American Casino Reviews

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Top Critic
Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
November 22, 2009
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.
Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
November 13, 2009
It's a nightmare that starts like a normal daytime drive and ends in a vortex-like sinkhole.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dan Kois
Washington Post
November 5, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
October 29, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
October 24, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
October 2, 2009
It may be a little too Jack Webb for the masses, but there is value to its sober, just-the-facts approach.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 1, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
September 18, 2009
This film stands as an intimate, terrifying document that renders an incomprehensible slice of recent history in human terms.
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
September 10, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
September 10, 2009
As the Cockburns interview exterminators and local police about the rats' nests and meth labs that tend to proliferate in foreclosed homes, the corruption metaphor is like something out of a Nathanael West novel.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 7, 2009
You'll never hear an economist explain derivatives again without thinking of the woman who walks away from the camera, weeping, as her mortgage broker refuses her check, or children's dolls splayed out on the floors of empty homes.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
September 5, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Matthew Nestel
Boxoffice Magazine
September 4, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Geoff Berkshire
Metromix.com
September 3, 2009
Has the feel of a quickie made-for-TV doc. It's bare bones ... but timely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
September 3, 2009
The lesson of this story: if enough money is involved, greed trumps morality.
| Original Score: 3/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
September 3, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze
September 3, 2009
A damning documentary which makes a convincing case that neither the federal government nor the corporate elite could care less about the plight of the working class.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
September 2, 2009
Outstanding documentary on how the powerful preyed upon the weak. Despite its understated tone, this is an incendiary argument for a fundamental change in class relations in the USA.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
August 31, 2009
The Cockburns have finally made a movie about a nuclear disaster that actually happened -- their subject is the social ecology of financial meltdown.
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