There’s nothing like a suspenseful flick or those intense movie moments that put us over the edge. We’re addicted to the thrill of sabotage whether our favorite character is a gambling savage or just a lethal nuisance to society.
Directors put in the work to make scene after scene cinematically hit and keep us gripping our seats. Plus nothing is better than watching your favorite actor/actress on screen absolutely go through it.
Constantly we enter the void of suspense, intense couch gripping, and teeth grinding movie moments when we watch films like this. But can we really help it?
In real life, it’s an entirely different story. Whether you physically go to a casino or play online, you’re taking a risk that can lead to great rewards. So, of course you’ll have those feelings of excitement and suspense since there is no guaranteed outcome.
Here’s our list of gambling films with the most intense movie moments, we’ve ever seen.
1. The Safdie Bros keep us locked to the screen for Uncut Gems (2019)
First on our list of gambling movies to watch, is Uncut Gems. If if it’s one thing we’ve learned, the Safdie Brothers have mastered the art of the thrill.
Here, for the NYT, they break down the intense movie moment for their flick Uncut Gems where the lead character Howard Ratner (played by Adam Sandler) goes through obstacles of stress in an attempt to get away from the demons that his gambling addiction has summoned.
Watch Uncut Gems now (click here).
2. “All on black…” Mark Wahlberg’s stellar performance in The Gambler (2014)
It’s alright… you can exhale. In this remake of the 1974 version directed by Karel Reisz, Mark Wahlberg’s character Jim Bennett goes through hell trying to get his life back on track.
His gambling debt and addiction to losing pushes him to borrow money from not only his mother but also a daunting loan shark, who’s not playing any games.
For this role Mark actually dropped 61 lbs. Talk about dedication.
Watch The Gambler now (click here).
3. Aaron Sorkin raises the stakes with Molly’s Game (2017)
Based on the story of “Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target,” Molly’s Game takes intense movie moments to the next level.
In an interview about the gambling flick with Seth Myers, he was asked ‘Do you realize now the difficulties directors have had directing your scripts?’ Sorkin spoke on the challenges of directing his first film:
“I don’t understand why at least three of them haven’t punched me in the face…”– Aaron Sorkin, Late Night with Seth Meyers 2017
Watch Molly’s Game now (click here).
4. The Big Short gives us new perspective on big money (2015)
If you’re not talking Wall Street money then what are we talking about? This Oscar-winning flick zones in on the corruption of the US housing market during 2005 – 2007.
Taking more than a gamble in this scene Dr. Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale, finds an oddity after analyzing subprime MBSs pushing him to bet against bonds that seemed “promising.”
Serving as Adam McKay’s directorial debut The Big Short is jampacked with intense movie moments you surely won’t forget.
Watch the The Big Short now (click here)
5. When it comes conning American Hustle takes the cake (2013)
Another amazing performance by Christian Bale, American Hustle reminds us that life is surely one hell of a gamble. Stacked with star-power this fictional movie is filled with, FBI agents, fraudulent savagery, and frightful mafia gangsters.
Director David O. Russell killed this movie with creative intense must seen moments.
Watch American Hustle now (click here).
6. What do you know about counting cards? 21 shows us how (2008)
Yeah, yeah we know Kevin Spacey is canceled but 21 is still kind of gas. Another “based on a true story” gambling flick, 21’s story is about six MIT students who get coerced into taking their talents to the dark side in counting cards.
And although it is directed by one of the hottest/trash directors of our generation, Robert Luketic, this movie still gets the job done when it comes to intense movie moments.
Watch 21 now (click here)
7. Things get real in The Color of Money (1986)
“You gotta have two things to win. You gotta have brains and you gotta have balls. Now, you got too much of one and not enough of the other.”– Eddie to Vincent , The Color of Money 1986
Tom Cruise x3! Throw in some Paul Newman and you have The Color of Money.
Directed by Martin Scorcese this flick is filled with suspenseful movie scenes centered around pool hall hustling. We couldn’t leave this one off our intense gambling movie moments list.
Watch The Color of Money now (click here).
8. It’s pedal to the medal in Baby Driver (2017)
Baby Driver focuses on a certain kind of lifestyle. A lifestyle that calls for high-risk stunts, dirty money, and suspenseful hijinks that’ll have you running from the law.
Directed by Edgar Wright this movie taps into the life of a young man named Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, who has a hearing impairment but a little secret… Debt to a crime boss, who values his role in his well planned bank robberies.
This is a different type of gambling. One that calls for a plethora of mental manuevering and intelligent cunning.
Watch Baby Driver now (click here).
9. Rounders reminds us to keep our poker face on (1998)
Matt Damon is one hell of an actor and in Rounders we see him under “the pressure.” A dash of John Malkovich and a sprinkle of Edward Norton and you have a killer movie.
This is big stakes poker, money owed to loan sharks, and a life balancing act all jam-packed into two hours of intense movie moments. In fact, via IMDB:
Matt Damon and Edward Norton played the $10,000 buy-in Texas Hold ‘Em (No Limit) championship event at the 1998 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. During the first of four days, Matt Damon had pocket Kings and was knocked out by former world champion and poker legend Doyle Brunson who held pocket Aces.
Watch Rounders now (click here)
10. Wild Card keeps us on our toes (2015)
Remember that Always Sunny “Wild Card” episode… Welp, this is not that. Starring the legendary action man himself, Jason Statham, Wild Card, takes us on an epic adventure through the life of a Las Vegas bodyguard who has a gambling addiction.
From the YouTube video cover alone you already know the vibes.
Watch WIld Card now (click here).