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The most uncompromising studio picture of the 1990s.
contronatura20 February 2000
A complex, multilayered, beautifully directed film, Martin Scorsese's Casino is a masterpiece of destruction and betrayal. Few films take so many chances and succeed so wonderfully. It takes some of the basic formulas that were found in Goodfellas and applies them to another type of story - while Goodfellas' view was ground-level, telling the story of the "blue collar" gangsters of NYC, this film tells the story of the guys who controlled those guys. And it's fascinating to watch these people run Las Vegas, control the flow of money, and then fall from the heights of power due to lust, hubris, and greed. An amazing film that will hopefully get the recognition it deserves in the years to come.
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An underrated and undervalued Scorsese Classic
famsmith28 October 2000
If you haven't seen Casino yet, stop whatever it is you're doing, rush to the nearest video store, rent it, and watch it. Along with Mean Streets Casino is probably Scorsese's most underrated and unheralded picture. I would also venture to say that this is probably his most ambitious film. The film deals with a particular time period and a particular atmosphere and accomplishes an overwhelming achievement by creating and accurately portraying both. The art direction is splendid, most likely the best of any film Scorsese has ever done. The acting is superb. I never thought Pesci would be able to top his dynamic performance in Raging Bull until I saw Casino. Every time I watch this picture I fall in love with it all over again. This is the most honest depiction of Las Vegas, especially of the time period it was portrayed in. Scorsese's direction is flawless. Perhaps it is because I watch alot of Scorsese and Kubrick films, but I am becoming less satisfied with plot driven films and more enamored by films that possess the freedom that typical stories just don't seem to hold. Sharon Stone gives the best performance of her career, and as far as the editing is concerned, well if you believe like Kubrick and Pudovkin that a film is not shot, but built who better to have on your team than long time cohort, collaborator, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Ultimately, the genius of Scorsese is not just in the mastery of the medium, but in the understanding and appreciation for the necessity of great collaborators on all levels that Scorsese has consistently utilized throughout his career. Casino exemplifies not only the best of a Scorsese film, but transcends it. This film is truly a gem.
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"Now it looks like Disney Land"
Smells_Like_Cheese30 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best films of the 90's hands down. Without a doubt this has become one of my favorite movies. I'm not sure why really, I just love it. I think because I read the book and a lot of what happened in real life happened in my little town in Chicago. No names, and my old boss who runs our town grocery store actually knew "Ace". Again, no names. That was always pretty cool to me, since my town really didn't have much excitement. I guess also because I'm a huge fan of Martin, Robert, and Joe's. When they work together, they create masterpieces.

I've read a lot of comments on IMDb, and more than 50% of the comments are calling this "Goodfells Part 2". Is it "Goodfellas Part 2", in my opinion, no. Yes, it's very similar situations, but it's not the same plot. It's a little more gory and more bright. "Casino" is mainly about the rise and fall of Las Vegas. When Robert DeNiro's character says "It's more like Disney Land now". Actually that's true, it's not like it used to be. I'm only 20, but my mom and dad told me how different the times were in the 60's and 70's. Everyone was more close and wanted to know who you were and how everything was going. Everything is more corporate greed now-a-days. But back onto the movie, it does have gangsta's in it, and with that comes some pretty gruesome violence.

Robert DeNiro. No words can describe how wonderful of an actor he is. If you read in most of my comments, you can tell I'm a fan. This movie is actually what made me into a huge fan of his. He's dialog and image is very powerful and you understand his position. You want to love him, even though technically he's a bad guy too, you still think he is so cool. A lot of people I talked too: the guys wanted to be him and the girls wanted to be with him. What a performance, it deserved more praise.

Joe does it again being the A$$hole who thinks with his gun and not with his head. Joe as an actor is very remarkable. He's only 5' 6'', but he is so intimidating. His speech in the desert with Ace and the big confrontation. "You want me to get out of my own town?! Don't *bleep* with me, Ace!" Does he swear in this movie? Oh, yeah. A lot, we're talking 400+ f-words, guys. But you get past the vulgar language and just enjoy what Joe says and does. The head vice scene and the metal bat scene with Joe is two of the most disturbing scenes in cinematic history.

