The Irishman (2019) Poster

(2019)

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9/10
The Scorsese format still works decades later.
aGlassofCinema_com28 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was able to attend the NYC premiere this afternoon. Now that I've gotten over the shock of seeing so many celebrities, I'm able to happily to say that this movie, while being quite long, deserves to be remembered as one of Scorsese's great films.

The Irishman reminds me a bit of Tarantino's recent hit Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, both because it's a period piece and also because you need to know a little history to understand the direction of the narrative. The movie, while following Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as the titular character, revolves around Teamsters union boss James Riddle Hoffa (played with intense and hilarious fervor by Al Pacino). Fortunately Frank goes to great lengths to narrate the story for the audience and provides a healthy dose of context for those of us not from the Kennedy era. The main thing you need to know going in is that Jimmy Hoffa had mob ties, and that he vanished in 1975 and was presumed murdered by mob bosses for being "uncooperative".

The movie unfolds over four acts, told over several decades by Frank Sheeran. In act one, Frank is introduced as a WWII veteran who is stuck driving food delivery trucks in and around Philadelphia. He has the bright idea to steal some of the steaks that he's delivering, and sell them to local mobster Felix "Skinny Razor" DiTullio (Bobby Cannavale). Eventually his brazen willingness to break the law catches the eye of Italian mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), who happens to be a mobster on a national level. His calm demeanor is both comical yet terrifying. A soon to be classic line encompasses Bufalino perfectly: "You might be demonstrating a failure to show appreciation." Under his mentorship, Frank becomes a ruthless action man for the italian mob and explains with rather entertaining dispassion how he does his job properly. In act two, Russell introduces Frank to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the outspoken and fearless president of the National Teamsters Union. Their relationship grows and Hoffa becomes Frank's second mentor. Together they use intimidation and bribery to gain influence until the election of John Kennedy, who subsequently appoints his brother Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General and immediately goes after Hoffa.

The first two and a half hours are the most fun, and in particular the end of act three is some of the most tense and dramatic storytelling that I have had the pleasure of seeing in recent memory. At a dinner celebration for Frank (who eventually becomes a Teamster boss himself), tensions between Hoffa, Bufalino and the other mobsters reaches a breaking point, and the decision is made to make Hoffa disappear. But in a gut wrenching twist, Frank is the one tasked to do the job. In a beautiful display of cinematography over a thirty-minute buildup, Scorsese forces the viewer to the edge of their seats with the dread of what's about to happen. Robert De Niro's performance in these moments is master class; the inner conflict is all the more apparent thanks all of the time we spent watching Frank being raised by Bufalino and Hoffa in equal measure. I plan to watch this part of the film again, probably with a notepad.

Getting away from the plot a bit, the movie is actually surprisingly funny. In one particular scene, someone insults an older Bufalino at a dinner reception. He and Frank exchange glances, and the frame suddenly cuts to a hotel bed covered in guns. Frank then narrates with excess detail and hilarious dispassion the ideal weapon for a public assassination. Moments like these are littered throughout the film and keep it from getting too bogged down in it's violence. It's impressive how quickly jokes fly, given the disproportionate amount of people getting shot point blank in the head. But anyone who has seen Scorsese's Goodfellas or The Departed will feel right at home.

The heart of the movie is definitely Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. De Niro was de-aged with apparently exorbitantly priced CGI, as he is supposed to be younger than both Pacino and Pesci. While it's fairly obvious, I was never too distracted to not enjoy what was unfolding onscreen. Plus he's kind of made a career of holding one scowling facial expression, so that probably was a little easier to edit. Al Pacino is a riot as Hoffa, and is certainly one of the most arrogant, over-the-top characters that Pacino has played in awhile. Pesci as Bufalino is chilling, and it's fun to seem him as the boss in this gangster movie after being a junior-level mobster in Goodfellas so many years ago. The mentorship between De Niro's character and both Pacino and Pesci is amazingly entertaining.

The only thing keeping me from calling this movie perfect is it's length. Three hours and (almost) thirty minutes is a very long time, and while occurring infrequently the movie does drag a bit. This is most apparent in the fourth act where Frank introspects during his final years, and attempts to achieve reconciliation for all the murders he's committed. It doesn't really offer any closure or seem necessary to wrapping up the narrative.

