American Casino (2009)
Critic Consensus: American Casino presents the causes and effects of the American banking crisis with just enough clarity and rage to overcome its flaws.
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Critic Reviews for American Casino
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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