Sharon Stone, what can I say? What a remarkable performance! She was very much robbed of her deserved Oscar. I was reading in my "Rober DeNiro: A history of his films" that Sharon over shined both Joe's and Robert's performance. In some ways that is very true. She plays a gold-digging, druggie, drunk, hustling, whore. She is very glamorous in the film though, she is covered in beautiful gowns and jewelery that no guy could ever resist. Her first scene where Robert first sees her and she is stealing chips from a guy who has "hired" her for a night was extremely effective. You can see why Ace fell so hard for her. What a terrific performance in the end. When she screams at Ace "I will go to the FBI! I will go to the police! I'm not protecting you anymore!", you get scarred and can't help but watch more even though you are sitting on your butt for more than 2 1/2 hours. You hate her character so much, you want her to get what's coming to her, that's what makes a terrific performance. When you actually want to make sure that this character gets the justice he or she deserves. Sharon, I apologize, you deserved more praise as well.

Martin Scorcesse. One of the greatest living directors of our time. This film was very wonderfully made with great visuals. The soundtrack really adds a lot, I'm telling you, and the theatrical trailer with the song "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones, what a great feel. Martin has been nominated several times for an Oscar, but they snub him. I think because his films are so violent and typical. But they remain classics. I'm disappointed with the Oscars, this man deserves more.

Whew. "Casino" is an excellent movie that I highly recommend for mob movie lovers. Don't compare this to "Goodfellas", let it stand on it's own. But please, this is not a movie for children in any manor. For the parents, this is a movie that should be on the wait until the later teens. It's very violent, we're talking a head in a vice, a beating with a metal bat(just to name a few violent scenes, there's more)drugs, sex, and very vulgar language. This is for adults only!It's a great movie that deserves very much to be on the top 250. I'd like to see it in the top 100, but we'll see.

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Robert De Niro, an icon of the contemporary Hollywood crime film...
Nazi_Fighter_David22 May 2007
Based on a true story, Martin Scorsese "Casino" is a motion picture about two characters and their chance to rule the desert paradise of Las Vegas… We are introduced in with all the lights, the noise, the flashing and the colors of the town that doesn't sleep day or night…

De Niro's character, Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, is based on Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who was a hell of a handicapper… He was so good that whenever he bets, he could change the odds for every bookmaker in the country… Genius at what he was doing with numbers, he proved to a lot of guys in the Chicago Mob that he was a tremendous earner that he could make a lot of money for them… As a result, he was able to accomplish whatever bookmaking, handicapping, he wanted to do, with the umbrella of protection from those guys… 'Ace' runs the casino with an iron fist refusing any outside people cheating at his tables…

But he had a fatal flaw… 'Ace' always felt that he could logically and intelligently deal with things, even to deal with emotions… So he decides on making a life with a woman who, he knows, does not necessarily love him… Anyway with such a sexy wife and money to burn, 'Ace' was the epitome of opulence, confidence and power…

Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone) was fascinating… Great woman, truly beautiful, one of the best-known hustlers in town… For her, a guy like 'Ace' was the ultimate score… So the way to Ginger's heart was clearly money… 'Ace' knew that but he didn't care…What he wanted was to marry her…

Sharon Stone really stood up to the challenge in her role as a casino hustler who is so wild… She was young, fresh, confident, looking absolutely fantastic as the independent woman whom everybody desires…

Joe Pesci succeeds in his scary tough role as the strong man who has nerve, and isn't afraid of the cops… He was reportedly a mob hit man reputed to be a sadistic killer… (In one scene, his character is shown torturing someone by putting his head in a vise.)

