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Casino Jack

6/10
Drama . Comedy . Crime . Biography
 

Based on a true story, a hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.

 
Actors: Hannah Endicott-Douglas , Kelly Preston , Kevin Spacey , Graham Greene , Ruth Marshall , Maury Chaykin , Yannick Bisson , Eric Schweig , Jon Lovitz , Spencer Garrett , Barry Pepper , Rachelle Lefevre
Directors: George Hickenlooper
Country: CANADA
Release: 2011-01-07
More Info:
  • J.R. Jones

    Though Casino Jack never lets its protagonist off the hook for his misdeeds, it does underline the hypocrisy of those politicians who were content to take his money but then ran for cover in February 2004 when the Washington Post began to expose his fleecing of six different Indian tribes.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Casino Jack is so forthright, it is stunning.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Kevin Spacey gives a bravura performance as superlobbyist Jack Abramoff in George Hickenlooper's uneven but often loopily entertaining Casino Jack.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    One of the highlights of Casino Jack is Abramoff doing dead-on impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan, among others.

    New York Post Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Above all, however, Kevin Spacey is the reason to see Casino Jack. This movie will stand alongside "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty" as examples of what the actor is capable of accomplishing when he is properly motivated.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Slick superlobbyist Jack Abramoff is the colorful subject of Casino Jack a similarly slick and undeniably entertaining true-life D.C. crime story, boasting a robust Kevin Spacey performance.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Kate Taylor

    The facts really get in the way of the portrait here, and we are left hungry for more Spacey and more insight into a man with the hubris to wonder if he has disappointed God.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It's a sordid tale and, in Gibney's telling, a cautionary one.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Spacey holds center. He's a bonfire.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Hickenlooper too often approaches his subject with the filmmaking equivalent of a wry chuckle.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    It's a heck of a character to chew into, and Spacey, never afraid to play a devil, enjoys himself a great deal.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Tonally scattershot and more than a little heavy-footed.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Despite his character's fondness for mugging and mouthing like Michael Corleone, Spacey (and by extension, his director and writer Norman Snider) can't quite catch the operatic wallop of Corleone's arc, possibly because the film is played top-to-bottom like a caprice.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Glib, fast-paced entertainment that barely leaves a mark - which, given the subject, is just plain wrong.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Tonally, Casino Jack is all over the place: exaggerated comedy, cartoonish high jinks, then heavy-handed melodrama (a third-act face-off between Abramoff and his wife, played with no center of gravity by Kelly Preston, comes out of nowhere).

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Casino Jack fails at its most critical mission: Laying out in clear detail exactly how and when Abramoff broke the law.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    The entertaining work by Spacey and Pepper is a good thing because the film has problems, including an utter lack of subtlety.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The plot has so many moving parts - so many envelopes of money, dropped names, half-explained schemes and hasty flights - that it quickly becomes more frustrating than illuminating.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Though the film is peppered with one-liners tailor-made for Spacey to sling with stinging effect, it doesn't so much leave you laughing as just weary, and wishing this weren't a true story at all.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    The trouble starts with the casting. The usually reliable Kevin Spacey never quite gets a handle on Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew devoted to unorthodox business methods.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Fear

    This is fertile material for a darkly comic indictment. Instead, we get recycled cynicism (politicians are hypocrites! more dirty money, more problems!) and Spacey's gallery of impersonations-W.C. Fields, Stallone, Reagan-in lieu of a flawed, flesh-and-blood human being.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    In the grand finale, Abramoff fantasizes about using a Senate hearing to blow the whistle on the entire corrupt establishment. His rant offers a clue to how this otherwise pointlessly manic movie might have honed its political edge.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Spacey has made a career out of projecting the smarmy elitism of the powerful, but Casino Jack is so painfully clunky that he gets dragged down along with it.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    That's the problem with the whole movie, which lies halfway between poker-face documentary and broad farce.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes a labyrinthine, detail-laden story and crafts an attention-holding film, polemical without ranting.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Casino Jack is really a look at how the culture of Washington was rebuilt to sell itself to the highest bidder.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • F. X. Feeney

    Indispensable viewing.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Gibney has enough material for a dozen movies here, but his attempt at an overview, however unwieldy, paints one hell of a nauseating picture.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Ultimately, the blight is so overwhelming that the film collapses from corruption overload.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    A film that's always on the move, a smart, lively, thoroughly involving doc about a complex, critical subject.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    What's breathtaking here is the scope of greed, corruption, arrogance and above all cynicism on display, not just regarding the system of government but the people it ostensibly serves.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    As entertaining as it is exasperating.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Abramoff may be in prison but the mindset that produced him -- and the pay-to-play government it needs to survive -- is triumphant.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • V.A. Musetto

    As one interviewee opines: "It's all about the money."

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    The narrative trots all over the globe, including stops for labor exploitation in the Marianas Islands, dealings with Russian mobsters, ripping off Indian tribes in the desert southwest, and jetting to Scotland for rounds of golf with impressionable politicians.

    NPR Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Gibney does finally kick the focus off Abramoff to bemoan the legalized-bribery system that’s the rule, not the exception.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    A fascinating, strangely funny and remarkable film about events so incredible you'll likely have a hard time believing what you see onscreen.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    As Gibney follows Abramoff through the decades, he traces a solid line from Reagan’s mantra of deregulation to the financial collapse of 2008, showing how three decades of procapitalist lobbying have pushed most Americans out into the cold.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Tonally, it all makes sense, but there’s such a thing as overmuchness. Gibney laudably launches a withering attack here on the pay-to-play relationship between lobbyists and lawmakers. But this viewer felt withered, too, by the end of his battering ram of a movie.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The amount of information the viewer is asked to process is voluminous and never stops coming.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    That the film is overlong ultimately testifies to its importance, though after a while, the outrageous details start to run together like surreal satire. Except, of course, that it's all true.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    Running two hours, "Casino Jack" is an exhaustive and exhausting elaboration of Abramoff's canon of greed and power that will enervate audiences with a surfeit of details.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    A liability of Casino Jack is the relative absence of its subject.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Philip Kennicott

    Gibney's documentary strains to make sense of the minutiae without losing the audience's attention over its formidable, two-hour length.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    To cover the Abramoff scandal is to follow tangent after tangent, until it seems as if prison was in the lobbyist's plans from the beginning.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    The big absence here is the man himself; Gibney couldn’t get the jailed Abramoff on camera, either due to unwillingness or a Justice Department intervention. Whatever the reason, it’s crippling.

    Time Out New York Full Review
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