Molly’s Game: 10 Similar Crime Thriller Movies You’ll Like

Directed by Aaron Sorkin, ‘Molly’s Game’ adapts the real-life story of Molly Bloom to the big screen as a crime drama. Renowned for his work in direction and screenplay writing on ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ ‘The Newsroom,’ and ‘The Social Network’, Sorkin’s advanced understanding of the crime drama genre has played a crucial role in the acclaim of this feature.

The film follows Molly (Jessica Chastain), a skilled skier whose career came to a halt after a lethal injury. Forced to give up on her Olympic dreams, Molly stepped out of her comfort zone and into a different realm of running an underground high-stakes upmarket poker game involving some of the richest and most influential individuals. The FBI catches wind of this and probes Molly’s case until they have enough to apprehend her. Featuring a few dedicated crime drama tropes, the film resembles many others in the genre. Here are ten movies like ‘Molly’s Game’ worth a watch.

10. American Animals (2018)

Directed by Bart Layton and adapted from the real-life events of the Transylvania University book heist in 2004, ‘American Animals’ is a docudrama crime feature that follows 4 young men, Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk, and Chas Allen, attempting to rob valuable books from a school library. Described as one of the most unique heists in US history, the film neatly intertwines real-life interviews with dramatized segments of the events that took place.

‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘American Animals’ share the same crime drama genes, engrossing most viewers. Apart from both films being real-life incidents and genre-related similarities, the films explore themes of hopelessness and despair that drive their lead characters to pursue such illicit activities. They are a showcase of how enterprising individuals inspired by real-life will do anything to make their lives worthwhile.

9. The Big Short (2015)

Helmed by Adam McKay and featuring a star-studded cast of Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, ‘The Big Short’ is a biographical crime drama that takes its viewers back to the mid-2000s. Based on the nonfiction book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, the film exhibits separate stories across the US, as a group of finance experts follows the unstable housing mortgage market and attempts to forecast its fall. Through their examination, they uncover that the market is far more defective and unethical than they previously thought.

Apart from their genre similarities, ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ are two films that investigate real-life flaws in the system. Whether it be the nationwide corruption of the housing market or the loopholes of running underground exclusive high-stakes poker games, the films adeptly portray what happens under the table.

8. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ is a black comedy crime feature based on the real-life events of the infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort. The film follows Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) extraordinary rise into an affluent stockbroker through illicit and corrupt methods after experiencing a market crash. However, his venture ultimately collapses when the federal government finds out what he’s up to.

While both films adopt many tropes of the crime drama genre, ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ don’t mind getting their hands dirty, showcasing the real-life ins and outs of crooked businesses and the people who run them. Both are also exceptional stories of redemption as the films follow leads who valiantly recover from their downfall.

7. Boiler Room (2000)

Ben Younger’s ‘Boiler Room,’ is a crime drama film inspired by Younger’s own experience when joining a brokerage firm called Sterling Foster. The movie follows a young college dropout who intends to make his father proud and joins an investment firm. At the firm he gradually achieves success, but through his triumphs, he figures out that his job might not be as honest as he had once thought.

‘Boiler Room’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ share a unique crime drama DNA that’s pertinent within the greats of the genre. They both explore themes of greed, corruption, and success attracting clouded judgment while illustrating the lives of highly enterprising individuals.

6. Uncut Gems (2019)

Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, ‘Uncut Gems’ is a crime thriller feature based on the Safdie brothers’ father’s experiences as a salesman. It follows a charming Jewish jeweler, Howard (Adam Sandler), who has seemingly insurmountable debts to pay back but is unable to and his collectors are getting angry. In a last-ditch attempt, he risks it all in hopes that he can somehow make it through and survive the harsh consequences of being penniless in New York City.

‘Uncut Gems’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ capture the personas of two individuals ready to take the plunge for success even if it requires them to partake in illicit activities. They both explore the hope for a better future in dire situations and the drive to do anything to make something of their lives.

5. Miss Sloane (2016)

Jessica Chastain stars in John Madden’s ‘Miss Sloane’ a drama thriller that revolves around Elizabeth, a renowned lobbyist who is entrusted with fighting a bill that imposes firearms. She instead joins the ranks of the people who are behind the bill, however, her career is on the brink of failure as she is threatened by the most influential people around who also seek to toy with the ones she loves. She must now fend off the oppressors and win at any cost.

On a different note, ‘Miss Sloane’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ share similarities in several visual aspects such as style, tone, cinematography, and direction. While they don’t necessarily share resemblances in plot, setting, and narrative, at their cores they talk about the struggles of extremely ambitious individuals ready to do anything to succeed. Viewers will feel like the films are interconnected in more ways than a few.

4. The Card Counter (2021)

Directed by Paul Schrader, ‘The Card Counter’ is a crime drama film that follows William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an ex-military personnel and gambler who is burdened by his past. During his time in jail, he learns how to count cards and later uses poker to distract him from his past life. He now enters the World Series of Poker tournament to compete in order to make something of himself. ‘The Card Counter’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ depict strong characters eager to bend the rules to get what they want. Thematically both films explore failure and the certain desperation to make one’s life better through the odds and at all costs.

3. The House (2017)

Helmed by Andrew Jay Cohen, ‘The House’ is a crime comedy film that follows parents Scott (Will Ferrell) and Kate (Amy Poehler), whose daughter’s college scholarship is withdrawn by the town scholarship program and declines any more enrolments. Due to the circumstances, the couple decides to open an illicit casino to make back the money they lost.

Although the films differ in genre, the crux of both remains similar. In the two films, the main characters are struck with an illegal opportunity to make lots of money, which they take advantage of. However, they soon understand that their freedom may be worth much more than the money they made.

2. Rounders (1998)

John Dahl’s ‘Rounders’ is a crime drama feature that follows Mike (Matt Damon), a young ex-gambler who is forced to turn back to the underground world of poker when a friend requests his assistance in paying back a loan shark. He must now juggle between high-stakes poker, his girlfriend, and his ambition to be in law school.

‘Rounders’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ both do incredible jobs of exploring the underground poker circuit, one real-life and the other not so, however equal in their illustrations. The films go deep into investigating the kinds of people one would mingle with within these circuits and the consequences of partaking in these underground events.

1. 21 (2008)

Based on real-life people and events as depicted in the 2003 book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich, 21 is a crime thriller feature directed by Robert Luketic. It follows Ben, a timid but intelligent MIT student who becomes an ace at counting cards along with 5 others. They are conscripted into a team by their professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) who plans to cheat casinos of millions using complicated card-counting techniques.

Apart from the films being based on real-life events, both ‘21’ and ‘Molly’s Game’ explore the high-stakes world of poker, albeit one seemingly legal and the other isn’t, however, the intention to stay hidden from the law appears in both films. The films additionally explore the desperation and the pursuit of making life worthwhile in both leads. In terms of genre, they share the same DNA regarding tropes and elements that make this genre so great, incorporating both thriller sequences and realistic character interactions. A must-watch for those who liked ‘Molly’s Game’

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