By Brett Buckalew, Special to Metromix
There's nothing inherently pulse-quickening about watching someone roll a pair of dice across a craps table or scrupulously eye a five-card hand. And yet, that hasn't stopped filmmakers from trying to mine excitement from on screen gambling. Luckily, a decent number of them have come out cinematic winners, odds be damned.
There are enough gambling movies to constitute an entire subgenre, and this month two more ante up in the hopes of a box-office payout: "21 " [pictured], a fact-based drama about MIT-trained blackjack card counters that tests the star power of "Across the Universe" heartthrob Jim Sturgess and the equally photogenic Kate Bosworth ("Superman Returns"); and "The Grand," an improvised mockumentary set in the world of tournament poker with an ensemble cast including Woody Harrelson and David Cross.
Before betting your hard-earned dollars on the worthiness of either new release, it would be wise to study this cheat sheet of 10 notable gambling movies of the past. It just may increase your chances of leaving the multiplex a big winner.