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I'm not often writing critics on IMDb, but when i checked the page of
this movie I was really surprised that there were so few reviews.
I must confess that I haven't heard anything about this movie before I read that there will be free theater screenings of "Kill the Irishman" in my hometown. As far as i know, the film also had a very limited theater release in the USA, which is a sad thing because this movie was surprisingly good and well-crafted and was one of the best films I've seen in the last months.
The film tells the true story of Danny Greene, a tough irish gangster - and let me tell you, it is definitely a story worth telling.
I guess many of you are informed about the story of Danny Greene, so i won't go further into the story.
The movie features an impressive cast including Ray Stevenson, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken and many other familiar faces known from other mob movies. Ray Stevenson gives an incredibly good performance as Danny Greene and manages to keep his character really violent, but also likable. This movie could give him a career boost for bigger roles.
The direction and the cinematography are very nice and i'm hoping this movie will enable Jonathan Hensleigh more work soon, because he's definitely a talented craftsman.
In some reviews i read that other people complained that this movie is just a ripoff of Goodfellas. That isn't true. The movie stands well on his own, despite featuring some actors known from Goodfellas, and wasn't that also the case in Shows like The Sopranos? Why complain about that? And last but not least, it IS a true story and who grows sick of seeing good mobster movies? Definitely not me.
Review by Ruby: If you are reading this, you have probably read the
background info about The Irishman Danny Greene and his Italian buddy
John Nardi who worked and broke the law many times over in the streets
of Cleveland throughout the 1970s. In addition to Greene and Nardi,
many of the cast members were familiar "mob types," and testosterone
was practically flying off the screen in the midst of bravado,
fistfights, gunfire, and countless explosions. But there was an actual
story to follow also, so it offered more substance than much of the
drivel that manages to run in the theatres today.
Even though they were gangsters, Greene and Nardi were surprisingly likable charactersfor killers, that ismostly because of the charismatic acting of the two leads, Ray Stevenson and Vincent D'Onofrio. The supporting characters were interesting also, including the talents of Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Steve Schirripa, Paul Sorvino, Tony Lo Bianco, and Mike Starr.
Interspersed with the actors' scenes were actual clips of film footage from local newscasts of the day, which added authenticity and a touchstone to the amazing story that unfolded in Cleveland some 30-40 years ago.
I highly recommend "Kill the Irishman" as an action-packed, escapist, period piece, featuring superior acting and excellent film editing. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 100+ minutes!
The author of the book in which the movie is based has a unique
insight, he's a cop, his family was part of the old "mustache pete"
mafia. the book and the movie, demonstrate in realistic detail just how
far the Mafia has declined in the post golden era of the 50s and 60's.
One Irishman, with the help of an old Mafia associate, showed the world
just how incompetent the mob had become in Cleveland and elsewhere. The
movie deftly shows that level of incompetence.
Ray Stevenson does a credible job as Irish Danny Green and Vincent D'Onforio is even better as the conflicted John Nardi. Christopher Walken is barely visible as Shonder Burns. Tony Lo Bianco does a great job of a weak, indecisive mob boss who just can't get it right.
The movie is burdened with low production value, but the story is true. And the life they highlight deserves low production value. Anyone who compares this to Goodfellows or the Soprano's is out of touch.
Kill the Irishman tells the story of Danny Greene and his rise from
rags to riches through the mob and their many attempts at killing him.
Being of Irish decent, the aspect of this one Irish guy who kept
getting on the Italian mob's nerves, it peaked my interest.
The film has a great story to tell and I can only imagine how amazing the film would have been if they had a director like Martin Scorsese behind the camera. That's what I kept feeling while I watched this film, that it was a Scorsese wannabe. That's not exactly a bad thing, because I did enjoy the film, but I wanted to enjoy it so much more.
There are aspects of the film that are great and if a masterful craftsman were behind the camera than I can honestly see this film being one of the best of the year. The film feels short on a lot of things, mainly the small things that would have made this film great. The relationship between him and his wife was nonexistent. The smaller characters played by Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer and Vinnie Jones deserved more screen time. There was a relationship between Stevenson and Kilmer that was interesting, as one was a cop and the other a known mobster, but the film decided not to dive any further than two scenes. I hate to throw Goodfellas into the mix, but had the story been crafted more like that film, then this could have been great.
The story is based on true events, with some liberties of course. Some of the special effects, like the car bombings are incredibly poor. A story like this deserves a bit more attention to detail from the writer and director. It felt like they loved the story, but didn't know exactly how to tell it. Again, if they had proper backing in the budget department, then this film would have been really great. The car bombing scenes are really poorly done and this is such an integral part of the film. Some of them are actual explosions, others aren't. It's poor production values, stick with the real thing.