To protect his friend and adviser, Nicky (Pesci) would beat to a pulp any street guys who messed with 'Ace' or didn't give him the proper respect… Over the course of their friendship Nicky delivered a number of these messages always making sure that 'Ace' didn't get his hands dirty… 'Ace' witnessed several beatings on his behalf… Nicky's mission was to show his worth to the family as an enforcer…

The clothes on De Niro looked very straight, more dangerous and very threatening… They were very important cues to his character, and again, to the progression of the story… 'Ace' was an extremely fastidious guy… And, of course, as you follow the story he starts out in more conservative colors and as things become more chaotic, the colors become more chaotic…
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A Can't-Miss Story No Matter How Told
ray-28016 August 2005
As a lifelong gambler who has crossed paths with a few fringe types portrayed in the film, I'm well aware of the story, the culture, and the ambiance of the Tangiers, the fictional casino placed in the control of Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert Deniro). Rothstein is not a mob member, but a "moneymaker" for them because he's the nation's best sports handicapper. It was refreshing for a movie to finally show that not all gamblers are stupid, but instead one of those who takes advantage of the many who are.

Rothstein's partner in crime is Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), who is far less convincing as a mobster than he would seem to like to believe. Sharon Stone plays the psychotic Ginger, a once-in-a-lifetime role in that it was the only time in my life I could bear to watch her on film. The supporting cast is strong, led by James Woods and Don Rickles (excellent in his dramatic capacity), and the movie is generally well-acted.

If you are a gambler or know the "wiseguy" culture, the movie doesn't have to be explained, while if you aren't, you'll feel like you've stumbled upon the secret meeting place of the mafia and made privy to what is said, without anyone knowing you were there. This film is based on the true story of what happened when the mob tried to put its men in suits and have them heading a casino, and why it has never been tried since. The homage paid to the incestuous nature of Nevada politics was an excellent touch.

Most of us wouldn't like a guy like Sam Rothstein, nor would we like to be him, but if we go to Vegas for a weekend and stay at a casino/hotel, we'll have a better experience if his watchful eye is ensuring that our stay is a pleasant one. The film's nod to how Vegas has been sanitized since those days is also accurate, and reflects sadness at a lost era, where the baby (the "old school" types who made Vegas great) was thrown out with the bathwater (the organized crime influences).
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Typically fantastic Scorcese film
FilmOtaku14 May 2003
I have to admit my bias, because I believe that Scorcese cannot do wrong - ever. Even his lesser-known or critically panned films are above the "great film" line, and Casino is certainly no exception.

Casino spans three decades and chronicles the true story of a faction of the mob who ran Las Vegas casinos. Robert DeNiro plays Ace Rothstein, a fantastic bookie who is chosen to run the Tangiers hotel and casino. Along the way, he marries a drug-addicted con-artist trophy wife (Sharon Stone) and struggles with his friendship with loose-cannon Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci). Rothstein is a complicated figure in that he is not a heavy, yet he wields a lot of power due to the respect he has gained from his mob bosses back home.

Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci are both fantastic in their roles, and Sharon Stone actually turned out a non-irritating performance. As the viewer, you can't stand her, but that is the point. Scorcese's normal supporting cast are also involved in this film, including his great mother - even though she usually has incredibly minimal roles, they are always memorable.

Scorcese seems to have several different directing styles, and Casino follows in the tradition of Goodfellas as a pseudo-documentary. A lot of the exposition is revealed by the characters themselves in the form of voice-overs, and several scenes are filmed in documentarian fashion. The entire production however, is sleek and very quick. The use of music bears mentioning as well: Most Martin Scorcese films have an amazing soundtrack that adds to and enhances the scene. Being a child of the MTV age, I'm a sucker for good uses of music in films and Scorcese is a master. Scorcese doesn't just utilize the soundtrack, he makes it part of the storytelling - by the music, we chronologically know what time period we are witnessing, since one cannot rely on other factors, such as fashion alone. One of my favorite scenes in film which effectively involves music is actually from Casino - the very intense scene when the relationship between DeNiro, Stone and Pesci come to a head in the climax of the film. The pounding music cut throughout this scene is a cover of "Satisfaction" by Devo and the result is absolutely brilliant.

