While going out to a casino is a great way to ring in the new year, staying in with a marathon of great casino films is just as fun and probably much cheaper. Most of the film on this list can be enjoyed for the price of a Netflix or Redbox membership.
Without further ado here are my choices for the top 10 casino movies of all time.
1. "Casino" - Any list of casino movies must begin and end with Martin Scorsese's epic about how the mob changed Vegas forever. Robert DeNiro is brilliant in one of his best performances and Joe Pesci is scarily unpredictable.
Normally this is where a video clip would go, however, there are no printable scenes in this film.
2. "Ocean's Eleven and Thirteen" - In "Ocean's Eleven" Clooney, Pitt and company are the height of cool. It's one of the most fun heist films of all time. In "Thirteen" tehy reunited to prove the magic wasn't a fluke and add Pacino to the mix to make an even better heist movie. It's the chemistry amongst the crew that makes these films work so well.
3. "Croupier" - For a little European flavor Clive Owen is a London croupier who gets caught up in robbery as the casino world takes over his life. This movie launched Owen's career and also stars a pre "ER" and "Doctor Who" Alex Kingston.
4. "The Hangover" - This is the Vegas road trip that everyone secretly wants to take. From the first moment the Wolf Pack awkwardly awakens to a baby and a tiger in their hotel room, this film is non-stop gold. You know it's a hit when every shop in Vegas has "Hangover" merchandise.
5. "21" - Based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack team, the film is somewhat of an acquired taste, however, it is strengthened by the excellent performances of Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess and Laurence Fishburne.
6. "Casino Royale" - Daniel Craig's first appearance as James Bond features the deadliest poker game ever. Seriously, two or three guys are killed during the game.
7. "Honeymoon in Vegas" - Nicolas Cage's first mention on the list is a wacky romantic comedy that culminates in a giant Elvis skydive team jumping into a casino parking lot. If that doesn't scream Vegas, I don't know what does.
8. "Leaving Las Vegas" - Cage's second appearance features his Oscar winning role as an alcoholic who goes to Vegas to drink himself to death. It's pretty much the most depressing movie ever.
9. "The Cooler" - William H. Macy is great as a "cooler" whose job it is to cool off hot winners and tables. The subplot about new Vegas vs. old Vegas also perfectly defines the ongoing struggle of Las Vegas.
10. "Vegas Vacation" - Not a great movie but on the list solely based on the scene featuring "rock, paper, scissors" and "guess which hand." I'm pretty sure there's a casino somewhere that has those on its floor.
So, did I miss any? What are your top casino movies?