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10 Great Movies That Take Place In Las Vegas And How To Watch Them

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms in The Hangover
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Las Vegas. Sin City, a place where those who are looking for a little bit of luck can retreat and gamble – a true paradise for those looking to have fun. Which makes it the perfect setting for a movie. 

The famous Nevada city has had several movies set within its confines, from hilarious comedies that are some of the funniest movies out there, to Zack Snyder features that will take you into a zombie apocalypse. From casinos to schools to heists, Las Vegas-set films have it all. These are some of the best movies set in Las Vegas, and where you can stream them.

Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Hangover (2009)

If you want a classic comedy, check out The Hangover. Released in 2009, this film follows a group of friends who decide to go to Vegas to celebrate a wedding. The next morning, none of them can find the groom, and they also have no memory of what happened the night before. Now, it's a race against the clock to retrace their steps and find him before time runs out. 

The Hangover is honestly an absolute Las Vegas classic. I feel like whenever I think of the city, this is one of the first films that comes to mind. All of The Hangover movies are funny, but nothing can quite beat the first. The chemistry The Hangover cast has is impeccable and it’s just so dang funny. This movie defined my middle school years and still continues to be one of my favorite comedies to date. You just have to love it.

Stream The Hangover on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy The Hangover on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.

(Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Oh, you want old school Vegas? You’re getting old school Vegas. Viva Las Vegas is a classic musical starring Elvis Presley and Anne-Margret in a simple love story. A race-car driver is trying to mind his business while waiting for the ultimate competition - the Grand Prix. However, his life turns upside down when he meets the woman of his dreams in Las Vegas while he’s working to save up money for a new engine. 

I mean, if you’ve ever heard of the song “Viva Las Vegas” from Elvis, it’s from this movie. And, with a musical starring the King of Rock and Roll himself, you know the tunes are going to be banging. While Las Vegas in the film looks nothing like Las Vegas does today, it still has that same Vegas vibe, and the chemistry that these two share is great. 

Stream Viva Las Vegas on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Viva Las Vegas on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

The main cast of Ocean's Eleven.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

If you’re looking for a heist comedy that takes place in Las Vegas, you have to check out Ocean’s Eleven. A remake of the original film released back in the 1960s (which you should also check out if you like this one), this story follows Danny Ocean and his criminal buddies, who decide to pull the ultimate heist in the city of sin - to rob $160 million from a casino owner. The twist? The casino owner’s girlfriend also happens to be Ocean’s ex-wife, creating an even more chaotic scenario. 

Ocean’s Eleven is iconic for so many reasons. The background of Las Vegas is expertly used and the action scenes are phenomenal, but what does it for me is the outstanding Ocean’s Eleven cast. You have the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle - all of these Hollywood powerhouses in the same film. And if you end up liking Ocean’s Eleven, there’s a whole Ocean’s franchise for you to watch after. 

Stream Ocean’s Eleven on Tubi.
Rent/Buy Ocean’s Eleven on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

One of the main characters of Pay It Forward.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Pay It Forward (2000)

In this sweet romantic drama, Pay It Forward stars Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, telling the story of a young boy who wants to make a difference in the world. So he decides to start a new movement called “pay it forward,” not knowing the impact that it would have not only on his community, but on those he loves, as well. 

Truthfully, this is the only Las Vegas centered movie on this list that I can fully recommend for families, just because many of the others have pretty adult scenes or a lot of gore or violence, but Pay It Forward is just a sweet film. While the reviews at the time of its release weren’t the best, I can look back on it with a smile because I enjoy simple love stories. 

Rent/Buy Pay It Forward on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Army of the Dead team from Netflix movie

(Image credit: Netflix)

Army Of The Dead (2021)

If you want some zombies, we've got the film for you. The Netflix original, Army of the Dead, released in 2021 and features Vegas in a post-apocalyptic state, overrun by zombies. However, when a group of mercenaries are given the chance to steal millions of dollars from a casino before the city is nuked, they throw caution to the wind and dive head first into the army of the dead in the hopes that this money will change their lives.