Being a complete film geek, I generally don't go to films that feature certain stars, I go to films by certain directors and Scorcese is one of them. While this was probably the tenth time I'd seen this film there were more things I noticed, and I'm sure I'll notice more upon my eleventh viewing. The man is a complete genius, and a gift to film - my suggestion is to watch some of his films, then check out his unbelievable series, "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorcese Through American Movies" which was done the same year as Casino. The series is essentially a primer on the history of film, sectioned off by film genres. You not only will experience his amazing intellect and massive knowledge of film history, but his incredible humility as well.

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Fantastic Film
G1enn7 September 2004
Casino is by far my favourite film. I enjoyed good fellas, thought Raging Bull was great and enjoyed Taxi driver but this is a cut above the rest imo

I have seen this film to many times to count and i am yet to become even remotely sick of it. The acting is flawless, story flows at a great pace for the full all but 3 hours, great narration and a great soundtrack

Pesci and De Niro play their parts so well as does Stone. When watching this film I started to wonder what PEsci is really like in real life. Is he a crazed man like he so often plays? After seeing Casino you are likely to wonder, he is that good

I also think the characters in Casino are far more believable then those in good fellas.

Must see for any gangster film fan
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I never knew Sharon Stone was so talented
RogueXVI18 December 1998
What a fantastic movie, thanks to its cast, top heavy with stars and fine direction of the "Oscar begging" Martin Scorsese. Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci are great, as always, together. But, surprisingly, it's Sharon Stone that comes of with all the acting credit, she simply effervesces as the gold digging casino hustler. After witnessing her performance myself I couldn't agree more, and think she deserves a place above Susan Sarandon who "stole" the Academy Award from under Sharon's nose. The photography is phenomenal and combined with great acting is a recipe for a classy film. However occasional brilliant sequences, are often marred by the continuous commentary, which prevents any real, deep, emotional involvement with any of the characters. Great stuff, just slightly flawed.9/10.
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Scorsese ,Deniro &Pesci deliver again
DunnDeeDaGreat15 June 2002
Casino has to be one of the most underrated films that Martin Scorsese directed in the nineties. The acting by the leads is good and the script is excellent. Robert Deniro gave an Oscar worthy performance and Joes Pesci is chilling yet funny again. Even Sharon Stone is good in this brilliant film
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Brilliant acting. Superb story based on events that happened in real life.
optimism_always22 January 2005
Martin Scorcese's harsh and yet delicately balanced masterpiece rises above anything petty meaning that if one wishes and has the ability and means to create a Sicilian mafia movie he should do so with grandeur and put into it as much effort as possible for people remember those who take advantage of their talent and circumstances and are diligent in their undertakings. Casino is in my opinion an epic, but it's much more than that. This film speaks even to those who dislike the subject of organized crime. You have to be objective when judging this movie and those of us who criticize everything that stands out amongst the grey background of that which is mediocre are fools who envy others' accomplishments and view them as insults to their own personal uselessness. Casino is one of the best movies of the 90's. In fact, in my opinion, it's one of the best organized crime movies of all time. Its moral is that no matter how tough you think you are there's always someone you answer to and that you ultimately will, indeed, if you screw things up.
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The Story Behind Las Vegas
Desertman8417 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This Martin Scorsese film,Casino,depicts Las Vegas--it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one.It is based on the non- fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese.

The movie stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro respectively, 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,played by Sharon Stone, and Nicky falls into an ever-deepening spiral of drugs and violence.

The movie is definitely one of the best made about the mob.It definitely ranks up there with The Godfather and another Scorsese film,Goodfellas. Excellent story and acting are both characteristics of the movie.The story was great in the sense that it focuses on the excesses of language, of violence, of ambition in the life-styles of the rich and infamous which makes the movie smart from start to finish.Also,great performances were given by the lead stars De Niro,Stone and Pesci. Finally,it reveals to us what is Las Vegas all about - inside and out. A movie that deserves a 10/10 rating!!!!
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Very good but not without flaws
BrandtSponseller26 June 2005
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.
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Feels short for a 3-hour movie...
Derek2372 June 2003
Casino is so fast-paced and entertaining, it doesn't even feel like it's 3 hours at all. Fans of Scorsese, DeNiro, and Pesci will love this. They're all at their usual greatness, but the pleasant surprise from this movie is the electrifying performance by Sharon Stone (who won a Golden Globe award and got an Oscar nomination for her role). She's truly the crazy bitch you love to hate.

