The Best Poker Movies
The poker revolution brought about by Internet based poker has caused the popularity of the game to rise to a level that would have been unimaginable only two decades ago. The soaring popularity of the game has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood, where producers have tried to cash in on this cultural phenomenon with varying degrees of success.
Here’s a look at some of the most famous poker movies of all time:
1. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Although only loosely based on the events surrounding a rigged game of three-card brag, the 1998 cult classic, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels provides a gritty, witty portrayal of the connection between the underground card scene and organised crime in London. Packed with unforgettable characters, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels has been rated as one of the greatest British films of all time by critics.
The 1998 movie Rounders takes advantage of the acting talents of Ed Norton and Matt Damon to provide an inside look at the lifestyles of professional poker players. The film is widely credited with contributing to the popularity of No Limit Hold ’em poker, and has been cited as the inspiration for their careers by WSOP main event winners Jamie Gold and Chris Moneymaker.
3. The Cincinnati Kid
The 1965 cult classic, The Cincinnati Kid, follows the fortunes of an up-and-coming 5-card stud player striving to win the title of best poker player of all time. The film isn’t typical ‘60s Hollywood schmaltz, and features a gritty ending which portrays protagonist Kid Stoner lose to ‘the Man’ in a classic bad beat.
4. Lucky You
While it’s not a cult classic, the 2007 release, Lucky You, is an enjoyable, romantic film about a young pro intent on emerging from his two times WSOP champion father’s shadow at the 2003 World Series of Poker. The film is dotted with cameo performances by famous poker players, and Eric Bana puts in a convincing performance as Huck Cheever, a troubled, but good hearted, young poker pro.
1994 action comedy Maverick is a rollicking look back at the early days of poker. Mel Gibson plays the role of a professional gambler seeking to prove that he’s the best 5-card draw player in the world at a $25,000 buy-in event. There’s not much focus on the game itself, but the film does capture the feel of the 18th century poker scene.
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