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Casino Jack and the United States of Money: movie review

'Casino Jack' takes the cozy relationship between lobbyists and politicians to task with Jack Abramoff as Exhibit A.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / May 10, 2010

In this photo, a slot machine is shown in a scene from the film, 'Casino Jack and the United States of Money.'

Magnolia Pictures/AP

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The title of Alex Gibney's new documentary, "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," says it all. Superlobbyist, Republican wheeler-dealer, and convicted felon Jack Abramoff may seem like old news right now – he’s been trumped by Bernie Madoff et al. – but what he represents, alas, is all too evergreen.

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Gibney, best known for "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," is very good at chronicling corruption, and, with Abramoff as his subject, he has more than enough material to work with. Abramoff’s machinations pulled in everybody and everything from Tom DeLay to Patrick Kennedy to native American tribes to the sweatshops of the Marianas Islands. He was an equal-opportunity blight. Ultimately, the blight is so overwhelming that the film collapses from corruption overload. Grade: B+ (Rated R for some language.)

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