Casino (1995)

Rating: A-

Dir: Martin Scorsese
Star: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

[18] I’m not sure my bum can take another three-hour plus movie; at least they’re good value for money. Admittedly (though no help to my posterior), Casino is justifiably long, covering a lot of turf, though sometimes it feels like a documentary on hotel management. Based on a true story – the stuff happened, just not in the order given here – it’s a “Rise + Fall” tale, detailing De Niro’s handling of a Mob casino, his involvement with Stone (never a good idea; hasn’t he seen Basic Instinct?) and friendship with psycho-dwarf Pesci.

It all ends brutally: in fact, it starts brutally as well, and “brutally” is its middle name, with bats, hammers and fountain pens meeting flesh. De Niro is inevitably good, Pesci is inevitably Pesci, Stone deserved the Oscar nom, and the soundtrack provides a continual, sarcastic commentary on the action. Undeniably well crafted, it’ll put you off swindling casinos for life.