Robert De Niro stars as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a small-time gambler who rises through the ranks to run a high-profile casino in 1970s Las Vegas in this spiritual successor to Goodfellas, the eighth collaboration between De Niro and Martin Scorsese. Joe Pesci plays Rothstein’s ticking time bomb best friend, who yields to jealousy after Sam’s prostitute-turned-trophy wife (Sharon Stone) comes between them. Within Scorsese’s sharply realized, sun-baked mafia world, Sam operates with an impassive sense of his inevitable downfall. His pared-down mannerisms and strictly-business modus operandi are a far cry from some of De Niro’s previous roles, but no less exacting and powerful.