American Casino
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"I don't think most people really understood that they were in a casino" says award-winning financial reporter Mark Pittman. "When you're in the Street's casino, you've got to play by their rules." This film finally explains how and why over $8 trillion of our money vanished into the American Casino.For chips, the casino used real people, like the ones we meet in Baltimore. These are not the heedless spendthrifts of Wall Street legend, but a high school teacher, a therapist, a minister of the church. They were sold on the American Dream as a safe investment.… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Cockburns paint a picture of a financial world devoid of morality and scruples, a culture in which reckless disregard of reason and caution led to a towering house of cards that could only come crashing down."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards,
"The documentary details in no-nonsense, talking-head style how commercial and investment banks moved high-risk mortgages out into the economy, dumping debt and reaping profits in the process."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's a nightmare that starts like a normal daytime drive and ends in a vortex-like sinkhole."
‑ Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
"It may be a little too Jack Webb for the masses, but there is value to its sober, just-the-facts approach."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"The piece finds a balance between the tearjerkers caught in the crossfire and the reckless bidders who don't seem to feel troubled for the life of excess at the expense of others."
‑ Matthew Nestel, Boxoffice Magazine
"As Leslie Cockburn's camera roams the foreclosed rowhouses of Baltimore, their planked-up doors reminiscent of shots from The Wire, I thought: Baltimore needs some good PR."
‑ Dan Kois, Washington Post
"A lopsided, visually uninspired film that works best when it eschews the complex numbers-crunching of its financial industry pundits and whistle-blowers to profile the everyday victims of the crisis."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Putting a face on the incomprehensible figures, the film takes a look at some of the victims, middle-class professionals who bought into the dream of home ownership and lost everything."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"The best look to date at the rotten US housing mortgage system that developed over the last ten years. Clear enough to make you cry."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Has the feel of a quickie made-for-TV doc. It's bare bones ... but timely."
‑ Geoff Berkshire,
"Much of the final two-thirds of the documentary can have a TV newsmagazine feel: solidly presented, but not shaped to a larger end. As self-righteousness sets in, however justified, so does a certain artistic slackness."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"This film stands as an intimate, terrifying document that renders an incomprehensible slice of recent history in human terms."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"If there's an overarching theme it's that people respond to incentives and so regulation of the financial market is necessary to see that the incentives offered are not perverse."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"Essential viewing for understanding how banks systematically targeted low income groups in over-leveraged mortgage lending practices that led to a catastrophic economic collapse, "American Casino" is still a far from perfect documentary."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A riveting and multidimensional examination of the subprime mortgage meltdown and its devastating impact on homeowners from poor African-Americans to wealthy Californians with swimming pools."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for American Casino on Rotten Tomatoes