A casino is a place where you can experience a thrill that cannot be replicated anywhere else. It’s filled with glitzy lights, the sound of clinking slots, and a scent that brings you back to a time when life was simpler and more dangerous. It’s a place where the odds are stacked against you, but where the potential for winning big is endless.

Despite its cynical premise and brutal depictions of underworld crime, Casino is still one of the most thrilling movies of all time. Its star-studded cast includes the always-reliable Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a man whose worldview might seem at odds with his status as Sin City’s reigning bettor extraordinaire. “When you love someone, you gotta trust ’em,” Ace says early on, setting his worldview in stark contrast with the shady dealings of the Tangiers cashier’s room, where skimming off the top is a fine art that Ace countenances as long as the kickbacks go to his old-school bosses in Kansas City.

Like Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls a few years later, Casino uses its vision of a decaying Las Vegas to imagine the future of our civilization. But the movie also laments what will replace the corrupted ruins of the past, a sentiment echoed by the movie’s final scene, over images of the Tangiers being torn down, as Ace laments that “the town will never be the same.” Like Boogie Nights, this period piece eschews nostalgia in favor of despair and distrust.