Casino Jack (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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 escapades of Jack Abramoff. Aided by his business partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), Jack parlays his clout over some of the world's most powerful men with the goal of creating a personal empire of wealth and influence. When the two enlist a mob-connected buddy (Jon Lovitz) to help with one of their illegal schemes, they soon find themselves in over their heads, entrenched in a world of mafia assassins, murder and a scandal that spins so out of control that it makes worldwide headlines. Directed by George Hickenlooper (FACTORY GIRL, THE MAN FROM ELYSIAN FIELDS), CASINO JACK returns Spacey to the type of role that made him famous - a cool-headed, articulate snake charmer whose wild ambitions knows no limits or boundaries. The film also stars Kelly Preston and Rachelle Lefevre and is produced by Gary Howsam, Bill Marks and George Vitetzakis from an original screenplay by Norman Snider. Executive Producers are Richard Rionda Del Castro, Lewin Webb, Donald Zuckerman, Dana Brunetti, Patricia Eberle, Warren Nimchuk, Angelo Paletta and Domenic Serafino. The Associate Producer is Rick Chad. -- (C) Art Takes Over
Rating:
R (for pervasive language, some violence and brief nudity)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Kevin Spacey
as Jack Abramoff
Barry Pepper
as Michael Scanlon
Jon Lovitz
as Adam Kidan
Kelly Preston
as Pam Abramoff
Rachelle Lefevre
as Emily Miller
Daniel Kash
as Gus Boulis
Graham Greene (II)
as Harry Clearwater
Maury Chaykin
as Big Tony
Christian Campbell
as Ralph Reed
Yannick Bisson
as Oscar Carillo
Spencer Garrett
as Tom Delay
Conrad Pla
as Prosecutor Kiddell
Ruth Marshall
as Susan Schmidt
Sima Fisher
as Acquaintance
Xenia Siamas
as Stewardess
Hannah Endicott-Douglas
as Sarah Abramoff
Joe Pingue
as Anthony Ferrari
David Fraser
as Karl Rove
Cindy Dolenc
as Female Friend
Paolo Mancini
as Scott Gleason
Graham Abbey
as Simon Bowles
Judah Katz
as Abbe Lowell
Matt Gordon
as Bill Jarrell
Jeffrey R. Smith
as Grover Norquist
Jeff Pustil
as Bob Ney
Kristin Hinton
as Junior Executive
Reid Morgan
as Brian Mann
Damir Andrei
as Manny Rovelas
Paul Brian Anderson
as Senator McCain
Andrea Davis
as Delay's Secretary
John David Whalen
as Kevin Ring
Adam Waxman
as Lobbyist #1
Anna Hardwick
as Lobbyist #2
Cynthia Amsden
as Sunsail Casino Guest with Umbrellas in Her Cocktail
Balford Gordon
as Kidan's Bodyguard
Paul Stephen
as Reverend Mueller
Stephen Chambers
as Art Dimopoulos
Brian Paul
as Senator McCain
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Casino Jack

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (29)

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

Full Review… | January 28, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2011
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 13, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 7, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 7, 2011
Detroit News
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 6, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Casino Jack

Honor. Integrity. Principles. Everything is Negotiable. Good Film! Theme of this story is alive, kicking and fuelled for take-off even now. As distressing and disturbing as the film's subject should be it is played out in such a way as we are information and knowledge gathering much like a media warning about "this is what lobbying really is". It is also a shrewd warning as to how shameless and immoral some people are when they are saying nice things to you, as if we needed a warning! I found it worthwhile to research the subject of lobbying a little more after I had seen this film and found myself disbelieving some of the things I have found out. This alone convinced me the film does not pull any punches. Watch it just to wise up. Fortunately it is acted so powerfully and so sharply you will not want to look away. A hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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