Casinos are closed around the world, and there are no sports to watch, let alone bet on. While there are plenty of online poker options to keep you in action, some of us are jonesing for the bright lights of Vegas or the sweat that comes with a high-stakes roll of the dice.
Rather than watch every episode of The Office for the ninth time, here are some movies you can stream for free (assuming you subscribe) to help alleviate the inevitable boredom that comes with social distancing.
*Note: Streaming options depend on your region.
Running Time: 2h 3m
This 2008 film based on Ben Mezrechi’s excellent Bringing Down The House tells a fictionalized story about the MIT students who took Las Vegas casinos for millions as expert card counters. The movie features Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, and a young Josh Gad, but you’ll have to overlook the presence of Kevin Spacey.
Running Time: 2h 1m
Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s movie script helped to spark the poker boom, and despite some of the cheesiness that’s only apparent 22 years later, it’s still at the top of most poker player’s lists when it comes to the genre. Fans of the movie have been clamoring for a Matt Damon and Edward Norton reunion in the sequel for years.
Running Time: 1h 48m
Two down-on-their-luck gamblers, excellently played by Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, set out on a road trip to build a bankroll and play in a big poker tournament in New Orleans. The movie was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the same duo behind Captain Marvel, Sugar, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, and Half Nelson.
Win It All
Running Time: 1h 28m
This 2017 project from Joe Swanberg is the newest film on the list and reunites him with New Girl and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse star Jake Johnson, with whom he worked with on Drinking Buddies. Johnson plays a gambling addict who has to win big at a poker game in order to get out of the hole with a criminal who is set to be released from prison.
Hard Eight (Sydney)
Running Time: 1h 41m
Did you know that P.T. Anderson made a gambling movie? This 1996 crime film features a young Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gwyneth Paltrow, but it’s all about the relationship between a casino comps expert Sydney, played by Philip Baker Hall, and his gambling protege played by John C. Reilly.
Running Time: 1h 41m
Although this movie is about poker, it’s more about sleight-of-hand magic and how it affects high-stakes private poker games. Based on some of the hands shown, it’s clear the film’s production didn’t have any real poker players on set, but there are some fun, over-the-top performances from Jamie Foxx and Sylvester Stallone.
Running Time: 1h 44m
Made in 1980, Louis Malle’s Atlantic City is the oldest movie on this list. This crime thriller stars Susan Sarandon as a casino waitress who dreams of dealing blackjack in Monte Carlo, and Burt Lancaster as a small-time gangster who runs an illegal lottery. There are more than 25 movies with the word ‘Vegas’ in the title, but only two about the Garden State’s gambling hub.
Running Time: 1h 41m
Even the unlucky ones have a place in Las Vegas. At least that’s the premise of this 2003 film starring William H. Macy. When Maria Bello shows up as a love interest, however, his luck begins to change, much to the dismay of his boss, played by Alec Baldwin. The movie also somehow features NSYNC member Joe Fatone.
Running Time: 1h 33m
Ignore the fact that it has the lowest metascore on the list, and focus on it being the only family-friendly movie available. This Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid comedy had us all hoping we had the great Vegas luck of Nick Papagiorgio. “I put a dollar in, I got a car!”
Running Time: 2h 24m
For much of this James Bond episode’s run time, there is very little gambling. Then in the movie’s climactic casino scene, you get to see one of the most absurd poker hands in cinema history. Even though he splashed the pot, we still like Daniel Craig’s performance better than Matt Damon’s at the WSOP.