Are Gambling Movies a Dying Breed?

Last Updated: August 17, 2015By Tags: ,

A comparative review of casino films pre-2000s with movies released in the new millennium suggest that this generation’s screenplay writers and directors have exhausted the genre, and the Internet’s various lists of top films in the category have not proven otherwise.

The recent additions in the category have failed to impress at the box office with Jason Statham’s Wild Card, a substandard attempt to channel Burt Reynolds in Heat, as well as Runner, Runner which a Rotten Tomatoes user described as “a movie designed to provide some background noise as you update your Facebook.” Even the Rounders actor Ben Affleck couldn’t make up for Justin Timberlake’s lackluster performance. While the Mark Wahlberg version of The Gambler is entertaining in its own right, the mediocre 2014 remake still fell short of the standards set by the James Caan classic. Has the gambling storyline run its course?

The strange thing about casinos is that they have all the makings for a potentially successful motion picture. InterCasino, a UK portal that has intercepted several global markets like Germany despite the country’s preference for traditional forms of gambling entertainment, explains that brick and mortar establishments tend to have a lively and quite a celebratory atmosphere, which is perfect for any movie set. Yet the latest inclusions to the casino film genre have been rather underwhelming and frankly, disappointing.

Although not all the casino films released in the last 15 years have been as poorly received as Runner, Runner and Wild Card. Ocean’s Eleven, 21 and Casino Royale are among the notable motion pictures in the genre that have also been included in IMDB’s list of top casino films, receiving ratings similar to the cult feature Rounders. The Hangover is also a new favorite in the category with its accurate depiction of modern-day Sin City and its outrageously funny plot, but now that the industry has covered all the bases for potential casino storylines, have we seen the last of this perishing breed?