Casino Jack

This article is about the drama starring Kevin Spacey. For the Alex Gibney documentary, see Casino Jack and the United States of Money.
Casino Jack
Directed by George Hickenlooper
Produced by Gary Howsam
Bill Marks
George Zakk
Written by Norman Snider
Starring Kevin Spacey
Barry Pepper
Rachelle Lefevre
Kelly Preston
Jon Lovitz
Maury Chaykin
Music by Jonathan Goldsmith
Cinematography Adam Swica
Edited by William Steinkamp
Hannibal Pictures
Rollercoaster Entertainment
Distributed by Art Takes Over Films (ATO)
Release dates
  • September 16, 2010 (2010-09-16) (TIFF)
  • January 28, 2011 (2011-01-28) (Canada)
Running time
108 minutes
Country Canada[1]
Language English
Budget $12.5 million
Box office $1.1 million[2]

Casino Jack (known in certain territories as Bagman) is a 2010 action thriller comedy film directed by George Hickenlooper and starring Kevin Spacey. The film focuses on the career of Washington, D.C. lobbyist and businessman Jack Abramoff, who was involved in a massive corruption scandal that led to his conviction as well as the conviction of two White House officials, Rep. Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and congressional staffers. Abramoff was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in 2006,[3] and of trading expensive gifts, meals and sports trips in exchange for political favors.[4][5] Abramoff served three and a half years of a six-year sentence in federal prison, and was then assigned to a halfway house. He was released on December 3, 2010.

Spacey was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Abramoff, eventually losing to Paul Giamatti for his role in Barney's Version.[6]


A hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.



Director George Hickenlooper at the film's screening during the 18th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8, 2010 in East Hampton, New York.

Filming took place in June 2009 in various locations across Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, including McMaster University and downtown Hamilton. The film was scheduled for release in December 2010 and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.[7]

This was Hickenlooper's final film. He died on October 29, 2010, seven weeks before its scheduled December 17, 2010, national opening.[8]


Casino Jack received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 36%, based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kevin Spacey turns in one of his stronger performances, but Casino Jack is a disappointingly uneven fictionalized account of a fascinating true story."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, stating that "Casino Jack is so forthright, it is stunning."[11]


  1. "Casino Jack -- Film Review by Michael Rechtshaffen". October 14, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  2. "Casino Jack (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  3. Abramoff Pleads Guilty, Will Help in Corruption Probe Archived December 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "US lobbyist jailed for corruption". BBC News. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  5. "Abramoff Gets Reduced Sentence of Four Years in Prison". Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  6. Kevin Spacey Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Evans, Ian (2010), "Casino Jack premiere photos - 35th Toronto International Film Festival",, retrieved 2012-04-10
  8. "Entertainment News, Celebrity Interviews and Pop Culture - ABC News". Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  10. "Casino Jack Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  11. "Casino Jack". Chicago Sun-Times.
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