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Five best and five worst Australian casino movies

The best ? The worst? Well, casino movies are a genre all their own.

Of course, movies are subjective, so you might hate the top five and love the bottom five. Might as well watch them all! Here is our list for Australia;

THE BEST

5. Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson is nothing short of a genius, and while 1996ís Hard Eight isnít his best, itís certainly an excellent film. Much of it is set in the casino, and with a fresh script, sound directing, and phenomenal performances by Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, and more, itís no wonder Roger Ebert loved it, and Rotten Tomatoes ranks it at an 83%.

4. The Gambler (1974)

This classic casino movie stars James Caan as a gambling-addict in debt to the wrong people (the kind thatíll kill ya!) With a solid script by casino movie legend James Toback and intuitive directing from the somewhat obscure Karel Reisz, this movie has aged well and has solidified itself as a true classic. Not to be confused with the 2014 remake, The Gambler currently holds an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. California Split (1974)

You wonít find very many people these days who have seen this near-perfect casino flick, but you should definitely become one of them. Directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Robert Altman and starring George Segal and Elliott Gould. This one takes place in Reno versus the more common Las Vegas, and itís kind of a cool setting change given the amount of Reno casino shots you get throughout. It currently holds a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Casino Royale (2006)

James Bond took a new face with Daniel Craig in a four-movie series, two of which were excellent, and two were mediocre. Casino Royale is one of the excellent ones, and with both high-stakes poker gambling action and casino hotel fight scenes, not to mention one of the best opening scenes in action movie history, you wonít be disappointed. 95% on Rotten Tomatoes is just exceptional.

1. Croupier (1998)

Why this isnít considered one of the best movies of the 1990s, period, is beyond me, but Iím also a big fan of the casino, so I may be biased. Croupier is largely ó if not solely ó responsible for Clive Owenís household name status, as critics and audiences left the theatre blown away by his deft performance as a croupier in a casino who gets tangled with the wrong people. It currently has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and its realism is second to none.

When is there going to be a movie about online casinos? Even if itís poorly rated, Iíll go see it, and if youíre interested in experiencing the best online casinos available to players in Australia, thereís only one place to find them. Did you know you can play a really good australian online casino from your own home? Or even on your mobile phone? You should try it once. Now get ready for the worst casino movies!

THE WORST

5. Lucky You (2006)

Itís always a shame when you see a movie with as much talent as Lucky You (Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall) be so subpar. The late director Cutis Hanson did L.A. Confidential (1997) and 8 Mile (2002), two much better films, and I really wish Duvall didnít have this one on his resume. It has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, so itís bearable (not really).

4. Casino Royale (1967)

You know how you know this movie is total trash? When it came out in 1967, it was poorly received and the jokes didnít land, so just imagine how dated and crappy it is to todayís standards. And please just imagine and donít sit through this lazy James Bond parody movie directed by an astounding six directors (just, why?!) It has a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, which I find generous.

3. Lookiní to Get Out (1982)

I think HBO proved that it doesnít have to be hilarious to be a good comedy, but that was pretty much the case up until the 1990s. Lookiní to Get Out is about a guy down on his luck who heads to the casino, is mistaken for some rich guy, and basically stumbles into a con that spins into wacky misadventure. Itís not good, even though it was written by and starring Jon Voight, Hollywood legend. However, it was Angelina Jolieís (Voightís daughter) first role, so if youíre a cinema nerd, you might want to see it for that. 25% on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Vegas Vacation (1997) 13%

Okay, we get it, you saw this movie when you were a kid and loved it because Chevy Chase was in it and who didnít love Vacation and Christmas Vacation? But donít let the nostalgia cloud your judgment because this movie was just not good. In fact, it was awful. I feel like they must have checked out but still agreed to do it for the money, because given the previous successes, you know, as producers, this is going to bring in box office sales. It has a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is worse than the number one spot, but itís a better movie than Showgirls, so I guess thatís something.

1. Showgirls (1995) 19%

This movie is barely a casino movie, as it more takes place in the event spaces where the Las Vegas showgirls perform, but it technically takes place in the casino, and Iíll take every excuse I can do call this movie out on being total and utter nonsense. If youíre looking for topless women and woman-on-woman make-out sessions, either watch this movie or go to a porn site. If youíre looking for a good movie, avoid this like a deadly virus, because, fair warning, you canít un-see this lazy pile of nothingness. It generously has a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it should be a hard Zero.

Published December 14, 2016

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