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Casino Jack (2010)

tomatometer

38

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 95
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 59

Kevin Spacey turns in one of his stronger performances, but Casino Jack is a disappointingly uneven fictionalized account of a fascinating true story.

39

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 17

Kevin Spacey turns in one of his stronger performances, but Casino Jack is a disappointingly uneven fictionalized account of a fascinating true story.

audience

35

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 11,293

My Rating

Movie Info

Two-time Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey gives the performance of a lifetime in CASINO JACK, a riotous new film starring Spacey as a man hell bent on acquiring all that the good life has to offer. He plays in the same game as the highest of rollers and resorts to awe-inspiring levels of conning, scheming and fraudulent antics to get what he wants. Inspired by true events that are too over-the-top for even the wildest imaginations to conjure, CASINO JACK lays bare the wild excesses and

R,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Apr 5, 2011

$1.0M

ATO Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (95) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (59)

The film has a complicated political story to tell, and its erratically suspenseful narrative often detracts from its central interest - what makes Abramoff tick.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Casino Jack is really two movies: a convoluted tale about the exploits of disgraced Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, coupled with a zealous-if-misguided performance from Kevin Spacey in the title role.

January 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film tries to encompass all of Abramoff's encyclopedic chicanery and chokes on the sheer volume.

January 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spacey has fun doing Abramoff doing Al Pacino, President Ronald Reagan and Sylvester Stallone. But the typically strong Spacey isn't the only actor doing commanding work here.

January 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's hard to work up a whole lot of love or sympathy for convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

January 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hickenlooper and co-conspirator Kevin Spacey are more successful at entertaining than informing or enraging us, but such a tart soufflé may be the best way for a fed-up public to digest this distasteful story.

January 7, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Casino Jack is a funny and enjoyable film with great performances.

November 3, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

too little too late

October 2, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Hickenlooper was a talented director with a clear, passionate love of movies. It's a shame his last one had to be this one.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

[Hickenlooper] tried to make sense of it all, and then conjured "a Hollywood ending." The trouble is, the Hollywood/D.C. hustler Jack Abramoff never actually provided one.

January 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

Hickenlooper's approach to the subject plus a great performance by Kevin Spacey make Casino Jack an enjoyable comedy and thought provoking social commentary.

October 4, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

Rather flat, but for Spacey's performance alone this is a fine examination of the U.S. political system and its inherent problems.

December 13, 2011 Full Review Source: The Baltic Times

spatalaei dynameis sto na ypertonizei th mwrothta olwn toys anti na thn afhnei na milaei apo monh ths

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Spacey and Hickenlooper take a sensitive, and possibly quite provocative subject and retell it in a way that is perhaps easier to reach for the not so politically inclined.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: The National
The National

...an odd and benighted film.

May 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Excellent performances by Kevin Spacey and Barry Pepper in a movie that does measure up to its real-life story. And Jon Lovitz nearly steals the movie.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Akron Beacon Journal

"Casino Jack" works as a political film, it works as Shakespearian tragedy, and it works on the level of just plain Kevin Spacey goofiness.

April 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Hollywood is getting obsessed with the growing financial porn genre, where white-collar criminals get fluffed by accounting firms and the slow-motion perp walk is the new money shot. They're exploitative, best watched alone, and let's admit it...hot.

March 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Richmond.com | Comment (1)

Setting aside the question of the wisdom of treating the material as comedy, the bigger problem is that Casino Jack simply isn't very funny.

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The depiction of Abramoff as a rogue and rascal who becomes the fall guy in an assembly of hypocrites seems to be a whitewash at best.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

What distinguishes Casino Jack, one version of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's story, is that it's often incomprehensible. That, we hasten to add, is not a good thing.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

There's a morality tale in here somewhere, but the director fell in love with his subject along the way and lost perspective.

January 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Doesn't quite take its satire far enough.

January 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

a darkly humorous, but uneven cautionary tale that takes too many easy potshots at Bush-era religious conservatives