It isn't all too original, it uses the same formulas as other Scorsese movies (particularly Goodfellas), but it just works. It's a fun movie. The camera moves as if it has a life of its own, almost every scene is set to great music, the dialogue and narration are top-notch, and everything is just perfect. What more could you possibly want?

It's the closest thing to Goodfellas II, but it still stands on its own very well. Everyone should see this movie. It's 3 hours well spent.

My rating: 10/10
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Notify Mr Scorcese: Its show, not tell.
son_of_cheese_messiah22 October 2010
One of the gravest sins of cinema is spending too long on exposition. For this reason film makers are given adages like: Show not tell, cut to the chase and so on. This lesson seems lost on Mr Scorcese.

This films consists of nothing but expository narration through out the entire length of the film. I simply could not believe it at first. I felt sure that the two narrators, De Niro and Pesci, would stop talking at some point and the acting would start. This point never comes and you realise that this is what the movie will be: nonstop narration telling you what to think about a character, what the characters think, what's happening and what's about to happen.

It is unbelievable that someone would set out to make a movie this way.

In addition there is a constant 'commentary' of old songs through out. Some of this yet more underlining of the banal obviousness of a scene, such as when we see De Niro looking at Sharon Stone intently, the previous music is suddenly interrupted with "baby baby you're the one" and, just in case we haven't got it, we told in the narration that he has fallen in love. Is this film making for the under 5s? At other times however it seems that Scorcese is simply using the score as his personal jukebox and playing favourites from his own record collection.

All of this limits what little character development there is. The characters appear on screen, we are told who they are and what we should think about them and then move onto something else. A case in point is the romance between de Niro and Sharon Stone. He sees her and we are told (in narration) he is has fallen for her. Next we see them together and he asks her for change which she says she spent in the machines. We are again told in narration that this is untrue. So much for subtlety and acting eh? Then we next see them, we see De Niro proposing to her (after a voice-over telling us he was proposing to her naturally).

Joe Pesci does his usual schtick of an Italian-American psychopath, so we see him engaging needless brutality from early on. De Niro is his usual commanding self but the non stop narrative actually diminishes him as an actor. The same applies to all the other characters.

I could not make it to the end.
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Scorsese's underrated masterpiece
DanielRobertRoss24 May 2016
Scorsese is my favorite director working today. From his first great film Mean Streets to Wolf of Wall Street, he's given the world some amazing movies. Some are better than others of course, but I would be hard pressed to say that's he's ever made a bad film. Casino, when first released, was unfavorably compared to Scorsese's Goodfellas, and it's easy to see why. Based on another Nicholas Pileggi crime novel, the returning cast members Robert DeNiro, Frank Vincent and Joe Pesci, a long running time and "rise and fall of a gangster" plot.

But while Goodfellas is my number one Scorsese film (Followed closely by Raging Bull), Casino has slowly become one of my favorites. The violence is still sometimes hard to watch, two scenes come to mind that in my opinion, rival anything in Goodfellas in terms of visceral, shocking brutality. The infamous torture scene is still shocking, comparable to the ear amputation in Reservoir Dogs. Scorsese's eye for detail and use of narration serves him well, and the acting is across the board excellent. Sharon Stone deservedly won an Oscar for her role as hustler Ginger McKenna. And Joe Pesci is on fine form as hot tempered, coked-up muscle Nicky Santoro.

The eclectic soundtrack is great, filled with 70s classics like Jeff Beck's "I Ain't Superstitious" and Boogaloo Down Broadway. Robert Richardson's cinematography is amazing, capturing the gaudy style of the era perfectly. And longtime collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker edits the film beautifully and doesn't shy away from the sometimes brutal violence.

There are a few flaws. You could trim about 10 minutes of Nicky Santoro and his gang (We get the point, they're bad guys). And Robert DeNiro looks about as Jewish as Vladimir Putin. But these are minor complaints. A great film that i'll watch over and over for years to come. Highly recommended.
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Crime in the underground showbiz.
insomniac_rod16 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Casino" is a near perfect and almost classic crime film. Why "almost"? Well, in my particular case, it reminds me of "Goodfellas" way too much. You know, the plot, some characters, violence, etc.