Army of the Dead is so much fun. Often compared to Zack Snyder’s other zombie film, Dawn of the Dead, this one takes the setting of Las Vegas to another level. Imagine this classic setting literally overrun with crazy monsters and zombies chasing the mercenaies. Imagine zombie tigers. Imagine literal alpha zombies. That’s what Army of the Dead offers. That, paired with the amazing Army of the Dead cast and some sick casino action scenes, makes this movie a hit. 

Stream Army of the Dead on Netflix. (opens in new tab)

Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas

(Image credit: MGM)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas is an amazing drama, based on a book of the same name. This film follows a man who has lost his family and his job, and decides to give up on everything and move to Las Vegas so he can drink and live the rest of his days alone. But, while he’s there, he ends up meeting a sex worker and forming a relationship with her. 

Leaving Las Vegas is arguably the saddest film on this list, as it deals with really heavy issues such as suicide and depression, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great film featuring wonderful acting. Nicolas Cage is stellar and ended up winning an Oscar for his role in the film, and Elisabeth Shue also scored several nominations, as well. It’s such a great film to watch, especially if you want an amazing movie set in Las Vegas. 

Stream Leaving Las Vegas on Paramount Plus. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Leaving Las Vegas on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

The main cast of Now You See Me.

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Now You See Me (2013)

Next up on the list, we have Now You See Me. Another heist film but with a twist of magic, this fun movie (which also has a great sequel) follows a group of magicians who are skilled in what they do – so skilled, in fact, that they are able to use their magic talent to rob banks and other places, often handing off much of their earnings to the audiences they perform for, while keeping some for themselves. 

This is such a fun heist movie. As someone who loves the magicians who are often featured in Las Vegas, the take they do in Now You See Me – with them all being bank robbers – is just so inventive and something that I really loved to see. It’s creative, and with a talented Now You See Me cast, the chemistry is all there for this magic show. 

Rent/Buy Now You See Me on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

William H. Macy in The Cooler.

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The Cooler (2003)

Starring William H. Macy, in one of his best films, The Cooler is a fantastic movie that you definitely can’t miss. In this film, a man who works as a casino "cooler" (a person who seems to keep gamblers from winning) is quite good at his job, but everything changes when he ends up meeting a lovely woman - and he falls in love with her. Now, he has to figure out his next move when his gift of cooling people's gambling luck begins to fade. 

The Cooler is one of the best movies on this list. Not only was it critically acclaimed when it first came out, but the film itself has some amazing acting. Alec Baldwin, for example, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role. William H. Macy got a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor as well - it’s such a good story and one you should definitely watch. 

Stream The Cooler on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy The Cooler on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Robert De Niro in Casino.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Casino (1995)

You know, I’m only just now starting to realize how many crime and heist movies there are on this list because, dang, there’s a lot. Casino, a classic Las Vegas film, stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci, and tells the story of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, an expert handicapper in gambling who is given the shot to run Tangier Casino for the mob. 

Casino, hands down, is the best film on this list in terms of pure quality. Directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino does an excellent job of showing how casinos were once run by mobs and had a lot of dirty business behind them, but also does portray the story of Ace so well in a way where you can’t help but want to learn more about him as he begins to change. 

Stream Casino on Peacock. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Casino on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

(Image credit: Universal)

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)

Last but not least, we take a look at Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Starring Johnny Depp, this black comedy details the story of two journalists who are tasked with covering the Mint 400 motorcycle race in Las Vegas, but they get a little help along the way by purchasing a crap-ton of drugs for the trip. And, this turns their Vegas trip upside down. 

While the film originally bombed at the box office, it’s so fun to re-watch now, as the performances are stellar, and of course, Johnny Depp always rocks whatever role he’s usually in. The partnership between Depp and Benicio del Toro, though, as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, flows so well and makes their psychedelic story that much more fun. 

Stream Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on Starz. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

With all these great picks, I bet it might be hard to pick just one, but trust me when I say no matter what you end up picking, you’re going to have a great time watching them no matter what. Now, if you don’t mind me, I’m going to go and re-watch Army of the Dead again for the millionth time.