Casino Jack


Casino Jack

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 97


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,569
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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


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
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
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
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
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News & Interviews for Casino Jack

Critic Reviews for Casino Jack

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (58)

  • George Hickenlooper's fact-based satire, starring Kevin Spacey and his ever-sharp comic timing, offers an antic version of the wheeler-dealer whose ambition and blinkered morality were close to caricature all along.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…

    Caryn James

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

    Jan 28, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 27, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • It's hard to work up a whole lot of love or sympathy for convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

    Jan 7, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    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.

    Jan 7, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Casino Jack

  • Jun 15, 2014
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2012
    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 <i>Casino Jack</i> 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 H Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2012
    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.
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2012
    This film should have gotten more attention when it came out. I am surprised that it didn't get any Oscar attention. Kevin Spacey shines in the film. I am surprised that he didn't get a Best Actor nomination for the role. Barry Pepper is also good in the film. I could have also seen Stephen Soderbergh direct this film. He could have given it a style similar to his film, The Informant. I thought Jon Lovitz was miscast in the film. I could have seen Jason Alexander or Tony Shaloub play that role much better. I definitely recommend this film, especially for Spacey and Pepper's performances in it.
    Sol C Super Reviewer

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