Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 165 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A in-depth look at the operation of a Las Vegas casino in the 1970s, Scorsese's film chronicles the rise and fall of casino manager Ace Rothstein (Robert De Niro).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. You can't praise highly enough the contributions of the ensemble--De Niro and Pesci especially--but it's Scorsese's triumph. [22 November 1995, Tempo, p.1]
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Possesses a stylistic boldness and verisimilitude that is virtually matchless.
  3. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Eye-popping, exhilarating and occasionally a bit stomach-churning.
  4. Visually impressive, splendidly performed, thematically significant, this is a movie in full possession of every key cinematic asset except one -- a solid script. Casino is a polished vehicle with an untuned engine.
  5. One of the ironies of Casino is that even though Scorsese is interested in the story's wider implications, he focuses so much energy on that unsavory romantic triangle that he and the film lose sight of the larger issues.
  6. Simultaneously quite watchable and passionless.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. EconomistBR
    Apr 7, 2007
    A great movie, the plot was amazing. The dialogues unbelievable. The exchanges between Pesci and De Niro are classical.
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    A great movie that manages to be quite the original when it comes to gangsta types. It doesn`t come off as nearly repetitive as "The Godfellas", even though we`ve seen Presci and De Niro in many such films. This is in a huge part achieved by major role by Sharon Stone, who exceeds all expectations. There is nothing simple about her character. She never comes off as simply bad or good. Sometimes you understand her fears, sometimes you condemn her. Nevertheless, she made her own plot in this movie. From others we see the same excellent actor work, though I liked the Rothstein`s character a lot more than in other such productions. This is because he never stopped being human. At some point he even enjoys the gangster life completely, although he always chooses the more in between solutions. Joe Pesci did the rest by creating an excellent villain, though sometimes also a bit confused. The music, the camera work also excellent. Almost 3 hours of sheer virtuosity. Expand
  3. Mar 23, 2011
    Just when you think you've had enough of Martin Scorcese's gangster movies, comes this captivating new thrill - Casino! Scorcese has Robert de Niro subtle, meticulous, and ruthless, Joe Pesci is every inch the tough-guy gangster who never backs down, but has a temper that is rather too immature and loose. Sam Rothstein (de Niro's character) is efficient and serves his bosses well - he's always sending the goodies back home! Sharon Stone's Ginger is a wreck, drug-induced, unstable, irrational, and apparently, very stupid. Now, how did she lure Rothstein's cool cat personality to fall for her? That's everyday life for you - the smart, cool ones do fall for those types - beautiful, with a personality and body to match, until the gold sheens off the statuette day by day. Pesci's fight scenes are brutal, but real. There is no pretence in these scenes - there is enough violence in the world to disguise such brutal depictions on celluloid. I enjoyed the desert scene, when Rothstein captures the essence in his narration as Pesci's character races through the desert - you didn't know what you could get from Pesci's character. Casino is just a magnificently handled subject, Scorcese has not gone over the top or over-done it, it's impeccably handled, the actors are just apt in their parts, and it is just fascinating to see how the gulf spreads between de Niro and Pesci's characters. Thumps up for Casino - if I may dare say it, it surpasses Goodfellas in its power and impact, and ultimately overpowers Scorcese's later movie, The Departed. Yes it does, I'm betting on it....with Sam Rothstein's back-from-the-dead character on the line! Expand
  4. Mar 5, 2014
    Scorsese keeps coming back to the same theme and subject matter_ debauchery and its pitfalls. And he has found himself actors who are able to convey his message effectively. Casino deals with this subject in the business of gambling.

    Sam Rothstein (Robert De Niro) is doing good running a casino for the Mafia in 1970s Las Vegas. Things get tricky as first Ginger (Sharon Stone) and then Nicky (Joe Pesci) come into his life. They're both unstable and careless, and have no vision for their futures like Sam has. Their antics get him into trouble time and again.

    Like Scorsese's other movies, the plot takes a backstage to the characters and their personal quirky moments. He instead relies on multiple voice-overs to propel the plot forward. The plot does thicken with time, and not for good. It felt like he wasn't sure if he should concentrate on the characters or the plot development. Goodfellas found that balance ingeniously, so did his later movie The Wolf of Wall Street, both of which deal with the same themes.

