Casino (1995) 4.15/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 70.3
Genre: Gangster
Duration: 178 mins
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci

After the success of Goodfellas, everyone was excited about the re-teaming of Scorsese, De Niro, and Pesci (poor old Ray was left at home for this one) for another era-specific film that spanned years in the life of old-school mobsters. This time round, the main focus was on Ace Rothstein (De Niro), an expert handicapper who the mob moved into Las Vegas to run their casinos. Scorsese’s innovative style was perfectly suited to capturing the glitz and dazzle of Vegas in its early years and he contrasts it excellently with the stark violence and drama of the story. Responsible for much of the latter is again Joe Pesci as the enforcer who the mob send out to protect Ace but who quickly grows too big for his boots. The story is somewhat bleaker than Goodfellas as we are never treated to that same sense of family that held much of that film’s first two acts together. Instead, we have Ace’s coke-strung wife (Sharon Stone) playing him for a sap and generally compromising his position at every hand’s turn. At three hours long, Casino covers much ground but never seems rushed with the exception of the early scenes involving Pesci’s violent introduction. De Niro is excellent in the lead and gives us a very different portrayal than we saw in Goodfellas. Pesci is also very good despite the similarity to his Goodfellas role while Stone is tremendous as the devious bomb-shell.

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