Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 91
    Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes a labyrinthine, detail-laden story and crafts an attention-holding film, polemical without ranting.
  2. Casino Jack is really a look at how the culture of Washington was rebuilt to sell itself to the highest bidder.
  3. Reviewed by: F. X. Feeney
    Indispensable viewing.
  4. 83
    Gibney has enough material for a dozen movies here, but his attempt at an overview, however unwieldy, paints one hell of a nauseating picture.
  5. Ultimately, the blight is so overwhelming that the film collapses from corruption overload.
  6. A film that's always on the move, a smart, lively, thoroughly involving doc about a complex, critical subject.
  7. What's breathtaking here is the scope of greed, corruption, arrogance and above all cynicism on display, not just regarding the system of government but the people it ostensibly serves.
  8. As entertaining as it is exasperating.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Abramoff may be in prison but the mindset that produced him -- and the pay-to-play government it needs to survive -- is triumphant.
  10. 75
    As one interviewee opines: "It's all about the money."
  11. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    The narrative trots all over the globe, including stops for labor exploitation in the Marianas Islands, dealings with Russian mobsters, ripping off Indian tribes in the desert southwest, and jetting to Scotland for rounds of golf with impressionable politicians.
  12. Gibney does finally kick the focus off Abramoff to bemoan the legalized-bribery system that’s the rule, not the exception.
  13. A fascinating, strangely funny and remarkable film about events so incredible you'll likely have a hard time believing what you see onscreen.
  14. 70
    As Gibney follows Abramoff through the decades, he traces a solid line from Reagan’s mantra of deregulation to the financial collapse of 2008, showing how three decades of procapitalist lobbying have pushed most Americans out into the cold.
  15. Tonally, it all makes sense, but there’s such a thing as overmuchness. Gibney laudably launches a withering attack here on the pay-to-play relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. But this viewer felt withered, too, by the end of his battering ram of a movie.
  16. 63
    The amount of information the viewer is asked to process is voluminous and never stops coming.
  17. That the film is overlong ultimately testifies to its importance, though after a while, the outrageous details start to run together like surreal satire. Except, of course, that it's all true.
  18. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Running two hours, "Casino Jack" is an exhaustive and exhausting elaboration of Abramoff's canon of greed and power that will enervate audiences with a surfeit of details.
  19. A liability of Casino Jack is the relative absence of its subject.
  20. Gibney's documentary strains to make sense of the minutiae without losing the audience's attention over its formidable, two-hour length.
  21. To cover the Abramoff scandal is to follow tangent after tangent, until it seems as if prison was in the lobbyist's plans from the beginning.
  22. The big absence here is the man himself; Gibney couldn’t get the jailed Abramoff on camera, either due to unwillingness or a Justice Department intervention. Whatever the reason, it’s crippling.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 11, 2010
    Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. This movie is a tall tale so unbelievable it takes seeing the players tell you their role in livingTruth is indeed stranger than fiction. This movie is a tall tale so unbelievable it takes seeing the players tell you their role in living color to make it undeniably true. And that's what Gibney et. al. deliver with this film. The story is awesome, in the true sense of the word. Though it's so jaw-dropping it leaves the viewer feeling worn out, and is hardly uplifting, it's time well spent. If you care about the world, this will help you understand and realize the importance of political roadblocks to a better future, and might leave you more clear on what you can do, so you don't spin your wheels doing something that this movie teaches/suggests will likely be ineffective, but rather, perhaps give you the focus and courage to act in an effective way. If you don't care about making the world a better place, don't bother watching this. Find some escapist entertainment. Full Review »