Ultimately that doesn't even come close to making me not recommend seeing The Irishman. There's a reason Martin Scorsese will forever be known for his gangster movies. Combining comedy, violence, brotherhood and drama, he has created a formula that continues to work. The fact that he continues to make excellent movies at 76 years old blows my mind. Well done.
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9/10
Gangster Avengers born for Netflix
sn3z29 September 2019
This film is super long. Too long to sit in the cinema for as fantastic as it looks. I ran out of snacks, I was so gripped I didn't go to the toilet which meant my bladder was bursting only adding to the tension.

This is pretty much the Avengers of the gangster movies where all of your favourite people are in one film written by the best writer and directed by the best director. Only Walken and Woods are missing.

Making de niro young kind of works and isn't as distracting as I thought and Pacino is fantastic. If you expect Pesci to be the nutjob he was in the other Scorsese movies then think again and this is no bad thing. Pesci is one of the best actors alive with a fantastic range and this movie proves it.

The Irishman is lovely to look at but for god sakes take a leak before you go or wait for its Netflix debut where you can watch it with whiskey and pause it for comfort breaks.
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10/10
The Last Cinematic Piece Of Art***
semirlivadicoffice27 October 2019
Irishman is maybe the last piece of cinematic art so far. Today we're just attacked by hundreds of superheroes on the big screen, with scenes and dialogs who goes so fast, faster than blinking your eyes. After Tarantinos 'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood' we will no longer have the opportunity to enjoy slow montage footage and brilliant cult dialogues, and this movie will, thank God, give us the opportunity to enjoy it again.***
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9/10
Scorsese Returns!
rebeccalovechild17 October 2019
I had the priv of watching this at a screening via BFI. I loved every moment of it. I'm not going to give any spoliers. It's good- what more do you to need know?!
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10/10
To call it "good" is to call DaVinci a finger painter
rocknrollparty2 November 2019
I'm going to steal something I read from a food critic once-this deserves a zero because it's so good it'll ruin everything else for you. And that's what this masterpiece is to cinema. It's truly just that effing special. It reminded me just how much I miss Pesci. Never in my life has time flown by as quickly as it did watching this. A true joy and a privilege to witness. Well done sirs. Well done.
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9/10
Simply Brilliant
gary-simm14 October 2019
I was worried about the length of the film before i attended the screening, but i can honestly say, i was gripped all the way through, De Niro back to his best, Pesci was fantastic, Pacino was electric, Keitel was menacing & Stephen Graham held his own amongst this legendary cast.

A return to this world that Scorsese has mastered with some of his best films & this film sits right up there right next to them.

Get comfy & enjoy the great story telling ability of these masters at work.
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10/10
A Magnum Opus
drewcollins-891953 November 2019
The Irishman is one of the best stories put to film in years. Al Pacino looked in his prime. De Niro Pesci and everyone else is as good as youd expect. The cgi deaging is revolutionary. Truly seamless. The 3.5 hour runtime is heavily felt, but totally worth it

To that, I say bravo to Marty Scorsese
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10/10
It's brilliant, but best to go in with as few expectations as possible
Jeremy_Urquhart8 November 2019
When I love a movie as much as I loved The Irishman, I feel torn. On one hand, I want to review it and rave about it and try to convince others to see it. But then on the other hand, I realise that doing so could set expectations too high, which could then lead to some people getting disappointed (this happens a lot with horror movies that get hyped at film festivals and then rejected by disappointed wide audiences, like with The Witch, It Follows, and Hereditary).

So that leaves me in a tricky situation, and I'll compromise by praising the film as much as I can without overhyping, whilst also making vague comments that won't be specific enough to ruin what the film has to offer (because yes: it's a Scorsese film. He has an incredibly varied filmography when you break down just what he's made over the last half-century, and so you're never going to get exactly what you'd expect).

Okay, acting: phenomenal. Besides Goodfellas, Pesci's best performance ever. This is the best De Niro's been since Cape Fear. This is the best Al Pacino has been in at least three decades. These men are old, and all accomplished and wealthy enough to retire happily at this point, but thankfully they all agreed to not only star in this movie, but commit themselves 100%. No one's phoning it in here. While the supporting cast are uniformly solid, these three steal the show and I hope all get Oscar nominations come awards season.

