6. “Casino” (1995)
One can never accuse Scorsese of not going far enough. “Casino” seemed to get the short end of the stick initially when it came out. For some, it seemed too long and unwieldy. For others, it was unfavorably compared to “Goodfellas,” to which people felt it was too similar. What’s interesting is how on repeat viewings there is much to love about the film. Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) is a casino owner who becomes deeply engrained with the mob to further achieve the opulence that rules the Vegas strip. However, all his success turns sour as it seeks to tear itself apart from the inside. The secret weapon is the powder keg performance of Sharon Stone as trophy wife Ginger. The coked-out starlet becomes more than arm candy for Ace. She’s the live wire that dismantles Ace’s fragile operation. It’s a grand spectacle that speaks loudly.