[Stone] seems to be trying to enter a more passionate movie, where a neurotic gold digger could at least have a good time. By the end of Casino, for all its craftsmanly bravura, you may want to join her.
Martin Scorsese's intimate epic about money, sex and brute force is a grandly conceived study of what happens to goodfellas from the mean streets when they outstrip their wildest dreams and achieve the pinnacle of wealth and power.
In every way -- from the fantastic sets, rich dialogue, and unapologetic violence to the well-portrayed characters and themes of loyalty and betrayal -- Casino is pure Scorsese.
So long as Casino stays focused on the excesses -- of language, of violence, of ambition -- in the life-styles of the rich and infamous, it remains a smart, knowing, if often repetitive, spectacle.
To understand that Scorsese suffers for his art, it isn't important to know that he's been married four times, or that he considered joining the Catholic priesthood before choosing the equally masochistic experience of NYU.