Scorsese, to no one's surprise, directs brilliantly throughout, making every scene purposeful and captivating. The movie is long, but deservedly so. The various pay-offs towards the film's conclusion would not hit nearly as hard if the film didn't spend so long building character, suspense, and emotion.

As crude as it might sound, this movie- at about the halfway point- made me forget how badly I needed to use the theatre's restroom. At a certain point, I accepted that I couldn't miss a second, and leaving the room for even a moment was totally out of the question.

If you can see this at a cinema, and can handle three and a half hours without a toilet or snack break (no intermission!), then by all means, watch it on a big screen, because it's beautiful and ultimately the best way to experience a film of this scope and spectacle. But it'll be on Netflix soon, and perhaps some would prefer to watch it in the comfort of their own home, where snack/toilet breaks are possible.

Whatever you do, make sure you ultimately watch it. Films like this don't come around too often, and this is such a perfect swan-song for this talented group that I doubt we'll see these legends together again.

It's bittersweet, but if this is Scorsese's, De Niro's, Pacino's and Pesci's farewell to the crime genre, then it's an amazing note to go out on.
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9/10
Several Oscar nominations incoming
kylerobertsiscool18 October 2019
The Irishman is another outstanding Scorsese film. De Niro gives one of his best performances in years. His narration is spot on and he makes us genuinely feel for Frank Sheeran. I believe his first Oscar nomination for years is inbound. Pesci is also great in a somewhat reserved role, but it's Al Pacino that really shines in this film. He gives his typical loudmouth performance and should be considered the favourite for best supporting actor, in my book. The film has a good pace to it. The nearly three and a half hour runtime flies by... for the most part. Midway through the second act, things can get a little slow but by no means is it boring. Perhaps it's the kind of film you watch on Netflix rather see it in cinema. The character development overall is excellent. We get a good grasp of every character by the end of the film due to the run time. However, we don't hear a huge chunk of information regarding Frank's Irish background. It is merely mentioned with one or two references. I personally had no issue with the de-aging. I think it's done really well. At no point was I distracted or thought it looked unrealistic. The ending and/or final act as a whole is conclusive. You leave the cinema with a smile on your face. I see a best picture nomination incoming for The Irishman. You should check it out when it comes to Netflix November 27. 9/10
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9/10
Just amazing
g_cotterell13 October 2019
Classic Scorsese . De Niro is the best he's been for years . Pacino is really magnetic and charming . But for me, Joe Pesci is the standout. Quietly deadly, magnetic , loyal, complicated, its him that will get the Oscar . Saw it at the cinema ( sorry Netflix but I am not watching Scorsese at home ) and it was superb. Oh Anna Paquin is used quite cleverly as well. Good actress . Decent performance Go and see it at the cinema . You will remember the masters returning for one last ride
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10/10
Seen at the NYFF and it was amazing
jmjam-7303928 September 2019
Martin Scorsese makes another great and captivating movie. This movie is amazing and I highly suggest you see it.
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8/10
More than a gangster film
Wasil_214 October 2019
The Irishman is an epic story of rising to power in the Mob's reality. It doesn't stop there, however, and this is what makes it more than another film of its genre. It provides a sublime contemplation on morality, it searches for a point of ruthless behaviour and a point of a professional career itself.
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8/10
Good "Old" Fellas was Pretty Fantastic
Gresh85421 October 2019
Possibly one of Scorsese's greatest endings ever. And those 3 and a half hours go by FAST.
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10/10
A Master Class in Film-making
Mengedegna28 September 2019
Seen this afternoon at the NYFF.

This film will doubtless go down as "The Godfather" of its generation, with Pacino and De Niro both on hand to assure continuity. Neither of them has done anything remotely as brilliant as this in decades, and the great revelation of the film, Joe Pesci, hasn't done anything at all. It has taken Scorsese's alchemy, back at its peak, to bring the three of them together in ways that surpass the sum of their considerable parts.

