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American Casino

American Casino (2009)

tomatometer

69

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 10

American Casino presents the causes and effects of the American banking crisis with just enough clarity and rage to overcome its flaws.

53

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 8

American Casino presents the causes and effects of the American banking crisis with just enough clarity and rage to overcome its flaws.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 100

My Rating

Movie Info

"I don't think most people really understood that they were in a casino" says award-winning financial reporter Mark Pittman. "When you're in the Street's casino, you've got to play by their rules." This film finally explains how and why over $8 trillion of our money vanished into the American Casino.For chips, the casino used real people, like the ones we meet in Baltimore. These are not the heedless spendthrifts of Wall Street legend, but a high school teacher, a therapist, a minister of the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Argot Pictures

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (10)

The Cockburns paint a picture of a financial world devoid of morality and scruples, a culture in which reckless disregard of reason and caution led to a towering house of cards that could only come crashing down.

November 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As Leslie Cockburn's camera roams the foreclosed rowhouses of Baltimore, their planked-up doors reminiscent of shots from The Wire, I thought: Baltimore needs some good PR.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Much of the final two-thirds of the documentary can have a TV newsmagazine feel: solidly presented, but not shaped to a larger end. As self-righteousness sets in, however justified, so does a certain artistic slackness.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The documentary details in no-nonsense, talking-head style how commercial and investment banks moved high-risk mortgages out into the economy, dumping debt and reaping profits in the process.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lopsided, visually uninspired film that works best when it eschews the complex numbers-crunching of its financial industry pundits and whistle-blowers to profile the everyday victims of the crisis.

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film stands as an intimate, terrifying document that renders an incomprehensible slice of recent history in human terms.

September 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a nightmare that starts like a normal daytime drive and ends in a vortex-like sinkhole.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Putting a face on the incomprehensible figures, the film takes a look at some of the victims, middle-class professionals who bought into the dream of home ownership and lost everything.

October 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

If there's an overarching theme it's that people respond to incentives and so regulation of the financial market is necessary to see that the incentives offered are not perverse.

October 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

It may be a little too Jack Webb for the masses, but there is value to its sober, just-the-facts approach.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The best look to date at the rotten US housing mortgage system that developed over the last ten years. Clear enough to make you cry.

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Essential viewing for understanding how banks systematically targeted low income groups in over-leveraged mortgage lending practices that led to a catastrophic economic collapse, "American Casino" is still a far from perfect documentary.

September 5, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

The piece finds a balance between the tearjerkers caught in the crossfire and the reckless bidders who don't seem to feel troubled for the life of excess at the expense of others.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Has the feel of a quickie made-for-TV doc. It's bare bones ... but timely.

September 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

The film doesn't come to life until too late in the game, when it takes the original tack of exploring the housing crisis through abandoned backyard swimming pools...

September 3, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

A riveting and multidimensional examination of the subprime mortgage meltdown and its devastating impact on homeowners from poor African-Americans to wealthy Californians with swimming pools.

September 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

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