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Top 10 Casino Movies You Must Watch in 2021

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Gambling provides inherent drama for movies since, by definition, they revolve around risk. You likely avoid watching prudent and cautious characters as a casino lover and prefer people putting themselves on the line in desperate, sometimes irrational, hope for a big score.

The gambler in casino movies is like the veteran detective taking up one last case before retirement. They may have a calm home life in the end, but counting their wins makes the perfect backdrop for high octane chases, mysteries, and action. Here are ten films that strap you in for a wild ride through gambling or the world it takes place in.

California Split

California Split is perhaps the most successful classic by director Robert Altman. Altman stars in the film as Charlie, a gambler that befriends Bill, another gambler. Charlie has a severe gambling addiction, but Altman exudes his laid-back charm and casual mastery to delightful effect.

The two friends working side by side reeked of a rakish charm, making the film a high watermark of the 1970s’ hangout cinema. The movie explores a beautiful male friendship with a whole lot of gambling in between. The gut-punch ending may be muted, but it is a perfect ending to such a wild ride.

The Gambler

James Toback based this film on his own addiction, and it ended up being a massive success during its release in 1974. What is great about the classic movie is that the main character, Axel, is obsessed with gambling for the danger and self-destruction. He makes bets to fall deeper into the rabbit hole, even arguing that the fun of gambling is losing for him.

This is such a dangerous situation for any gambler, to say the least. However, Axel, played by James Caan, brings the audience on his desperate chase for the next rush. He may be gambling in casinos, but he’s playing Russian roulette.

Fear and Loathing Las Vegas

This cult-favorite film is based on the true story of journalist Hunter Thompson played beautifully by Jonny Depp. The title character and his lawyer take a psychedelic trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to cover a sports event. In Sin City, the duo blow their money on drugs and venture in search of the American Dream, running into gamblers, drug dealers, police officers, and hitchhikers.

This casino movie does not depict the glitz and glam of Las Vegas but the dark, deranged, and dangerous place it can be when dealing with the wrong crowd.

Uncut Gems

This Josh and Benny Safdie’s 2019 thriller got a well-deserved discussion for its incredible intensity. The film features Adam Sandler as Howard, a hopeless gambling addict who takes players on a nerve-wracking ride and cannot stop until he completely destroys himself.

The brilliance is Howard’s ability to suck viewers into his sickness, having us rooting for the crazy ideas he concocts. The film injects the character’s mania into the audience’s veins that even after the tragic finale, one may want to get right back on the ride for the crazed rush again, just like addiction.

The Hangover

Not all gambling-themed movies are serious and seedy. Some like the 2009 comedy The Hangover are lighthearted with some casino fun thrown into the mix. This movie follows the adventures of a Las Vegas bachelor party that takes “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” to a new level.

We meet the three main characters waking up and unable to recall the previous night’s events and must work it out. Among the biggest mysteries they have to solve is why one is wearing a wedding band.

Casino

This must-see work of art is directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Hames Woods, and Sharon Stone. Casino goes behind the curtains of a mob-controlled casino and gives a glamorous high-end rendition of the Sin City lifestyle. Robert De Niro plays the lead, an ex-gangster seeking to turn his life around by working a regular job on a Las Vegas casino floor. However, his search for normalcy is soon interrupted by Joe Pesci, a mafia underboss seeking help with his establishment.

Croupier

Croupier turns the tables and looks at the gambling world from the dealer’s point of view. Jack, an aspiring novelist, played by Clive Owen back when he was a lightning bolt, is desperate for money and becomes a croupier.

The croupier makes the players his subjects, exploring the sweating anxiety and crippling sadness as consequences of throwing money and lives at the tablets. The film captures the dingy gambling lifestyle in a magnetic and intoxicating way, leaving the audience satisfied with the plot’s complications.

Rounders

Rounders easily qualifies as the Citizen Kane for pathological gamblers. While the film touches on an issue affecting millions worldwide, it does a great job capturing the swagger and dopey masculinity of going pro in poker. Mike (Matt Damon) discovers a hidden poker talent. He realizes it is not a sustainable career, but his best friend Lester drags him back to the frenzied world of gambling. The poker drama is an educational piece showing a realistic example of how compulsive gambling has severe consequences.

