We are kind of in a little thing called an economic crisis. Mom and dad are skipping date night every once in a while, we don’t eat out as much and we choose to walk or ride our bike instead of wasting the gas it would take us to drive. Whatever helps, right?

Well here’s a new analogy that filmmaker Leslie Cockburn is introducing to our money-torn society. America’s casino is not located on the vodka-paved Sunset Strip. No, this casino can be found on the country’s most famous street … Wall Street, that is.

The new documentary American Casino argues that an estimated $12 trillion plus of our hard-earned money has vanished thanks to the film’s players: a senior Wall Street ratings agency executive who was told to guess the worth of billion dollar securities, a billionaire who bet that people would lose their livelihoods and who ended up winning millions from it and a banker who admits he lied to customers.

These Wall Street titans are not targeting the rich and famous, but average people who have much more to lose than money. A therapist, a high school teacher and a minister of the church are hit hard by the “American Dream” scam sold by the crooks. Particularly, minorities were the prime targets for the “subprime loans” that provided fuel for the casino.

Filmed over 12 months, just as the financial crisis was picking up speed, this documentary is effectively specific in how the thrifty players ultimately turned Riverside, Calif. into a wasteland of vacant homes and meth labs.

As a good American who is directly affected by the content of this film, theoretically I should be fascinated by this eye-opening piece of work that really explains a lot of what is normally covered up and tucked under the rug. However, the statistics, the numbers, the business people – they all look the same.

Director Cockburn does a fantastic job with the material. But it’s the material that fails to make for a captivating movie-going experience. For those good with allowing their attention span to hold strong for 89 minutes of business talk, you will love this movie.

It’s not the feel-good flick of the year, but it’s also not as incoherent as other films in the genre. It knows its facts, it knows its people and it knows how to put the two together. Now it’s just a matter of taking the time to listen.

Grade: C+

American Casino releases in select theaters Sept. 18.