Casino – The Movie


A casino is a place where champagne glasses clink, and people from all walks of life mingle to try their luck at games of chance. It’s a place that is designed around noise, light and excitement, and it creates a buzz that is hard to replicate anywhere else. This is what makes casinos so desirable and even though it can be very stressful to gamble at a casino, the thrill of knowing that you may win big can give people an adrenaline rush that is hard to forget.

In modern casinos, security is tighter than ever. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that allow security personnel to watch every table, window and doorway. Cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of secure monitors. The tables themselves are closely watched by pit bosses and table managers, who can spot blatant cheating tactics like palming or marking cards or dice. The entire floor is monitored by security cameras, and the casino’s head of surveillance can spot statistical deviations in slot machine payouts that may be signs of fraud or other problems.

Casino is a movie that never stoops to cheap sensationalism, and even with its many bravura set pieces (including a torture-by-vice sequence with a popped eyeball and a sound-designed baseball bat beating) the movie’s sensibility is less exuberant than rueful and carefully attuned to institutional systems of grift. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are both outstanding, but it’s Sharon Stone who is the real star of this film, with her icy portrayal of a shrewd mobster whose ruthlessness seems to have no limits.