January 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Casino Jack

Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff cons Washington power players and Native casino owners.
"My name is Jack Abramoff, and I work out every day."
Kevin Spacey chews the scenery to bits, and what would be heavy-handed bullshit in the hands of another actor is just good fun for Spacey. Roger Maris and Jon Lovitz try to keep up, but Spacey's personality and character are almost too much to eclipse. I can't say that it's a good performance, but it's entertaining.
Structured like a basic crime drama, what makes Casino Jack interesting is Abramoff's blissful ignorance of the corruption in which he's a central player. Though the film could have done more to show the victims of his crimes, it's almost as though Abramoff's personality overshadows his negative effects - a result that likely mirrors what it's like to be around the real Abramoff.
Overall, the film is imbalanced, but if you want to see Kevin Spacey have fun being an actor, this is the film for you.
July 25, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Throughout his career, director George Hickenlooper would switch from documentaries to feature films. He is probably better known for "Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse" where he brilliantly documented the trouble that Francis Ford Coppola had in making "Apocalypse Now". His abilities in delving into true murky situations are also reflected in this account of a 2006 Washington D.C. political scandal.
Jack Abramoff (Kevin Spacey) is a self proclaimed family man, Republican and devout Jew. He also happens to be a lobbyist who wields a lot of influence with politicians and businessmen. Along with partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), he decides to lobby a casino for a Native American tribe, stealing millions from them in the process. He also sets up an illegal chain of offshore casinos that involve gangsters and eventual murder. Abramoff is highly ambitious and lacks morals and that's exactly what leads to his conviction on charges of conspiracy and mail fraud and the downfall of many politicians who were happy to do business with him.
If you've ever seen Kevin Spacey get interviewed then you'll know that he has an ability to do impressions. This is a role where he is given a bit of leeway to show a couple of them; Al Pacino, Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton among others. It's also a role that allows him to give a few of the cocksure Spacey rants that we have become accustomed to. It's one of the better roles that he's had over recent years and he makes the most of it. It's him that keeps this film anchored as it attempts to cover more ground than it can handle. It can't be easy covering true events and trying to be as honest about them as you possibly can, without losing sight of a few things. Hickenlooper has a good go and doesn't shy away from naming names involved in the scandal. He doesn't change anything; Abramoff and Michael Scanlon are put under the microscope and political big-hitters like President George W. Bush (of course) and Senator John McCain are also implicated. It's a brave move and Hickenlooper and screenwriter Norman Snider deserve credit for their bravery. Speaking of which, Snider's writing is fast-paced and snappy. He starts with a bang and never really let's up. He drops names into the mix and moves from person to person in quick succession, showing the extent and depth of the corruption that political figures, so often, finds themselves in. However, this is also part of the film's problem: there's too much going on and it attempts to move into comedy territory that doesn't suit the seriousness of the characters' downfalls. The inclusion of the highly irritating comedic actor Jon Lovitz was a bad move entirely. He seems as if he's walked on to the wrong set. As mentioned though, Spacey keeps the film interesting and despite an underwritten role, Barry Pepper lends some excellent support as his partner in crime. What I found most intriguing though, was the story itself. Maybe I've been leading a sheltered life but I don't recall this corruption being broadcasted or reported, despite it being compared to the scale of the Watergate scandal of 197. I'd never heard of Abramoff either, who has been a colourful and highly influential figure in recent American politics. Not to mention, a producer and writer of the Dolph Lundgren movie "Red Scorpion". Truth does indeed have a funny way of being stranger than fiction.
Political backhanders and downfalls are exposed in a fast-paced and comedic style. It's doesn't succeed on all accounts but remains an intriguing story.
May 23, 2012
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

I thought that this was fairly well done...and a really good portrayal of crooked politicians. However, I think that it lost merit by trying to be too funny, and entertaining. Usually, this is a good thing. In the case of this film, though, it just seemed to not always fit the circumstances. I found the background music to be a little annoying, also. But..Kevin Spacey did a nice job. AND it did cement my opinion about politicians...that they are all crooked, one way or another.
December 15, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Jack Abramoff: Washington is like Hollywood, but with uglier faces. 

"Honor. Integrity. Principles. Everything is Negotiable."

This film was a slight surprise to me, not because I liked it, but because it was a really fun film. I can't say I expected that. Kevin Spacey and Barry Pepper make a movie about corruption and lies fun. Casino Jack is the story of Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist who ripped off a tribe of Native Americans, with some under the table trading. 

Kevin Spacey is great as always as Jack. He talks fast, he is confident and incredibly arrogant. He boasts about how he works out everyday and all he wants is to be a rich big shot. He owns restaurants and is trying to open his own school. This whole film rest on Spacey's shoulders. It only succeeds because he is just that good. Some of the supporting cast is good too, especially Pepper. But there's one actor who can single handedly bring down an entire movie in there too, Jon Lovitz. Why do people put him in movies? He isn't funny and he is extremely annoying. Luckily his presence did destroy this movie though.

While Casino Jack isn't a spectacular film on Jack, it doesn't really need to be. All it needed to do was make Jack's story interesting and entertaining and it did that. If you want to watch a film that really goes into this subject, watch the Alex Gibney documentary, Casino Jack and the United States of Money.
October 30, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Abramoff: Washington is like Hollywood, but with uglier faces.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Adam Kidan: I just want you to make sure Gus Boulis will never tax me and gimme the fucking ballpoint.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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