Although (or because?) much of the film concerns the bleakness of old age, each of them, Scorsese included, is here restored to his astonishing peak capacity: the film's dirty little secret is that much of its substance concerns the process of human subsidence and movement toward the grave (some -- many -- more expeditiously than others, of course, with titles accompanying the first appearance of so many of the minor characters to tell us , laconically, in which appalling way this was accomplished), its principals seem to have discovered the fountain that restores, if not their youth, at least their youthful talents and energy, albeit with a world-weariness that we should all heed.

Don't worry about the fim's amazing length -- it goes by at warp speed, and if if not for slowing down of its own accord (and logic) in its final half hour, you might feel deprived by how swiftly it is dispatched.

The professional reviews. out today, make much of the digital "de-aging" that allows the principals to be portrayed in early and late middle age, as well as closer to their natural ages. I confess that I don't see a problem with this, nor, I suspect, will most viewers. Under Maestro Scorsese's baton, all of them are fully convincing at each of these phases of life.

Interestingly, it is De Niro (who played the young Vito Corleone) to whom the elegiac moments, poignantly and all-too-realistically portrayed, are given, whereas it is Pacino, to whom had those unforgettable solo moments as the middle-aged Don were given, whose role here ends as it began -- in the total intoxication and lack of self-awareness of the powerful and unscrupulous. Pesci's self-awareness and watchful, controlling understanding of the realities of power, obviates the need for introspection -- he never wavers in his understanding of where the chess pieces stand on the board, and how they must, inevitably, be moved, and only fleetingly does he seem to perceive the cost of all that. Far more than his scenery-chomping past roles for Scorsese and others, Pesci's character here is, in this sense, the most terrifying figure in the film.

The political messages are oblique (history unfolds largely in the background, on TV sets), but the core Scorsese message about the utter corruption of American life and the impossibility of combating this -- if only because the alleged watchdogs, up to and including Presidents, are , in turn, so easily corrupted -- comes through loud and clear. It's hardly an original message, but Scorsese (like Coppola before him) dissects these dynamics with exquisite precision. The message for our current politics couldn't be clearer, or scarier.

Mention must be made of the flawless ensemble cast which backs up these principals, including the amazing women, who play such important, but background roles. (In mob films, as in Catfish Row in the great revival of "Porgy and Bess" now at the Metropolitan Opera, "a woman is a sometime thing." )

I feel privileged to have been present at one of the first public screenings of a film that will certainly join the pantheon. But I must get back to see it again and again, such is the richness contained in almost every frame and sequence.
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10/10
Worth a 10 year wait
Filmfan68uk13 October 2019
I don't like De niro's political rants but I will not allow them to influence my respect of great acting, directing and storyline. This had all those in spades and didn't need fast cuts and fast action. You enter their world and the cold reality of a gangsters less glamorous side bares it soul and it's a sad but poignant reality. Excellent nuanced acting make this a true masterpiece of cinema. Do not miss this film!!!
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10/10
Dont miss! a masterpic
peymank-902901 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It The movie of the year and One of the best Martin Scorsese's movie and one of the greatest mob drama movies of all time
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10/10
As good as movies get.
MOscarbradley12 November 2019
It plays for 209 minutes so yes, it could lose around thirty minutes or so towards the end when the pace noticeably slackens and that' it, really, my only criticism of Martin Scorsese's magnificent new movie "The Irishman", a valentine to De Niro and Pesci, Pacino and Keitel and a homage, not just to his own classic "Goodfellas" but also to The Godfather films and the television series "The Sopranos". In many ways it's like an anthology of gangster movies but not in the way you might expect. Yes, there are a lot of 'hits' on view, (Gangster Movies Greatest Hits?), as De Niro goes around despatching, with a few bullets to the head, not his enemies but those of his associates and employers. He is literally a gun for hire, even when the victim is someone he might really care for. In this respect the movie most closely resembles "Goodfellas" but what really makes this a great film rather than merely a very good one are the conversations. This is a movie full of really good talk delivered by some of the greatest actors alive today. There were times when I was wriggling in my seat out of the sheer pleasure of seeing De Niro sit down with the likes of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel and simply talk. Indeed, I could have been doing with more of Keitel whose part is really reduced to just one great scene, but what a scene it is.

