The Card Counter is a crafty crime film that follows a recently released ex-military man who resorts to his new life counting cards and playing poker across the country. Soon, he carefully tries to stop a vengeful person from executing a revenge plot and hopes his actions will redeem him of his past. While critics loved the movie and the audience felt underwhelmed by its pacing, there is no denying that Isaac showcases a captivating performance as the ex-military man, now card counter.
The Card Counter incorporates gambling into the revenge story to develop the character’s arc. Much of it stems from his life from working in Guantanamo Bay, one of the most controversial detention camps, and becomes his motivation as a gambler. Other movies follow some of the elements of The Card Counter, such as card games, revenge quest, or even both.
10 Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Available On HBO Max
In Ocean’s Eleven, Danny Ocean has just been released from prison, and he is already working on his next heist. With help from his close friend Rusty, they bring together a group of people with similar interests as they plan to execute their next robbery at casinos.
The film showcases the aesthetic of casinos and card playing, much like The Card Counter. While Ocean’s Eleven is more of a heist than a gambling film, it does present the character’s motives for money and revenge. Overall, viewers will enjoy Ocean’s Eleven as it is one of the best crime comedy films.
9 Camp X-Ray (2017) – Available On AMC+ & Curia
Following 9/11, Army Private First Class Amy Cole was assigned to work at Guantanamo Bay in the movie Camp X-Ray. When she unexpectedly befriends one of the prisoners, she softens up much to the dislike of her other comrades, and it soon creates problems at the detention center. The feature famously starred Kristen Stewart and Payman Maadi.
Both this film and The Card Counter showcase the unethical practices in Guantanamo Bay and the toll it took on the military people regarding their mental health. While these experiences were flashbacks and references in The Card Counter, Camp X-Ray vividly shows the exploits while also focusing on an unusual friendship that allows people to sympathize with the detainees like Ali. Thanks to a breathtaking performance by Stewart and Maadi, viewers will come across a harrowing story in Camp X-Ray, raising awareness of the Guantanamo Bay controversy. Furthermore, it is one of Stewart’s best movies to date.
8 Rounders (1998) – Available On HBO Max
In Rounders, Mike McDermott is a former poker player who quits playing after a heavy loss from his last game. When his close friend is released from prison, he returns to playing poker to help pay his friend’s debts. The film features a stunning cast comprised of the likes of Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
In Rounders, the character’s motivation parallels Isaac’s William Tell, as they both play poker to help certain people with their debts. Furthermore, many critics describe The Card Counter as today’s generation of Rounders. Therefore, Rounders is a must-watch to see the impressive performances from the cast and an entertaining story of playing poker.
7 21 (2008) – Available On Prime Video & Hulu
21 follows an MIT student who giftedly excels in mathematics and numbers. He joins a professor and other students to count cards in Las Vegas in hopes of making enough money to pay his college tuition. However, problems soon ensue when he grabs the attention of a casino enforcer.
The film echoes the counting cards strategy used in The Card Counter. Surprisingly, the story is based on a true story of the MIT Blackjack Team from the book, Bringing Down the House. Viewers enjoying the gambling aspects of The Card Counter will be fascinated by the card-playing finesse showcased in 21.
6 Molly’s Game (2017) – Available To Rent On Apple TV, Amazon, & Google Play
Molly’s Game follows a former Olympian who resorted to running high-stakes poker games for many years. Although she has stopped running these games, she remains an FBI target and hires a criminal defense lawyer to prove her innocence.
Aaron Sorkin’s thrilling biopic drama is compelling and energetic in portraying Molly Bloom’s story with an incredible performance from Jessica Chastain. As Molly’s Game has a similar environment of high-stakes poker like The Card Counter, the film also has tenacity in showcasing an independent woman and her ability to come to terms with her past. As people watch Molly’s Game, they will be fascinated by her thrilling story, especially since Molly Bloom is also one of Sorkin’s best-written characters in his films.
5 The Cincinnati Kid (1965) – Available To Rent On Amazon & Google Play
The Cincinnati Kid follows a young poker player who possibly has the best luck in the world. As he climbs up the ladder in poker, he hopes to face a poker master and prove his worth as one of the best poker players.
The Cincinnati Kid and The Card Counter follow a similar character arc in which both leading characters showcase their talent in playing poker, although with different motivations. Also, both films center on card playing and display a bit of romance in the story. The Cincinnati Kid showcases a different approach to a poker film, and viewers will be enamored by Steve McQueen’s brilliant performance. It is also one of the best poker movies ever made.
4 Casino (1995) – Available On AMC+
In the 1970s, a mobster lives a flourished life heading a casino, and it only gets better when he marries a hustler. It all changes as his relationship with his closest companion becomes spoiled, and his life is in danger.
Martin Scorsese’s Casino presents another impressive mafia film with brilliant performances from the cast. Though its atmosphere is different from The Card Counter – as it is more exciting and has more crime thriller elements – Casino does have the familiar aesthetics of casino and card games. Overall, Casino is one of the best mafia and casino films that deserves a watch.
3 Revolver (2005) – Available To Rent On Apple TV, Amazon, & Google Play
In Guy Ritchie’s crime thriller, Jake Green is out for revenge against those who put him in jail for a crime he did not commit. As he easily wins these casino games against Macha, his life is also at risk, and he seeks protection to take the empire down. Revolver features a studded cast of Jason Statham and Ray Liotta.
Jake Green from Revolver echoes a similar character arc of William Tell from The Card Counter, in which they both were released from prison and play cards as their new livelihood. Furthermore, both films also have aspects of a revenge quest to fight against those who wronged them. Revolver echoes much of the character arc and story development of The Card Counter, and a slight difference in tone and added action sequence showcase a different approach that will entertain the audience.
2 The Mauritanian (2021) – Available On Fubo TV, Showtime, & Spectrum
The Mauritanian is a true story about Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s experience as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay. When a defense attorney and her associate decide to take on Slahi’s case, they learn about the mistreatment in the detention camp and realize his innocence despite having never been charged.
Both stories draw attention to the misdeeds of Guantanamo Bay, although from different perspectives. Jodie Foster and Tahar Rahim present a remarkable performance that earned them Golden Globe nominations. The Mauritanian is a must-watch for people who want to dive into the conspiracies and see a glimpse of the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay.
1 Casino Royale (2006) – Available To Rent On AppleTV, Amazon, & Google Play
James Bond has finally earned his license to kill and is one of the fresh faces as a 007 agent in 2006’s Casino Royale. In his first mission, Bond faces Le Chiffre, who is funding a terrorist organization. To stop him, Bond must play against him in a high-stakes poker game as means of foiling Le Chiffre’s plan.
The film was a remarkable debut for Daniel Craig as the talented 007 agent. The Bond film takes on a stern and intense approach different from the previous version. Like William Tell, Bond also showcases his talents in playing high-stakes poker games where defeating Le Chiffre could save humanity from dangerous threats. While the intensity and thrill are much mellow in The Card Counter, Casino Royale sets a refreshing and exciting take on a poker game with incredible action and story.
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10 Best Movies Like The Card Counter