Casino Royale

The Martin Campbell 2006 remake of Casino Royale is among the highest-rated from the 007 series. The movie is a sleek representation of the risk, wealth, and classic in the high-stakes world. Daniel Craig plays the secret agent James Bond on a mission to stop a criminal banker.

Craig plays a high-stakes poker game of Texas Hold ’em at Montenegro’s Casino Royale in one showdown. It still has the extravagant super spy atmosphere, and it shows how criminal organizations use gambling to launder their money.

21

21 is a movie so compelling with elaborate gameplay sessions and dangerous action that it can be challenging to believe it is based on true events. The film presents a group of MIT students and their professor using a card counting technique to swindle casinos of millions. While they do get caught in the end, the team ends up establishing one of the most effective and frowned upon ways to win in blackjack.

Closing Thoughts

These films are all available to watch online on different platforms. Some of them showcase the glamour that comes with gambling, while others serve as a warning for digging yourself too deep into the casino world.

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Brock Media Clips for Friday, May 27 – The Brock News – Brock University

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Here’s a look at some of the media attention Brock University received recently.

Strategic voting in the provincial election: Labour Studies Professor Larry Savage spoke to CHML 900 about the impact strategic voting practices could have in the provincial election in Ontario. Savage also participated in seven interviews across CBC Radio stations in Ontario about the role that union endorsements are playing in the election.

Ontario parties pledge different approaches to clustering of cannabis shops: Associate Professor of Operations Research Michael Armstrong spoke to The Globe and Mail, MJBizDaily, Newstalk 610 CKTB and several other radio stations about potential changes that could come to Ontario’s retail cannabis policy as a result of the upcoming provincial election.

Should children be playing more?: Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Sandra Della Porta spoke to CHML 900 about the importance of allowing young children to play while not overloading their lives with structured activities.

Millions of dollars are flowing into US cricket. But is there a market for the sport?: Assistant Professor of Sport Management Michael Naraine spoke to The Guardian about whether the sport of cricket can establish itself in the United States. Naraine also spoke to Global News and Newstalk 610 CKTB about the NHL playoffs and developments in legalized sports gambling.

Local races tightening as campaign swings into full gear: Associate Professor of Political Science Livianna Tossutti spoke to the St. Catharines Standard about issues that could sway local races in Ontario’s provincial election.

Netflix confronts its employees: Professor of Business Ethics Paul Dunn spoke to Newstalk 610 CKTB about tension between Netflix and its employees, and the action the streaming company is taking to resolve it.

If you know of an appearance or story about a Brock faculty member, student, athlete or alumni, please drop us a line with a link to the story at universitycom@brocku.ca


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Police ID suspect after threat on social media against Bowmanville school – CBC.ca

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A suspect has been identified after a threat was posted on social media against Clarington Central Secondary High School in Bowmanville, Durham Regional Police say.

Police say the suspect is a male from outside the region. No information has been released about the nature of the threat.

Officers were present at the school east of Toronto on Friday to ensure the safety of students and staff.

By the afternoon, police said in a tweet that investigators determined there were no safety concerns.

The threat against the school was made Thursday night, police say.

The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

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Police investigating threatening social media post captured near Pointe-Claire school – CTV News Montreal

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Montreal police were on site at John Rennie High School Thursday after threatening images were posted to social media, which may have featured a firearm.

The post included two images: the first showed what appeared to be the side of the school. The second image depicted a young man holding what appeared to be a firearm in an unknown location. 

Police say the post is related to a conflict between two people who have yet to be identified, and that they were likely going to meet at the school. The threats were not directed toward the school itself. 

Police got a call reporting the post at around 9:40 a.m.

Students remained in class while officers stationed themselves at the school. The board notified parents of the situation and asked them not to pick up their kids.  

School board officials said in an internal note to parents that “at no point were staff or students in danger.”

School officials decided to send students home in the early afternoon as officers continued their investigation. Some were bussed out of school property at around 1 p.m.

Police say their firearm division is trying to learn more about the threats. There have been no arrests.

In a statement released later in the day, the Lester B. Pearson School Board thanked the police for acting quickly.

“Today’s incident was extremely regrettable and troubling,” the board said.

“We are extremely relieved and thankful for the prompt and thorough response of law enforcement and the professional way our staff managed the situation.”

A school spokesperson confirmed classes would resume Friday morning. 

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