Decades Blogathon – Casino (1995)

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As hard as it may be to believe we are entering the home stretch of the Decades Blogathon, hosted by myself and the indubitable Tom from Digital Shortbread! The blogathon focuses on movies that were released in the fifth year of the decade. Tom and I are running different entries each day; and this one comes from Fernando at Committed To Celluloid. Fernando’s site is one of my favourites out there in the blogosphere, so do yourself a favour and take a visit!

Casino Poster

It seems so strange that Casino came out only 20 years ago. Martin Scorsese’s 1995 offering seems much older, and yes, I mean it as a compliment.

Arguably one of ole Marty’s best (or my favorite, anyway), Casino, not just because it’s set in that era, truly feels, looks and carries itself like a film of the seventies.


Riveting, stylish and peppered with bursts of extreme violence – something of a trademark for the director – I have an inkling Goodfellas’ better not-quite-a-sequel wouldn’t feel like the awkward stranger in the decade of timeless classics like Dog Day Afternoon, Chinatown and The Godfather Parts I and II.

High praise? It may be, but it’s not every day that a talky three-hour movie where not a lot goes on happens to breeze by and be totally absorbing, much less upon a second viewing.

The jazzy soundtrack is one tiny, yet pivotal part in the film’s success, which can mainly be attributed to two things: the superb script by Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi, filled with vibrant dialogue and just the right amount of humour, and the presence of Joe Pesci in a meaty role that called for the Oscar-winner’s brilliant performance.


Pesci’s Nicky throws around f-bombs like nobody’s business (for a while, the film held the record for most uses of the curse, with 435, or 2.4 times per minute on average) and is, at the same time, Casino’s main source of comic relief and its most frightening character. Who knew tiny could be so intimidating?

Despite being overshadowed by Pesci’s flashier performance, Robert De Niro (of course) and Sharon Stone are solid, and they look great in their lavish costumes too. Stone, in particular, looks breathtakingly beautiful during the first hour of the film, before her Ginger loses herself to drugs and booze. Sharon is a sparkly vision in her first scene, which is also Scorsese’s favorite.


Sitting comfortably at #140 in the IMDb Top 250 (at the time of this review), Casino may not be as loved as other Scorsese gems, but it’s a fantastic film that demonstrates why Marty is one of the best directors still in the business.



  1. vinnieh · May 25, 2015

    Brilliant review from Fernando.

  2. fernandorafael · May 25, 2015

    So excited this is finally up! Very glad to be a part of Decades. And thanks for the kind words!

    • Three Rows Back · May 25, 2015

      No problem Fernando! It was a great review; thank you very much for getting involved!

  3. ruth · May 25, 2015

    Can’t believe I still haven’t seen this one Fernando. I definitely have to rectify this soon!

  4. le0pard13 · May 25, 2015

    Wonderful look at a film of Scorsese’s that I keep coming back to, Fernando. For some reason I find it more and more approachable than Goodfellas, which is a brilliant film in itself. Great selection and review, my friend.

    • fernandorafael · May 25, 2015

      Thanks for the kind words, Michael. This is a great one and one that’s worth revisiting every now and then. It certainly doesn’t feel 3 hours long!

  5. fernandorafael · May 25, 2015

    Reblogged this on Committed to Celluloid and commented:
    Hey everybody! Check out my take on Scprsese’s fantastic Casino. Head over to Three Rows Back and read my entry in the “Decades” blogathon, hosted by Mark at TRB and Tom at Digital Shortbread.

  6. Cindy Bruchman · May 25, 2015

    Nice review, Fernando. I think because Sharon Stone is in this, I like it holistically more than Goodfellas although Goodfellas tells the mafia story better.

  7. Syl · May 26, 2015

    Nice review. I love it, but still have trouble actually watching the bat beating near the end. Maybe because it is done well and feels realistic.

    • fernandorafael · May 27, 2015

      Thanks, Syl! It is very difficult to watch, you’re right!

  8. Jay · May 26, 2015

    I love Casino too and I know it well,b ut still like rediscovering it through your review.

  9. Tom · May 26, 2015

    Reblogged this on digitalshortbread.

  10. Stu · May 26, 2015

    Nice write up, Fernando. I think this is one of the best of the 1990s, and as good as GoodFellas. Cast is superb!

  11. holiday palace casino · June 11, 2015

    This post reminded me of him again. I wonder where he is now.

  12. Matt · July 20, 2015

    I may have to give this another watch. I have never been able to get into it. I always found it borrowed too much from Goodfellas and relied way too heavily on voice-over (something Pesci, as much as I love him, should never be allowed to do). I liked reading your take on it and it may have just inspired me to give this another try.

    • fernandorafael · July 20, 2015

      Thanks, Matt. Glad it did. Let me know what you think if you do give it another shot!


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