Kill the Irishman is a good movie when it should be a great movie. In terms of gangster flicks, it's one of the better ones. It's nowhere near the calibre of Goodfellas or Donnie Brasco. It feels like the odd film that wants to be apart of the family. It just falls short of admittance. A good film is good film though.
'KILL THE IRISHMAN': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Another organized crime biopic, this one focuses on the infamous 70's union rep turned gangster Danny Greene. The film stars B movie tough guy (and notable character thug) Ray Stevenson as Greene. It was written (with co-writer Jeremy Walters) and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh and adapted from the book 'To Kill The Irishman' by Rick Porrello. Hensleigh is most well known for writing and co-writing such blockbuster action films as 'DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE' and 'ARMAGEDON'. He also directed the films 'WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE' and 'THE PUNISHER' (which it's sequel, 'PUNISHER: WAR ZONE', starred Stevenson). The film co-stars the likes of Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Linda Cardellini, Vinnie Jones, Robert Davi, Paul Sorvino and other well known character actors. It's a little clichéd and by the numbers (it's certainly nothing we haven't seen before in the gangster crime genre) but it is entertaining and interesting to a certain extent, more so than a lot of others in my opinion.
Danny Greene was a well known Irish gangster in Cleveland in the 1970's. He started his career in organized crime working as a longshoreman labor union representative until he was busted. He was released in an arrangement that he would turn over any information and evidence he uncovered, in his future crime dealings, to the police (which he did very little of). He was eventually loved and admired by the public (as sort of a modern day Robin Hood) and hated by his criminal rivals. He became famously hard to kill as he continued to miraculously survive many attempts on his life. The film focuses on his relationships with fellow criminal businessmen, including John Nardi (D'Onofrio) and Shondor Birns (Walken), as well as his family, other love interests (Laura Ramsey) and a local cop (Kilmer) he knew since he was a kid.
I'm not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this. I admire the film craftsmanship of popular crime films like 'THE GODFATHER' and 'GOODFELLAS' but they're far from my favorite films. I don't especially like the element that the viewer is left with no one to root for and all of the lead characters are pretty morally despicable (although organized criminals probably have a lot higher standards and respectable moral qualities than most other successful businessman). With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it's type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He's always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he's really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh's better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you're a fan of the genre.
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Wow..... Wow..... Wow.............
I DID NOT EXPECT THAT! I AM STUNNED!
The Hunter becomes the Hunted in KILL THE IRISHMAN. In the year 1976 in Cleveland 36 bombs went off but could they get Danny Greene?
Based on the life events of Irish American gangster Danny Greene KILL THE IRISHMAN is by far one the most involved movies I have watched of its kind. Danny Greene a gangster from Cleveland in 1970s is a man with pride and honor. Quite unusual traits for a gangster don't you think? Exactly what I did think as well until I completed the whole movie! Danny Greene's story brings to light the hardships that certain people go through to meet their ends in life. Although not most of them are legal methods, sometimes these seem to be the only way out for some of them. Most learned folk at this point would think I am a few screws lose upstairs to agree with an illegal approach to life. I sincerely believe that all humans will tread paths they never would if they too are pushed to extreme limits. This is just me, however I am sure some may feel that to die with hunger is better than steal, try it and let me know! Please note I am not promoting criminals since Danny Greene's revelation is entirely different. Danny Greene earned his bread and butter until the associations abused them and ill-treated them. Danny stood up to them and took over the associations and became a self-found businessman. However when authorities came for him few years later, he did not run, he had the courage to stand up to his faults.
Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio and Val Kilmer bring to life the dark early 1970s of Cleveland. I am impressed of the precision performances. Especially Ray Stevenson, he is amazing and its wise choice by the casting directors to go with an unfamiliar face (although Ray Stevenson has appeared in a fair number of movies) since it's a biography of an actual person. I believe Ray Stevenson fits into the character with ease rather than to have a Hollywood regular play the protagonist. I need not speak about Christopher Walken, you put him in front of a camera and wonders emerge. Val Kilmer's weight does not stop him from slamming a great performance either. Unison is what it is with these men pulling the movie through.
A very appropriate and touching soundtrack evokes a great emotion within me. Much like BRAVE HEART or ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES she captures and wraps me with a strange enchantment. It's like a spell, I need to admit there were moments in the early parts of the movie where I did consider switching it off. The interest did not seem to be consistent. In my terms the attention span of the viewer is violated with Jonathan Hensleighs directorial approach. It lost me a few times, however it did not LOSE me. I am having difficulty expressing what I felt, let me try to elaborate. It's like water, tasteless, however after a long night when you wake up dehydrated after one too many drinks, and that one glass of water you have at that point of time is the perfect drink. This is the only way I can bring myself to explain the feeling of this movie.
