||Martin Scorsese, one of America's most influential filmmakers, returns to the world of mobsters, greed, and excess that he explored so compellingly in 1990's GOODFELLAS. Set in the 1970s and reveling in the minute details of how Las Vegas casinos operate, the film chronicles the rise and fall of casino manager Ace Rothstein (Robert De Niro). As the king of his domain, Ace efficiently runs the business and regularly sends lots of cold cash to his bosses. Helping him keep the casino's employees and customers honest is his best friend, Nicky (Joe Pesci), a violent sociopath. Although Ace aims to run a relatively respectable casino, the volatile Nicky wants to take over the entire gambling mecca, and when Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone), a seasoned Vegas hustler, enters the picture, Ace and Nicky's friendship is complicated even further. As drugs and alcohol become a bigger part of Ginger's life, all three are eventually brought down by their own greed and blind ambition. CASINO shares many similarities with GOODFELLAS, beginning with a script that was cowritten by Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi. Regulars De Niro and Pesci are first rate once again as the dissimilar companions, but it is Stone who steals the show with her grueling, intense performance.