Casino (1995)

‘Casino’ (1995) is a great mafia movie based on real-life mobster Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal.
Robert DeNiro, as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, gets the lead role in this one and is supported by Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro; teamed up again after a smashing performance in ‘Goodfellas’. The female lead is. Sharon Stone, who plays Ginger Mckenna. Stone won an Academy award, as well as a Golden Globe, for her role in this film.
Ace is asked by the Kansas City mafia to run the Tangiers casino in LasVegas. Ace’s old friend, Nicky Santoro, is sent to ensure proper skimming and to keep the involved mobsters in line. Santoro is a brutal enforcer and is quite a contrast from Ace’s relatively kind nature. Adding to the swill, Ace falls in love with Ginger McKenna who is greedy, self-absorbed and although she is persuaded to marry Ace, doesn’t really love him.
Everything goes well for a while, but then falls spectacularly apart. The plot becomes rather involved, but plays well, with plenty of gory deaths.
Overall, this movie is a great watch. I think it’s a bit slow at the beginning, with too much time being spent on Ace’s rise to the top, but makes up for it later, as the story unfolds and the glory fades to the harsh reality of mafia dealings. Some gangster movies, like ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ (1967), while being a great movie, doesn’t have the raw realism of some of the others. ‘Godfather’ and ‘Godfather II’ (1972, 1974) and even the various versions of ‘The Untouchables’ show us how brutal the mafia really is.
Casino is highly recommended.