Being objective, I think "Casino" is very well made. It has excellent Direction courtesy of Mr. Scorcese who once again proves he's a top class act. He created a dynamic, slick, spectacular movie with the aid of avid camera angles and his well known style.

The acting is superb. Robert De Niro demonstrates he's one of the most versatile actors in modern film history. His display of different emotions, courage, and temper is outstanding. His character required plenty of temper. Sharon Stone delivers a very good performance. She's a fine actress. Joe Pesci once again shows his incredible talent while portraying mobsters. James Woods and other supporting actors deliver memorable performances.

The atmosphere is splendid. You really get to feel the vibe of a casino even if it takes place in another era. The whole gambling, tactics, and obscure interests behind the business is impressing.

This should be considered as a classic crime film. The 90's had genre defining movies and "Casino" perfectly follwed the tendency. It brought to cinema something never explored that way and it generated plenty of follow-ups.
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An Underrated Classic
ngs71212 November 2008
I haven't seen too many Scorsese films. I've seen The Departed, The Aviator, and 'most' of GoodFellas. I just watched Casino last night and I think I can say it is one of the best, most involving and well-directed films I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of movies. The acting is great, De Niro and Pesci giving wonderful performances of 'Ace' and Nicky, respectively. I haven't seen Sharon Stone in any film before, but she also gave a great performance as Ace's wife Ginger.

In a way, Casino is a companion piece to GoodFellas. However, it needs to be judged as a film in it's own right. GoodFellas is a great movie, one that almost anyone can enjoy. But Casino, to me, is more in depth and gives a much more detailed look into the 'big' mobs, the ones that ran Vegas.

The photography is great, especially the camera movement. The voice-over narration may be more than you heard in GoodFellas, but in a way it's necessary to get into the minds of Nicky and Ace. It's like a documentary and these guys are just giving us the facts. Not using a traditional film score also helps to make it feel more 'natural', the pop music selected to give exactly the right mood to its respective seen. Particularly the 'House of the Rising Sun' played towards the end over a sort of 'epilogue'. It not only fit's the scene, but the film as a whole.

I think it's hard to actually say or write what this film is about, like any great film. All you can do is watch it and find out for yourself.
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Best Las Vegas Movie ever made.
jkd15-16 May 2008
Had me on the edge of my seat most of the time. Pesci is scary period. Dinero is possibly the greatest actor of my generation. Throw those two in a greatly scripted film and surround them with great supporting actors and you cant help but make a great movie.

I don't consider this Goodfellas 2 but its close. Its a variant with two actors carried over. Don't get me wrong, This film stands very well on its own merit. If you never saw Goodfellas it wouldn't matter.

You can always tell a great movie when you forget you are watching one.

The violence is very scary and powerful. I grimaced several times the first time I saw it. The realism is there in every sense.

A great rise and fall movie. In certain respects its sad the old days are over. There was an aura about it. But on the other hand, the Mafia was just to damned violent.
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Is it just me...
CuriosityKilledShawn27 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
...or is this the darkest black comedy ever made? I just find Casino so amusing and funny that I hardly even notice the grim violence and harrowing drama. I also think that Casino is far, far superior to the over-rated Goodfellas. Even though it's longer, it passes in a breeze. Casino is just so colorful, multi-layered and intricate despite it's apparent simplicity. The film has three different characters narrating the story but none of it feels like exposition and it's never over-bearing.

Adapted from a true story, the film focuses on the fictional Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. The boss is Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, his wife, volatile hustler Ginger and his psychotic 'friend' Nicky Santoro. All they needed to do was to keep the cash-flow at the Casino steady to satisfy the bosses back home. But it was just never meant to be. And everything implodes at the end.

