January 17, 2011

Casino Jack - 2010

Director: George Hickenlooper
Writer: Norman Snider
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz, Graham Greene, Spencer Garrett, Kelly Preston

A dramatized account of the fall from grace of former "superlobbyist" Jack Abramoff (Spacey) after his involvement with nautical casinos and the defrauding of Native American tribes.

Spacey gives yet another remarkable performance as we've come to expect, a sort of complement to his character from American Beauty: instead of a man who has stopped caring about his role in life, his Abramoff is one who not only believes he can literally do anything, but also that he is (and other lobbyists are) a vital cog in the system, despite every shady deal made, most of which end up passing through his own pockets somehow. Lovitz also comes through as another sleazy type, and the audience is left feeling bad for both of them in spite of their less-than-admirable actions. Unfortunately, the film as a whole is the smallest bit lackluster, and takes some interesting liberties with the facts. Interestingly, a documentary about Abramoff was also released this year, with the mouthful of a title Casino Jack and the United States of Money, for anyone interested in a comparison. A-

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