Some of them are violent, some are nerve-wracking, unpredictable or heartwarming. Some get awards and critical acclaim. However, it’s the most important for them to be entertaining, just like the main matter itself. Sports betting has been a constant theme of movies throughout the years. Which of those motion pictures are the most bet-worthy? Get your popcorn and check OneHash’s list with our favorite movies about world of sports betting.
An absolute must-watch from Martin Scorsese. The movie is inspired by a book based on a true story of sports bettor Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal (in the movie called by name Sam “Ace” Rothstein), sent by the Chicago Mafia to manage casinos in Las Vegas. Scorsese, together with top-notch actors Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci and Oscar-nominated Sharon Stone, takes us to the gambling world of the 1970’s. Greed, power, money, organized crime, violence and narrative tempo - in Casino you have all the features of Scorsese’s cinematic work that we all love. If you're going to watch any gambling or sports betting movie, make sure it's exactly this one. And if you want to be a perfect sports bettor, be the one like Rothstein.
At first glance, it’s a Philadelphia-based love story of two lost-in-life characters: widower Tiffany (Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence) and mentally unhinged teacher Pat (Bradley Cooper). Actually the one who steals the show is Pat’s father, played by - yes, you guessed it - Robert De Niro. He's a constant bettor running a small-time bookie operation and a die hard fan of the NFL team Philadelphia Eagles. De Niro’s character constantly make two deadly sins of sports betting - he bets with his heart instaed of head and he wagers way more than he probably should. Unlike Casino, Silver Linings Playbook is a classical feel-good-movie with great on-screen chemistry, humor, touching drama and universal, uplifting message. What message? See for yourself.
Maybe a little forgotten, but certainly worth a try. It has everything you ask for from sports betting movie: action, intensity and - as the title suggests - lots of money. Add to that a decent plot, even more decent character development, world-class actors Al Pacino together with Matthew McConaughey and you have a really nice mix for a fan of sports betting. McConaughey plays Brandon Lang, once a college-football-star turned to a sports handicapper, taken under the wings of Pacino’s Walter Abrams, renowned sports gambling tout. The movie focuses on emotions and struggles of professional sports bettors rather than business mechanisms. Watch it once upon a time, at least because of Pacino’s performance.
Another Scorsese’s work. Another great one. We won’t lie to you, we’re as big fans of this New Yorker as it gets. Yet The Color of Money, exactly like Casino, is not your typical sports betting movie. It resolves around two characters and their journey into the pool-hustling world. Paul Newman, returning to his role of Eddie Felson, a character from 25 years older classic The Hustler, is assisted by then 24-years-old Tom Cruise, who plays Felson’s protégé Vincent. The movie tells a story of tough, unobvious mentorship, clash of two egos and pride or morality in conjunction with rivalry for the cash. With fascinating portrayal of sports betting psychology and acting skills of Newman and Cruise, it’s truly worth your time. And money.
We are free to choose our paths, but we can't choose the consequences that come with them. The truest and painful verity flows through this 1986’s motion picture. Eight Men Out is based on a real-life story of Black Sox scandal, when eight underpaid players of Chicago White Sox accepted a bribe to lose the 1919 World Series. The movie is all about how corruption can have an effect on professional sports and lifes of those who are involved in the process. Nevertheless, Eight Men Out shows complexity of one of the biggest scandals in sports history and doesn’t judge players. It speaks mostly of the need for regulation and integrity in both sports and sports betting. Memorable roles of Charlie Sheen and John Cusack are the icing on the cake.
This comedy starring Wesley Snipes & Woody Harrelson deals with the biggest sports stereotypes of them all: “Do white basketball players are really worse than the black ones?”. Basically it is a movie about athletes, hustlers, bettors and schemers, all in one. 90’s nostalgia, heart for street basketball, cool hip-hop/pop vibes, harsh jokes and Snipe’s controversial but likeable character Sidney Deane gives a perfect idea for spending two hours of your time. Furthermore, together with Harrelson’s Billy Hoyle, you can find out if a “slow, white, geeky chump” can ball. Or jump. Or win on betting.
Top non-mainstream movie from the list. Bookies tell a story of three college friends who decides to become a sport bettors. Their new lifestyle brings them a lot of money, but as well a lot of problems, caused by local authorities and mobsters. Typical American Dream with smart, appealing protagonists and stereotypical villains. Premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Bookies is one of those movies in which action and humor let you forget about scenario’s weaknesses. And from betting point of view - it’s good to go back in time and see for yourself how the world of classic, paper sports betting looked back then. Extra points for showing real, intense emotions of wagering on sports event. If you’re a bettor yourself, then you know all about that one of a kind thrill.
The oldest and the saddest movie of our draft. Dark side of sports betting in its purest form - paranoia of bad decisions mixed with addictions's struggle. James Caan in one of his best and most complex roles, playing Axel Freed, New York University English professor engaged in all forms of degenerate and self-destructive gambling, but dragged into the deepest by the sports one. Fall of morality and dignity chock-full with profound pain nearly sensible from the screen. The 2014 remake with Mark Wahlberg did its bes to live up to the original, but simply failed at it. Especially when it comes to the ending scene. Be calm, no spoilers here. Just watch it and live it by yourself.
You think of some movies that are not but should be on that list? Put aside you popcorn for a while and leave us a note in the comments. And if you want to start your own betting story - who knows, maybe the one with theatrical potential - check OneHash sports betting offer. And if you don't want to go the same way as Axel Freed, roll into most common mistakes of sports betting.