Hollywood’s infatuation with Las Vegas comes through in many ways on screen. Some bask in the glam and glitz, others wallow in the gutter and some drug-fueled benders are best not to be spoke of again.
Nothing puts shine on these movies while actually in Las Vegas, so on the next flight or late night movie in the room, these are some of our favorites. Let us what you think and why on social media.
The king of all Vegas movies – the Martin Scorsese classic features career performances from Robert Deniro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone centered around the fictional Tangiers Casino. The film may be the best depiction of the mob’s early control of Las Vegas.
Though we never see Mike McDermott make it to Vegas with a bag full of cash and it’s technically not a “Vegas movie”, the movie leaves an itch you can’t scratch until a spot opens up at the poker table. The film shows the game as respectable, intellectual pursuit but doesn’t shy away from the dark side of the game with Worm, Teddy KGB and Grama.
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson’s classic book blended reality with his persona and no one’s quite sure where it one ended and the other began. Terry Gilliam perfectly stitched the two together in a way that simultaneously inspires a trip to Vegas and to never return to Sin City.
Yes, the remake – the original Frank Sinatra film didn’t age very well and the reboot has everything we love about Las Vegas. The ensemble cast led by George Clooney and Brad Pitt returned for two forgettable sequels but the 2001 film is as close this generation will get to its own Rat Pack.
The novelty of The Hangover wore off quickly but the movie helped recharge the R-rated comedy genre. Ken Jeong’s role as “Mr. Chow” is worth a re-watch alone.
The Godfather: Part II
The Corleone family story is told in two parts – young Vito’s rise to power and Michael’s consolidation of power. Michael moved the family to Nevada in the sequel to look over the family businesses in Las Vegas and an attempt at opening a casino in Cuba.
Leaving Las Vegas
Nicolas Cage’s Oscar-winning 1996 performance transcends his present day, meme-centric persona as the film dives into the darkest sides of humanity. Elizabeth Shue and director Mike Figgis earned Oscar nods for Best Actress and Best Director.
Ben “Bugsy” Siegel was the real life mobster that built the Flamingo and inspired dozens of Vegas tales. Warren Beatty and Annette Bening star in a film that won two Oscars and received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, twice for Best Supporting Actor (Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley) and Best Actor
The campiness of Elizabeth Berkley’s best intentions, an awful script and gratuitous nudity garnered the film a cult following after it shocked audiences with its NC-17 rating. It swept the Razzies in 1996 but also became one of MGM’s top 20 best-selling home movies.