A definite skip for those who look out for action and cleverly choreographed fight sequences. A good one for the mature audience who savor biographies and slow paced dramas.
This is how I see it, nothing more nothing less!
Title: Kill the Irishman Directed by: Jonathan Hensleigh Starring: Ray Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Robert Davi, Vinnie Jones & Christopher Walken Rated: R for strong violence and some sexual content/nudity Rating: 07/10 106 Minutes
It doesn't take much research into the real story of Danny Greene and
the Cleveland mob war to recognize that there was potentially a great
Mobster movie waiting to be made. This film misses the mark, which is
sad, because the players were there to craft something special.
The downfall of this film is the script and the way it rushes through time and space without ever focusing enough on the characters and their relationship with each other (and in the case of Greene with society) to really get us connected into the world they inhabit. We see scene after scene that remind us gangster movie staples. Greene beaten by Italian kids as a boy, Greene standing up to the crooked Union leadership, Greene making deals with the mafia, Greene gets a girl and they wind up married, Greene beats up bikers, Greene gets a partner out of hot water and tells him never to gamble again...and duh..he gambles again. Unfortunately, we always stay on the surface of people's motivations as these scenes fly by, we never stop and get a sense of why with the characters. And we never connect with them.
The acting is fine, Ray Stevenson's Greene is tough and smart and world-worn, everyone else is fine but they just stay on the periphery and play stock characters who come and go for the most part.
If the script had made a choice to either be the story through the eyes of Val Kilmer's Cleveland police detective, or the story through the eyes of Irish Danny Greene, instead of just a linear montage of standard gangster film clichés, we all could have been treated to a top-notch tale.
The movie just proves you need a great script to make a great movie, and it didn't have one.
"If any of these maggots from the so-called mafia want to come after
me, I'm not a hard man to find." This is the true story of Danny Greene
(Stevenson), the man the mob couldn't kill. After an encounter with
loan shark Shondor Birns (Walken) ends badly, a $25,000 price is put on
his head. The mafia tries everything they can think of, but Danny will
not go down without a fight. Being a huge fan of mafia movies, I was
really looking forward to this one. While the movie is very good and
entertaining, I was a little disappointed. The movie seemed to never
keep up a steady pace. Some parts moved very quick and were fun to
watch, then the next scene slowed it way down and didn't seem to have
any impact. The cast however, makes this movie. There are too many
stars to list here but there are about ten known actors that really
make this movie as good as it is. If the cast was not what it was this
would have been a really bad B movie, but as it stands it is a very
entertaining movie to watch. On a side note Val Kilmer is not
embarrassing to watch in this (unlike is last 4 or 5 movies). Overall a
very good movie, but a tad disappointing. I give it a B.
Would I watch again? - I think I would.
Really well done ! dug all the actors --Ray Stevenson did terrific job -- also the rest of the cast was fun and quirky --- among the standouts are Chris Walken and Robert Davi any film would be worth seeing just for them-- even in small roles these guys bring so much and are more versatile that a lot of the stock in play stereotypes ---Danny Greene story was true!! and that adds a lot -- but could have deepened some of the characters -- instead of perfunctory water color --one of the differences between the Godfather and this film and should be a lesson to writers and directors --treat supporting characters with same detail as the lead-- Tony LoBianco another Stand out
Great cast, great acting, and an absolute must-see for mafia-philes. Ray Stevenson and Linda Cardellini give exceptional performances as Danny and Joan Greene in this hard hitting story based on his life. Unlike many bio-dramas, this one moves along at a rocket pace, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. D'Onofrio is exceptional in this role, as is Christopher Walken, and you have to wonder how Stevenson keeps up with such powerful performers, but he does. Lots of favorite character actors dress up this larger than life scenario, including the lovely and always enticing Fionnula Flanagan as the neighbor, Mike Starr as one of Tony Lo Biano's enforcers, and Bob Gunton as the Union President who can't stand on his own. Paul Sorvino gives us the perfect NYC mob boss image and, while his role is brief, it's a performance worth watching. Val Kilmer's role as the police officer who grew up with Greene is subdued, but he carries it off with the right tone and balance to the film. Since a great film always comes down to the director, we have to give Jonathon Hensleigh a resounding round of applause for this fascinating and entertaining portrait of the under-workings of the mob. Rated R for violence, language and sexual situations, if you like films like the Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, etc, you are going to love this one. And if you are a fan of those, this needs to be added to your collection.
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