franchise has been synonymous with casino scenes over the years.
But, unlike in the case of Thunderball, for example, the gambling theme is pivotal to the plot of Casino Royale, as the title would suggest.
This is one of Daniel Craig’s best performances as Bond. Here, he finds himself going head-to-head with a worldwide weapons dealer in a high-stakes game of poker.
Bond manages to persuade the powers in the UK to fund his huge $10 million buy-in to a dangerous game, with Craig providing a razor-sharp performance that lifted the character to new heights after replacing Pierce Brosnan in the main role.