Casino

"Very Good"

Casino Review


The way I see it, Martin Scorsese has one problem: He's in love with the sound of his own voice, as it comes out through the dialogue of films like GoodFellas and now, Casino. Clocking in at three long hours, Casino is an entertaining and engrossing film, but just drags a simple story into a sprawling, epic tale that desperately needs a little trimming.

Based on a true story, Casino is the tale of Sam Rothstein (Robert De Niro), the best of the old bookmakers, who is hand-picked by his mob bosses "Back Home" to go to Las Vegas to run the Tangiers Casino. Sam has to contend with managing the bosses' skim going out the back door, cheats at the tables, the law breathing down his neck, and strung-out hustler Ginger (Sharon Stone), whom Sam falls for, and, despite his better judgment, eventually marries. Add to the mix Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), who basically reprises his role from GoodFellas as a "problem solver" with a temper from hell, and it's pure chaos in the high-glamour world of 1973 Las Vegas.

Scorsese directs with his characteristic style, creating a film that is at once surreal and full of gritty realism, particularly when the violent Nicky plies his trade. The film ranges from glued-to-the-screen sequences, the best of which is when Sam and his crew bust a couple of blackjack cheats, to a number of dull scenes, mainly about Sam fighting to get his gaming license. If Scorsese had kept the best two hours of the film, it would have been one of the best of the year. As it stands now, Casino is still good, but just doesn't cut it as a long-term classic.

I also fault Scorsese for the overuse of voice-over coupled with rapid-fire visuals. Especially in the opening scenes, when the characters and setting are being introduced, it's a nonstop deluge of sensory information--too much to process, too quickly. But hey, who am I to tell Martin Scorsese how to make a film?

The best part of Casino is smart acting by the three principals as well as the supporting characters (including Don Rickles, of all people, in a memorable role). De Niro evokes real sympathy for Sam, and Stone's Ginger is the consummate Bad Girl. You get a bad taste in your mouth just watching her and Pesci on screen. Also watch for a smarmy James Woods as Ginger's old pimp. The other saving grace is Casino's unexpected and frequent comic relief, which is played up beautifully to ease the film's tension.

Scorsese has improved on the flaws of GoodFellas, making a cozy little epic that's worth seeing. Just remember to bring provisions for the experience. You're going to be there for awhile.

Trim your nails next time we do that, honey.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 178 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd November 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $110.4M

Budget: $52M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Syalis DA, Légende Entreprises, De Fina-Cappa

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 49 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, as Ginger McKenna, as Nicky Santoro, as Lester Diamond, as Billy Sherbert, as Andy Stone, Kevin Pollak as Phillip Green, Pasquale Cajano as Remo Gaggi, L.Q. Jones as Pat Webb, Dick Smothers as Sénateur, as Frank Marino, Oscar Goodman as Oscar Goodman, as Charlie Clark, John Bloom as Don Ward, Catherine Scorsese as Mme Piscano, Vinny Vella as Artie Piscano, Nobu Matsuhisa as Ichikawa, Erika von Tagen as Amy, Nick Mazzola as Black Jack-Groupier

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.