MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 234 this week

Casino (1995)

8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 239,578 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 500 user | 121 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 22 Nov 2010
 
a list of 41 titles
created 31 May 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 15 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Search for "Casino" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Casino (1995)

Casino (1995) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Casino.

User Polls

Top 250 #145 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Papillon (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory
Chopper (2000)
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, David Field
Capote (2005)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
Serpico (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe
Monster (2003)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern
Blow (2001)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of George Jung, the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970s.

Director: Ted Demme
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey
Auto Focus (2002)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A story about "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and his friendship with John Carpenter.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello
Infamous (2006)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

While researching his book In Cold Blood, writer Truman Capote develops a close relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.

Director: Douglas McGrath
Stars: Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock
Hoffa (1992)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A film based on the story of legendary union figure Jimmy Hoffa.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Armand Assante
Bugsy (1991)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of how Bugsy Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
John Bloom ...
Pasquale Cajano ...
...
Bill Allison ...
Vinny Vella ...
Edit

Storyline

This Martin Scorsese film depicts the Janus-like quality of Las Vegas--it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this paradoxical world. Seen through their eyes, each as a foil to the other, the details of mob involvement in the casinos of the 1970's and '80's are revealed. Ace is the smooth operator of the Tangiers casino, while Nicky is his boyhood friend and tough strongman, robbing and shaking down the locals. However, they each have a tragic flaw--Ace falls in love with a hustler, Ginger, and Nicky falls into an ever-deepening spiral of drugs and violence. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Winner loses all. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive strong language, drug use and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Casino  »

Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£3,834,340 (UK) (15 March 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life Santoro brothers, Anthony and Michael Spilotro, weren't killed in the Las Vegas desert but in an Illinois basement, where they'd gone believing Michael was going to be inducted into the Mafia. This is the same way Joe Pesci's character is killed in Goodfellas. See more »

Goofs

When Ace is confronting Ginger and Lester in the diner, he stack of money that Ace puts on the table changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ace Rothstein: [voice-over] When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And for a while, I believed, that's the kind of love I had.
[Ace's car explodes]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Martin Scorsese, l'émotion par la musique (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
Written by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci
Courtesy of Carosello Cemed S.R.L.
Published by Edizioni Curci, S.R.L. and EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very good but not without flaws
26 June 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Casino is a very good film. If you're at all interested in gangster/mafia films, or if you're at all a fan of director/co-writer Martin Scorsese, novelist/co-writer Nicholas Pileggi, or actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone or James Woods, then Casino is without a doubt a must-see. I'm a huge De Niro fan, and I'm a fan of Scorsese and Woods as well. I certainly enjoyed the film.

But I don't think that Casino is at all a "perfect" film. An 8 out of 10 may seem high, but if you're familiar with my reviews, you'll know that it's not that high of a score from me--it's closer to average from me. There are plenty of flaws here, and I'm going to spend some time pointing them out, particularly since the film receives so many 10's.

Casino is based on the story of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal and the Stardust casino in Las Vegas. The Rosenthal character is here named Sam "Ace" Rothstein and is played by De Niro. The hotel became the Tangiers for the film. The mob backs Rothstein but has to set up a false front while Rothstein "secretly" runs the hotel, because of his gambling charges back East. He falls in love with and marries former hooker/call-girl and current Vegas hustler Ginger McKenna (Stone), who remains in love with her pimp, Lester Diamond (Woods). Meanwhile, mob strong-arm Nicky Santoro (Pesci) heads out to Vegas to protect Rothstein, but eventually ends up running his own rackets and trying to effectively take over the town. Casino is the story of the relationship and political problems that this cast of characters and a number of associates run into. It's roughly a gradual road to destruction for everyone involved.

The film is unusual in many ways. The most prominent oddity is that a large chunk of it is told via alternated narration from the two main characters, Rothstein and Santoro. The aim was probably to include a lot more of Pileggi's book, in a more literal way, than would have been possible through more conventional means. It's remarkable that the narration works as well as it does, especially because a lot of it is given a rapid-fire delivery. For at least the first 15 minutes, there is barely a pause in the narrational dialogue.

One of the reasons it works is because of the style that Scorsese uses to accompany it in the opening. He employs a lot of fast cuts while presenting very stylized, documentary-like footage. The opening feels as much like an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at how the typical casino works as it feels like a fictional film about gangsters.

Eventually, the film evolves from almost 100% narration to almost no narration (although the narration never completely leaves the film). This happens so subtly that one hardly notices. Scorsese's directorial style likewise evolves from the fast-cut documentary approach to something more conventional.

This is all well and good, but on the other hand, the gradual evolution can only happen because the film is so long--it clocks in just a couple minutes shy of 3 hours. That's a bit too long for the story being told. By at least the halfway point, it starts to feel a bit draggy. All the material is necessary to the story, but it could have been tightened up a lot more.

Another unusual aspect is the score/soundtrack, which consists primarily of pop hits from a wide time span--30 years or more. While I like the songs--I've owned the CD since it came out and I listen to it often enough--and the songs can help set the mood for some scenes, they become a bit too incessant and overbearing for the story after awhile. It begins to approach the dreaded "mix tape" mentality, where the songs are just there because the director wanted to share some bitchin' tunes that he likes a lot. A bit of ebb and flow with the music, and music better correlated to the drama, would have worked even better.

Presumably, Scorsese was shooting for something like a sensory assault, since that's what you get in Vegas. The visuals are filled with neon lights, flashy clothes (I love Rothstein's suits), flashy people and such. The soundtrack is probably meant to match. But in that case, if I were directing, I think I would have went for a combination of commissioned music that incorporated a lot of casino sounds, or that mimicked a lot of casino sounds--the cacophonous electronic symphony of various machines constantly going through their modes--with schmaltzy show tunes, ala Liza, Jerry Vale, Tom Jones, Wayne Newton, etc.

That Scorsese was trying to give a Vegas-styled sensory assault is also supported by the audio-visual contrast between the Vegas scenes and the scenes in other locations, such as Kansas City. So I can understand the motivation, but I'm not sure the final result exactly worked.

Of course the performances are exceptional, even if everyone is playing to type, except for maybe Woods. The plot and characters are written and performed so that the viewer can see the disasters coming way before the characters can--and that's how it should be. For example, as a viewer, you know as soon as it starts that it's a bad idea for Rothstein to kowtow to McKenna to win her hand in marriage, but Rothstein is blind in love and he ends up paying for it. Everything unfolds almost a bit predictably in this respect, and another slight flaw is that we're shown the penultimate moment of the film right at the very beginning. It tends to make it feel even more stretched out, as you keep anticipating that scene.

But the slight flaws shouldn't stop anyone from seeing this film, and of course, quite a few viewers feel that there are no flaws at all.


79 of 137 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nicky santorro scott_wilson2006-663-752009
Why didn't Ace get rid of Ginger? basketballplayer314
This film is extremely boring to me. SimplyJones
two 'balloon heads' in the lobby vittimafia
Why didn't Sam just have Lester killed early on? ddb540
Cops Attitude at the End WWFoverWWE
Discuss Casino (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page