    The acting was sufficient, I suppose. De Niro does a decent enough job. Pesci's character is too similar to the one he played in Goodfellas. In essence, he is a character actor. Sharon Stone also did a good job.

    I couldn't feel excited during a single scene in the entire movie. There was no sense of danger and urgency, despite the breakneck pacing. The film was just a scene after scene of greed, violence and narration. It got old after a while.

    The production design, which brought the 1970s to life, did a wonderful job. The same camera angles were used as were in Goodfellas. The camera zooms in on people's faces the same way.

    I found the movie a bit underwhelming. I felt like Scorsese wasn't done with the subject that he started out to tell in Goodfellas, and hence returned to it. He should have just made a single movie about it, or he should have made this one so different from the first that no one could have found any similarities.
  5. Jan 9, 2011
    Just looking at the trailer might seem enough to dismiss Casino as a companion piece to Goodfellas. Sure the argument has a basis. Pesci pretty much repeats his short-tempered mobster from Goodfellas. Both films have similar eclectic rock backgrounds (including heavy usage of Rolling Stones songs). Plus the f-bomb is dropped pretty frequently. Yet Casino still has some positive points to help it stand on its own. From the great writing to the beautiful cinematography, Casino isn't a slapped-together and hastily-made effort. It is a great film with a great story that starts off on a documentary-esque note but slowly reveals itself as the gritty crime drama Scorsese fans fervently crave. The cast is great too. Pesci (who really is the only one who can play short-tempered gangsters like Nicky Santoro) and Stone (surprisingly) shine in their roles. But it is De Niro that deserves the cake as Ace Rothstein as he gives an exceptional performance showing emotion while smoothly restricting it with inner power.
    Of course, there are some scenes in Casino that feel overdone with language and/or violence to the point where the scene looks comedic. Plus there are scenes that kind of allude to Goodfellas (especially the Pesci beatdown scene) since actors from the former film are reused in Casino. And that kind of ruins some of the original magic that Casino holds, as it isn't a wholly new film. Nonetheless, the Scorsese-De Niro-Pesci trio rock well, regardless of the flaws.
  6. Jul 2, 2014
    Nobody knows how to make a good gangster film like Martin Scorsese and he shows that ability here. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were phenomenal here as expected and, though I heard evidence to the contrary, I never thought the violence was too much. For the most part, it was relatively tame compared to other films I have seen. In addition, the story was very good and never failed to be completely engrossing. The characters were well crafted and their arcs very interesting to follow. There were a lot of them, sure, but it was never too overwhelming. In addition, the true story aspect of this made the story really work and I can see why Scorsese was drawn to this, as it feels like a very Scorsese film, as thematically it is similar to many of his other works. For the most part, it felt a bit like Goodfellas in a casino, but I did not really mind that. The only thing that really stuck out to me was the narration. I think the story could have been told without it and the narration, at times, could distract from the story. However, otherwise, this was a pretty easy one to watch, even with it being three hours long. Expand
  7. DavidH.
    Jun 23, 2007
    Its merits are few and far between. Badly shot (it looks ugly) and scarce in compelling performances. De Niro is his usual self, but displaying far less depth than in any other Scorcese role he's played. To have to watch the trials and tribulations of these lowlife characters for a merciless three hours is a massive chore. Like in the highly overrated, but superior Goodfellas, these characters are as glib and one-dimensional as they are amoral and this time around, it not only appears as if he has recreated the very same formula, but has in the process of creating such an ambitious project has devoted far too little time to skillful writing or even a sense of plausibility. Thus while Goodfellas palpable sense of realism compensated for the lack of dimension in its story, Casino fails miserably in both departments. What it appears we're left with is 180 minutes of lowest common denominator sleaze and violence. With not a single compelling character or any trace of inventiveness or ingenuity, viewers are expected to appreciate it on that back of its abundant display of sadistic blood-drenched spectacle. Well not this one. Collapse

See all 44 User Reviews