This is Scott's answer to Casino and it slightly suffers from comparison. Where Scorsese is bold and hallucinatory, Scott is workman-like and down-to-earth. Another comparison might be The Wire, but it's more distant than that.
But it's still a gripping story and a big wonderful sprawling epic. The version I watched was getting on for three hours long, and the time just flew by.
The film also mirrors the experience of the investigating police force. Initially difficult to penetrate, but more than pays off towards the end.
Verdict: Lucas rising, falling.