Opened: November 22, 1995
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak, L.Q. Jones, Dick Smothers, Frank Vincent, John Bloom, Pasquale Cajano, Melissa Prophet, Bill Allison, Vinny Vella, Oscar Goodman, Catherine Scorsese, Philip Suriano, Ericka Von Tagen, Frankie Avalon, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Jerry Vale & Joseph Rigano
Fitting right in with director Martin Scorsese’s filmography, Casino features strong performances and graphic violence with a long runtime.
Gambling expert Sam Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) oversees the daily operations at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas with ties to the Mafia. He’s protected by his hotheaded friend Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) and has a volatile relationship with his former hustler wife Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone).
Running just under three hours, the film covers a lot of ground. There’s so much happening that Sam and Nicky take turns narrating throughout the entire film. It definitely helps you understand what’s happening but takes away from immersing in the story.
Stone gives a powerhouse transformative performance and never once makes you doubt her character or choices, unlike De Niro and Pesci who, while fantastic, seem like reused material.
Final say: A good bet. ★★★★☆