Board games and table games have made their way into movies and in some cases managed to take over the entire scenes or movies. And it’s not surprising, considering anyone who has ever played something similar knows how engaging they can be. These games often become a battlefield for personal struggles and sometimes games become way too personal. It has become a big part of entertainment culture to play the games with friends and family and to bond over them, this way in an age where making connections in real life is becoming harder. In other cases, the games take the role of relieving tension or it serves as a way to resolve the recurring disagreement. There are cases where the entire movies are based on specific games and their storylines or strategies which should serve as a testament to just how important these games can become for people and their lives. We’ve combined a list of movies that are wither based on these games or the games are important parts of the crucial scenes of the movies, because as mentioned above the games often become the medium through which the personal issues get solved.

Clue

Based on probably one of the most popular board games ever, the movie holds a similar title to Cluedo, the board game and has now become a classic in its own right. The game and the movie center around the mysterious murder of Mr. Bobby, who has been murdered by one of the guests. As the movie reveals from the beginning Mr. Bobby invites over the people he has been blackmailing for the moth to his house. When the victims show up soon after Mr. Bobby winds up dead, with the visitors left to wonder who actually committed the crime. This is a classic that probably everyone has heard of and most of us have seen the movie multiple times. Some even say that the movie turned out to be even more engaging than the game, which is still up for debate. But what everyone can agree on is that clue is one of the most engaging detective stories with fun twists and fabulous design that has been a fan favorite for decades now. It is mostly considered to be a comedy more than a murder mystery film because of the very talented actors who manage to make every second of the movie entertaining and incredibly funny. Clue often gets discarded as “just a board game movie” but the execution was done so well that it definitely has earned the right to call itself an autonomous movie, full of laughter and mysteries.

Casino Royale

The infamous game of Baccarat became a huge part of Daniel Craig’s James Bond. In Agent 007: Casino Royale the director of the franchise, Ian Fleming has managed to incorporate his love for gambling, specifically, the game of Baccarat with such nuance that now it’s hard to imagine a bond movie without a game of Baccarat. It has become an essential part of the character and has since been considered as one of his defining features. As mentioned above, for a lot of people the power dynamics can be established through games like these and the Bond movies are the prime example of power struggles where the players are trying to establish themselves through different games to set the tone for the dynamics in the group. It is a very common thing that happens in real life and is often maybe a bit exaggerated in the movies but that what makes them so believable and entertaining to watch. Baccarat is one of the most popular games to this day and its popularity is especially prominent in Australia. The games owe a little something to the James Bond movie franchise as well and Since the rise of online casinos, the popularity of Baccarat has skyrocketed the game of Baccarat for Australian players can be accessed easily. The main reason we care about James Bond winning at Baccarat is that he needs to make sure that everyone around him knows not to mess with him it is a crucial part of creating this image of an invisible character. We can see Bond playing Baccarat in movies like GoldenEye, For Your Eyes Only and Thunderball.

Jumanji

We can’t finish this list without mentioning Jumanji, which is probably the most influential “game-based” movie of all time. It is also the only one that ever got a sequel. Jumani is a huge part of a lot of young people’s childhood and features one of the best performances in the genre. Despite its scary nature, it has become a favorite among the kids of that generation and in 2017 it got a sequel. As predicted the second installment of Jumanji didn’t get nearly as much love as the original one still gets to this day, but it was still nice to see the Jumanji World through with the tech-abilities of today. The movie starts to unfold as the main characters get a hold of a board game while playing the game the two children meet Alan, who is trapped in the game and children decide to help him escape the game. The original movie is actually based on a book by Chris Van Allsburg, and the script for the movie was also adapted by the author of the book, which is a big reason why the movie became such a success for all of the cast and crew, still remaining one of the most loved kids movies of all time.

If this list proves anything it’s that inspiration for the movie can come from anywhere. Be that the game, a book about the game or the simple dynamic that follows certain games that help understand the underlying issues between the people playing. Games are a powerful tool to the imagination that can sometimes help us think outside the box better than any other conventional method. Games have inspired a lot of creativity in film directors and they will likely continue to look for inspiration in different contemporary games for a while.

Advertisement
My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.