Casino is a 1995 American epic crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film stars Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci and James Woods. The film is based on the nonfiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. The two had previously collaborated on Goodfellas.
Gambling expert Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro) is called by the Chicago Outfit to survey the operations at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. Ace is based on Frank Rosenthal, who was the boss of the Stardust, Fremont, and Hacienda casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago Outfit from the 70s until the early 80s. Pesci plays Nicholas "Nicky" Santoro, who is based on a Mob enforcer named Anthony Spilotro, who protects Ace. Ace sends Nicky to Las Vegas to make sure that money from the Tangiers is removed off the top and the mobsters in Vegas are kept in order. Sharon Stone plays Ginger McKenna, Ace's wife, based on Geri McGee.
Why It Rocks
- The film has a well written story. Nicholas Pileggi, the author of the novel, also did the screenplay.
- Martin Scorsese does things differently in this film.
- Great characters, such as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Nicky Santoro, and Ginger McKenna.
- Great casting.
- Very good acting from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods, and Don Rickles.
- Near-accurate depiction of the dark side of Las Vegas that was run by the mobs.
- The opening credits sequence to this film was dramatic and well transitioned.
- Good songs featured in the film to fit the classic Vegas theme.
- Memorable scenes, such as the one of Nicky meeting Ace in the desert, the cheaters' justice scene, and a few others.
- Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci's characters have good narration in the film.
- The filming locations were interesting to look at.
- The bombing of the now-defunct Landmark Hotel & Casino (which the Tangiers is based on) is featured.
Casino holds an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 7.2 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Impressive ambition and bravura performances from an outstanding cast help Casino pay off in spite of a familiar narrative that may strike some viewers as a safe bet for director Martin Scorsese." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded Casino a four out of four stars and stated in his review "Martin Scorsese's fascinating new film Casino knows a lot about the Mafia's relationship with Las Vegas." Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune awarded the film a two and a half stars out of four and described it as "A sometime-dazzling, often-disappointing film from the great Martin Scorsese, who too often seems like he's replaying his greatest hits with this picture, and not to the best effect."
Casino opened up at #5 on its opening weekend and made a domestic gross of $9,946,480. It would later make a domestic gross of $42,512,375. In foreign countries, it made $73,600,000. Overall, Casino made a worldwide gross of $116,112,375 against its $45 to $50 million.