A gem from Scorsese. Is it me, or has Scorsese been racking up one intriguing piece of work after the other since Cape Fear? All the unopposed contradictions and attracting opposites built into a more refined and deliciously intense mold than one remembers from Who's That Knockin' on My Door?, Mean Streets, or even the later dated Scarface.

Victorian New York was fascinating when Daniel Day-Lewis romped around it, but '70's Las Vegas as a city surrounded by threatening holes turns out to be one of the most frightening portrayals of the American Dream. Gotta stay away from the expressions 'right' and 'wrong' in Marty's films because the thing that appeals can be the same thing that repels, or vice versa (more vice than verse).

The cast, headed by DeNiro, is superb (every one of them). Sharon Stone gives her most noticeable performance to date as she evolves from the classy, clever hustler with a heart of gold, cash, and other negotiables to the full-fledged hopeless masochistic junkie on a collision course to self-destruction. She's managed to take home her first Golden Globe for her fine tuned performance as the latest Scorsese gunmoll.

The photography is on the spot. If you love beautiful shots, you'll love details like dice spinning CU, chips flying, or car dust slashing shades


© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett