Upping Your Game? The Best Movies About Poker out There

The Best Poker Movies Out There

Table of Contents

The Best Movies About Poker out There

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Sports movies tend to come in two distinct piles; they either change the perception of the sports or the sport becomes a backdrop for something else. It’s also about using the sport for dramatic effect. Poker is a sport that has had a varied reaction at the movies. While there are many sports movies talking about the nerve an individual has to face, when it comes to poker there are movies out there that really showcase the game and the emotions that underpin it, despite stretching the reality to its limits on occasion. What are the best poker movies out there?


Arguably the perfect poker movie. It is one of the few movies that doesn’t dig deep into the intricacies of the game but it’s one that connects with audiences better than any other Poker movie out there. It is the Rocky of poker movies. The protagonist Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) just simply wants to be the best. Sure, it inevitably touches on the key cornerstones of the game such as the art of bluffing in poker, but it makes poker more than just the game the “cool people” play. Something that truly connects with audiences, even when they don’t care about the sport, Rounders is the best one out there.

Molly’s Game

While this one is a character study more than a film truly dedicated to poker, it is a very intriguing movie. While it’s a movie about an aspiring Olympic skater until an accident puts a stop to her dreams, she finds that she can turn a good living by organizing high stakes poker games. It’s a movie that is about rebuilding yourself when life is getting you down. And while poker is a backdrop to Molly (Jessica Chastain) rebuilding her fledgling existence, it is one that makes poker a very frenetic experience. Certainly a very entertaining movie, but not necessarily one for those who are looking to learn the intricacies of poker.

The Cincinnati Kid

The best movie about poker in terms of uncompromising coolness. The story of a poker player known as The Kid challenging The Man for the latter’s title is not the most realistic depiction of poker, but it is raw. Steve McQueen is effortlessly cool and has its moments where it does lend itself well to the poker experience. The final scene, without providing any spoilers, is particularly memorable, despite its lack of realism. A movie that turned millions of people onto poker, it is definitely worth checking out.

There is a treasure trove of movies about the game of poker including Mississippi Grind, Smart Money, and a bizarre documentary called The Grand. Poker in movies has long been a metaphor for the nerve an individual has to bring from within themselves and is usually used as a device in gangster movies that shows how weak an individual is or how full of “moxie” they are. Poker is a game of ups and downs, and these few are the best movies to start with.

Upping Your Game? The Best Movies About Poker out There

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