Casino is filled with dozens of sub-plots, tangent stories and brilliant side-characters. James Woods is especially funny as a lowlife con-man who can't even win a fight with a ten-year-old girl. Vinny Vella also amuses as long-suffering Artie Piscano. But it's Sharon Stone who walks away with the movie. Despite starring opposite loads of well-established male lead actors she owns Casino. She was absolutely robbed at the Academy Awards when they gave the Oscar to Susan Sarandon. Stone delivered a performance so authentic that it's truly unfair the amount of criticism she gets for her other, less-important films.

The violence will satisfy gore fans. In this lovely film we have a dope with his head in a vice (after getting icepicks in his balls), a truly brutal beating with baseball bats, some moron getting a pen shoved into his neck and a cheater getting his hand mashed by a hammer. Don't let this put you off, that was the old Vegas. Nowadays you just get told not to come back.

I know most people will call it sacrilege to condemn Goodfellas but Casino is just the better film of the two, plain and simple. Better lighting, far more impressive cinematography and more entertaining characters. It just has so much going for it that Goodfellas did not.
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An allegory for the way the world is run .....
PimpinAinttEasy8 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
To the fans of Casino,

I see the whole film as an allegory for the way the world is run. Think about it. A bunch of mediocre and incompetent Italian gangsters send their cleverest Jew to take over the gambling business in Las Vegas. He does a great job and makes them rich. But these moronic and aging Italian gangsters send one of their own (a violent and psychotic Italian enforcer) to watch over the Jew. The Jew is doing a good job but he gets carried away and marries a beautiful but materialistic and drug addicted woman under the false notion that he can change her ways. He also pisses off another ethnic group when he refuses to take back an incompetent employee. Meanwhile, the psychotic Italian systematically undoes all of the Jew's hard work. Things get messed up. So like I said earlier, I thought the film was an allegory for the way the world is run. There are some really incompetent and mediocre people at the top. The really clever guys are in middle management but even they get carried away. Ethnic groups are perpetually involved in power struggles. And in the end, the large corporations and the squares replace these guys. The film is almost like an ode to the old ways (however mad and violent they might have been) before the corporations took over everything.

The film predicts Wolf of Wall Street in the way Scorsese's films would be made and edited. There are two narrators who talk us through the sensory assault filled with interesting camera angles, fast cuts, violence, beautiful women and the opulence of Las Vegas. Three hours simply ran by.

De Niro and Pesci are ably supported by Don Rickles, Sharon Stone and James Woods.

Best Regards, Pimpin.

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Spine Chilling. Blew me away
kalavacharla-kc1 April 2011
I just started Martin Scorsese's movies one by one. By far this is the best movie ever. After I saw this movie, I read about the goofs in this site and to be frank I observed only two of them and I watch movies very closely.This is one of the best examples where director actually glues your bum to the seat.

Absolutely no highs or lows in the movie, the tempo is carried from very first scene, continuing in every frame until the last one.

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone gave amazing performance. I felt jealous and pitied at Sam, frightened at Nicky and hated Ginger. Amazing performers and superb action. I never ever felt that it was a movie and everything is screen-played.

With the naive experience in watching Marin's movies, I guess camera becomes a slave to Martin ( of course right after Coppola). Beautiful angles and wonderful screenplay.

And of course Nicholas Pileggi is genius to begin with and Martin Scorsese is another to go into Nicholas' head and produce the same.

A beautiful movie which actually defines an R rated film without any gross scenes.
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Terrific. Underrated.
Christian_Dimartino22 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, two great actors, star in Martin Scorsese's underrated, and in my opinion, almost best, Casino. Casino is a very entertaining, very engaging, very well acted, very long,and very terrific film.

DeNiro and Pesci play two mobster friends who's friendship dies when they go to Vegas and DeNiro becomes pit boss. Money and greed brings them up to the top. DeNiro gets married to Sharon Stone's character, who is kind of a criminal with a bad love past.

I didn't give too much of the plot. Because a lot happens in the film's slow three hours.Magnolia,One of my favorite films, is three hours long. The Lord of the rings trilogy is three hours long. Schindler's list is three hours long. Titanic is three hours long.

