11) Maverick (1994)
Starring: Mel Gibson, James Garner, Jodie Foster and Alfred Molina
Directed by: Richard Donner
The list was extended specifically to include not only one of the most underrated westerns but it’s right up there with “Rounders” as one of the best poker movies as well.
Chemistry is everything and this movie is loaded with it. From the annoying yet charmed disposition that Mel Gibson has for Jodie Foster to the “Father/Son” relationship that James Garner (who played Gibson’s character in the original television series) has for Gibson; it’s funny, exhilarating, and Alfred Molina plays an outstanding villain.
“Maverick” is loaded with twists and turns. Just when you think it’s about to end, it just keeps on coming with surprises. The famed director Richard Donner – known for the “Lethal Weapon” franchise – breaks the fourth wall with a hilarious cameo. That’s the kind of movie this is too. Westerns are notoriously taken very seriously but “Maverick” is counterintuitive to that philosophy.
The story follows poker prodigy Bret Maverick and his journey to enter a steep $25,000 poker tournament – always seeming to come up just short of the required amount.