Film Review: Kevin Spacey Comes Up Aces in ‘Casino Jack’

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CHICAGO – The halls of the Capitol Building are paved with money. It takes a long time beyond civics class and history to realize that. Kevin Spacey illustrates that concept precisely playing “super lobbyist” and convicted larcenist Jack Abramoff in “Casino Jack”. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Jack Abramoff’s story is a typical eye glazer for the average news consumer, but his actions effect everyone all the time.It is his story as an arch conservative con man, spewing religion while at the same time robbing people blind. And it’s all legal because the guys he has in his pockets make the law.

Basically the story revolves around Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), as they set up specific lobbying efforts on behalf of Native American casinos. They use these “retainers” from their clients to peddle influence with key people in Washington, including the new Speaker of the House, Tom Delay (Spencer Garrett). At the same time, they are looking to score in gaming themselves, as an off-shore casino out of Florida can easily sail beyond all laws and regulations.

Abramoff and Scanlon enlist the aid of a petty businessman, Adam Kidan (Jon Lovitz) to be their front man for the purchase of the off-shore gaming scheme. Kidan is a bit of a loose cannon, and butts heads with the criminal elements that control the gambling in the area. Now real organized crime is involved with the type of organized crime that Casino Jack practices.

When the inevitable downfall occurs (touched off, naturally, by Scanlon’s spurned wife), the house of cards that falls leads all the way up to George W. Bush (naturally, again). Abramoff is a good Republican, until of course he is caught.

“Casino Jack” continues its limited release in Chicago on December 31st. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Featuring Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Graham Greene, Jon Lovitz and Kelly Preston. Screenplay by Norman Snider, directed by George Hickenlooper. Rated “R”.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Casino Jack”

Schemers: Barry Peppers as Michael Scalon and Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff in ‘Casino Jack’
Photo Credit: © ATO Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Casino Jack”

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