Those films are all three hours long. Those films are all fantastic. Casino is a fantastic film. But still, it's not quite as good as The Departed, which is my favorite Scorsese film. It probably comes in second place for me.

Casino is a very engrossing,very well acted, very interesting, very long, and very great film. That is all I can say about it. I loved it. Despite it's length. That was the only problem I found with it.

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Goodfellas revisited ...
stryker-524 December 1998
Anyone seen Goodfellas? You know ... gangsters, violence, long story, Joe Pesci being a complete and utter maniac? Well, save your bucks. In a nutshell, CASINO is a total replica of a very good film. I'm not saying it's not good. It's just a replica.

Sam Rothstein (De Niro) is the man; a gambling genius who (his Jewishness holding him back) becomes THE man in Las Vegas. The problem is that he isn't a made guy cosa-nostra-wise. Doh!! If only he had an Italian background, so many lives could have been spared. As it happens, the Vegas mob bosses insist on Mr. Pesci being there to 'take care' of business. In other words, sadistically maim any idiot who messes with our Sam's good business. Watch out particularly for the 'hammer from nowhere' and Joe's novel use of a Black and Decker workmate which will, guaranteed, bring water to the eyes.

Much is made of Sharon Stone's tour de force in this movie as Ginger, Sam's moll. It's definitely a cut above her previous acting credits (who remembers Sliver? answers on a postcard) but at the end of the day, it comes down to her being given a decent script for once, and the chance to ham it up for all she's worth. If screaming and ranting on coke guarantees you plaudits, fair play. Worth a nomination? OK. The Oscar itself? Please.

Scorsese is the best director around for this kind of film. You will come out of the cinema saying "Wow", "Yipes", "Cool" etc. Even after a good three hours. No arguments - it is hard hitting and scary. BUT Martin - it's been done before. By you. And with Goodfellas, it was so much more original and, basically, better. De Niro, Pesci and Liotta were seminal. Replace Liotta with Stone, and it's only semi-seminal.

Casino will appeal to those who love a good shoot-up, blood and guts and plenty of actors yelling at each other. You will get value for your video rental, if that's what you're after.Let's face it - three hours! But if you want better value, hire out Goodfellas again.
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How Others See Us
bkoganbing5 August 2005
Casino is my favorite movie of the last decade of the last century. Just like in Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese rivets the audience to their seats without a real hero to root for. It's the power of the characters he creates.

Robert DeNiro as the gambler boss of the Tangiers casino in Las Vegas of the 70s and 80s and Joe Pesci gangster are long time boyhood pals from the mean streets of Brooklyn. Both move out to Las Vegas seeking their respective places in their related fields at the orders of the higher ups in the criminal world. But circumstance drives them apart and one of those circumstances is Sharon Stone.

People descending into degradation is always a role that will get you noticed by the Academy. Sharon Stone's part as Ginger is no exception here. She's a high price call girl when we first meet her and her descent into drug addiction isn't pretty, but Scorsese keeps it very real.

But the main story line involves DeNiro and Pesci. To see ourselves as others see us is one elusive goal not attained by many in this world. These two aren't an exception. Each can see how the other is screwing up and absolutely cannot see what he's doing.

The key scene in the whole film is when DeNiro and Pesci meet in the desert where a lot of problems have been known to disappear. If you can get passed all the cursing which is how you would expect gangsters to talk, each is making very realistic assessments about the other one and neither is listening to a word the other is saying.

This is why I love Casino so much. I've never seen that particular theme ever handled so well on the screen.
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Scorsese strikes again with this must-see classic.
dglova51927 February 2006
Martin Scorsese strikes again with this raunchy classic about the Italian mob taking over the city of Las Vegas. De Niro excels as he plays 'Ace' Rothstein, a classy business man, who throughout the movie gains success and popularity which soon leads to his downfall. Pesci plays tough guy Nicky Santoro, who has more of an old fashion way of solving problems, but none the less, gains power and succeeds throughout this film. Sharon Stone was a flawless gem in this film. Sharon stole every scene if it was with her laughing, crying, sobbing or living it up. Casino is the most enjoyable film on the 90's, a must-see classic.
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