Rotten Wednesday: Week 3. Casino!

Let’s continue on down the line with looking at reviews for Casino, the 1995 movie about the mob in 70s Las Vegas.

First, here’s Rotten Tomatoes.  Critics gave it 80% while the popular vote has it at 91% based on more than 200,000 votes.   There seems to be quite the disconnect there just like in There Will Be Blood!  Obviously, it’s in the opposite direction this time, suggesting the movie might be more digestible to the population than critics felt it merited.  Here are some highlights.  Of course, the fact that only 60 critical reviews were stockpiled as of today may mean that we do not have a very representative sample, either!

In favor:

“Technically, “Casino” is virtually beyond compare, with Robert Richardson’s virtuoso camera taking every possible approach to making the material come vibrantly alive while bringing out the lushness of the locations, Dante Ferretti’s production design, and Rita Ryack and John Dunn’s great ’70s costumes. ”

Todd McCarthy, Variety Reviews

“This… is Martin Scorsese’s blood-and-glitz underworld epic, a movie in which he tries to up the ante on his last organized-crime picture, GoodFellas. It’s clear that he isn’t fooling around.”

Owen Glieberman, Entertainment Weekly


“But [Sharon] Stone is just one aspect of this huge, three-hour film, which, in essence, tries to tell the history of the mob in Las Vegas in the ’70s. Go in interested and you may find your interest tested way past its limit. “Casino” is not about people, just Vegas. It’s an ambitious film, but also a scattered, unfocused one.”

Mike LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


All in all, what we seem to be looking at with Casino is another film like There Will Be Blood.  Largely, the impression is good.  Unfortunately, length of the film and adherence to a few choice techniques (apparently voiceover is used quite a bit for these critics’ tastes) hampers the experience.  Of course, we’ll shoulder on!  It’s in the top 250 for  a reason, and I haven’t seen Goodfellas to compare it with, and that seems to be one of the major flaws…”It’s not as good as Goodfellas.”


About Zach

Zach works as a medical writer in Atlanta, GA. In his spare time, he likes to play video games and Dice Masters.
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