An odd hybrid of a crime drama as two best friends find their relationship tested as they compete over control of a Las Vegas gambling empire and the affections of a money-interested socialite.

Money runs and ruins everything as smooth operator Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (Robert De Niro – The Irishman, Silver Linings Playbook) takes on the management of the Tangiers casino, with the bosses firmly out of the public eye back in Chicago. But greed and power alters the dynamic as childhood friend and mob enforcer Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci – Goodfellas, Raging Bull) is sent to protect Rothstein and the casino. Money goes missing as Ace finds himself and his loyalties compromised by the ever-increasing drug-crazed behaviour of his best friend and the unreliability of his wife, Ginger (Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct, The Mule).

Director Martin Scorsese (The Irishman, Taxi Driver) is in his element with the fast-paced, mob-based narrative of money, deception and murder. Yet Casino is more fascinating than engaging. An instructional, behind-the-scenes expose of the mafia and Vegas in the 1960s/70s, much of the film is narrated by De Niro, creating an impenetrable veil that sucks the emotional heart out of the film.

Nominated for best actress Oscar in 1996.

Rating: 59%

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