YMMV: Casino


  • Cry for the Devil: He may be a mass-murdering psychopath but the way Nicky dies is so awful and appalling, being beaten to death by people he thought were his friends and being Forced to Watch when they kill his brother before his eyes and then being Buried in a cornfield while still not being entirely dead, that its hard not to feel bad for the guy, Karmic Death and all.
  • Ending Fatigue: A common complaint about the film.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Ace Rothstein must have wanted to be a Batman villain when he grew up.
    • It being Las Vegas in the 1970s, there's plenty more to go around.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Rothstein is saved from a car bomb due to a balancing problem in his Cadillac that had necessitated a heavy steel plate being installed under the driver's seat.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sam makes a very big deal about Nicky being put in the "Black Book" and sees it as evidence that Nicky is out of control. In 1988, Frank Rosenthal, Sam's real life counterpart, was put in the Black Book as well.
    • This is possibly alluded to in the film, in a subtle way — notice how in the final scene of the movie, set in what is presumably the present day (or at least a few years after the events of the movie), an older Sam Rothstein is now based in San Diego rather than his beloved Las Vegas.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: One of the points of criticism was that the film treads the same ground as Goodfellas.
  • Memetic Mutation: Much of Nicky's dialogue appears on Joe Pesci soundboards and creates for some hilarious results on prank calls posted on YouTube.
    • Dubbing Nicky and Ace's desert meeting over footage from unrelated works, such as Bert and Ernie.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Frank Marino and the mob bosses when they kill Nicky in one of the most horrible ways possible, forcing him to watch his brother being beat and killed, then beat him almost to death too, then bury him alive with his dead brother.
    • Ginger puts a hit out on Ace and leaves after tying her daughter to her bed.
    • Nicky may or may not have crossed it in his introductory scene, when he stabs and beats a guy to death because the latter insulted Ace. It's rather tricky because none of his other actions are anywhere as bad, and he's even shown to have standards later on.
  • Narm: The moment where dour old Ace suddenly falls in love with Ginger (though his stony-faced expression belies this), the film freeze frames then goes into slow motion as the rather cheesy "Love is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia plays.
  • Narm Charm: Amusement can be also be derived from some of squeaky New Yoiker Joe Pesci's sweary bits ("You muddafucker, you!", "Peek-a-boo, you fucks, you!"), some of De Niro's trademark repetition ("Was I at that dinner? Was I at that dinner?"), one bit of classic James Woods shouting ("Why don't you do it yourself, ya chickenshit cocksucker!") and even some of the violence Crosses the Line Twice, particularly whenever Pesci hits people with phones ("What are you staring at, you bald headed Jew prick?")
  • The Scrappy: Ginger is shrill, extremely greedy, solipsistic, self-destructively foolish, and generally unlikable in every possibly way. It's easy to see what attracted Ace to her in the first place, but the fact that a stone-cold pragmatist like him tolerates her bullshit for as long as he does is utterly baffling.
  • She Really Can Act: Before this movie, Sharon Stone was mainly known for uncrossing her legs in Basic Instinct. This film changed that.
  • Special Effects Failure: In the first scene, Robert De Niro conspicuously transforms into a mannequin wearing the same suit right before his car explodes.
  • Vindicated by Cable: Casino was too similar to Goodfellas during its theatrical release and was dismissed as a lazy attempt by Scorsese. It has grown in stature as time as passed, and some consider it even better than Goodfellas. Mostly because Robert De Niro's Sam is kind of a better protagonist/narrator than Ray Liotta's Henry Hill.
  • What an Idiot: One wonders why Ace didn't put Ward in a place disconnected from the casino floor, like the restaurant.
    • Ace was freaking out over the blueberries in the muffins. His perfectionism about everything combined with Ward's overarching idiocy is just too incompatible to work at any level. Pat Webb even asks if Ward could have a job "further down the trough" and Ace immediately shoots it down, citing Ward as just too untrustworthy.
      • In fact, Ward's uncle even asks about a job in the food service area of the casino. Ace pauses for a moment, and the look on his face is practically a Call Back to his perfectionism as displayed by the blueberry incident before he says that no, that's not possible.
    • Ace marrying Ginger and starting a family with her, even though he knew perfectly well that she was trouble and she told him straight-up that she didn't love him.
      • He sincerely believed that by showering her with love and affection (and material gains) that she would grow to love him. He just underestimated how dedicated she was to screwing up her own life.
      • Not "screwing up her own life", per se...more that she genuinely loved Lester from the beginning (though heaven knows what the heck she saw in him in the first place). She didn't enter the spiral until Ace had Lester beaten up. Which brings us to...
    • Of all the ways Ace could've handled the issue with Ginger and Lester—ALL THE WAYS...he has Lester beaten up in Ginger's presence. Needless to say, that's what kicks off Ginger's alienation from him, and her spiral out of control.
    • Ginger herself. Everything she does. Ever. Probably the biggest one is anything to do with Amy. Even Nicky explains to Ginger that perhaps the only thing that could ever enrage Ace enough to actually hurt her is taking Amy (who Ginger clearly doesn't care about much anyway). And yet she constantly keeps hitting that button, including when her threats to take the money and jewels provoke little more than apathy from Ace, she tries to get a rise out of him by saying she's going to take Amy.
    • Then there's Arthur Piscano, the fact that this is Truth in Television, just shows how much Reality Is Unrealistic. He is Too Dumb to Live personified.
  • The Woobie:
    • When Ginger has her Villainous Breakdown towards the end and has a very loud public freak-out on the steps of the house, Amy is watching from a neighbor's house as the whole street looks upon the self-destruction of her mom. And the night before, her mom tied her to the bed just so she could go out to the Leaning Tower and have a drink. That poor kid is going to be for a great time in a psychiatric hospital.
    • Billy Sherbert, Played Against Type by caustic comedian Don Rickles. There's very little indication that he has much involvement with the criminal activities beyond working as the apparent manager of the casino and generally doesn't do anything bad. Nevertheless, he still has to take abuse from Nicky and get sucked into the insanity of the Ace/Ginger/Nicky situation.