Early reports of the film made much of a new digital process whereby the actors appear as their younger selves. To be honest, I found this hardly noticeable particularly where De Niro is concerned. Only Pesci came as something of a shock, (he looks like he's wearing a rubber mask in his early scenes), but then Joe has been absent from our screens for so long now it's difficult to know what exactly he does look like. To find fault with the process is really a minor quibble; it's just a joy to see this cast in the one movie.

De Niro himself is hardly ever off the screen and his performance is certainly one of his finest in a few decades, (I'd long give up hope of ever seeing him in a part this good again). We also owe Mr. Scorsese an unending debt of gratitude in coaxing Joe Pesci out of retirement. This isn't the Joe Pesci of old, the volatile little firecracker from "Goodfellas" but a measured old man who knows all he has to do is raise his little finger, not his voice, to get what he wants. His character here might be what Tommy DeVito would have become had he not been bumped off, resting on his laurels but a killer to the end. He should win the Oscar for this.

Of course, they and others in the cast, are Scorsese regulars. Pacino, on the other hand, is Coppolla's boy and is working with Marty for the first time and initially he seems out of place, like he's drifted in from another movie altogether and what we are getting here is 'Shouty Al', 'Roaring Al', Al at the top of his lungs and his performance is in marked contrast to the subdued work of De Niro, Pesci and Keitel. For a moment I thought he might unbalance the picture until I realised this is just what we needed. His Jimmy Hoffa is an adrenelin shot in the movie. Like his co-stars he is an actor relishing the best role he's had in years and like them he has his own great little moments, (dancing with Anna Paquin as De Niro's estranged daughter we could be watching an ageing Michael Corleone). Of course, even actors this could would be nothing without the benefit of Steven Zaillian's marvellous script or Scorsese's sublime direction. When the film was over I thought no, it's not one of Scorsese's masterpieces, it needs trimming, but twelve hours later I have revised my opinion; warts and all, this is as good as movies get.
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10/10
Horrifically Enthralling
tmacchallenger28 October 2019
This movie was a different animal then Scorsese's other gangster films. Something about it was disturbing that after viewing I still can't quite put my finger on. It's hard and not really fair to compare Irishman right away to Goodfellas and Casino, which I've seen a hundred times each. I will say that after subsequent viewings, that even if I don't like it better then those two films, the Irishman is better then The Departed, Mean Streets, and Gangs of New York imo.

During the Wolf of Wall Street (which I don't count as a real gangster film as great as it was), I kept checking my watch because I was having such a good time I didn't want it to end. The Irishman took on a different form of enjoyment where I never once looked at the time because I was so absorbed with what I was watching. The first hour reminded me of Goodfellas, the second hour kind of reminded me of Gangs of New York because of Scorsese giving us another history lesson about America's underbelly, and the last part of the film reminded me a bit of Casino with an undertone that felt to me like a horror movie. Even though we know what's coming to Hoffa, it doesn't make it any less disturbing to watch when we see it.

I never watched any of Scorsese's religious movies like Silence so I can't give an opinion about comparing the ending of the Irishman to the tone of those films. I'll just say I felt like I was attending a bittersweet funeral at the end.

Enough has already been said about how great the actors were so I'll just end my review by stating that Stephan Graham was another standout besides the other three main stars. He more then held his own and brought an eclectic, elictrifying mix of comedy and toughness to the story. An excellent villain in a movie full of bad guys.

I hope others enjoy the movie as much as I had. It was great for nostagilia to see these powerful movers and shakers, from my grandfather's WWII era, brought to life.
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9/10
VFX moving on Leaps and Bounds
richmatt-7629123 October 2019
Amazing use of the latest tech in this film. Yup you can see it, but still something is brilliant about it. I really enjoed this movie.
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10/10
The cast alone is a masterpiece
woah-244913 November 2019
Robert de niro reunited with joe pesci, and al pacino FINALLY in a martin scorsese film, Martin scorsese has proved gangster films are still the best of all time
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9/10
Great film!
blogmarley4 November 2019
I saw it on the big screen at The Egyptian. It's a shame this film won't get a extended theatrical release. I think a lot of people would enjoy this film on the big screen, even as it is 3+ hours long.

The film is just a treat. You'll get immersed in the characters and the world. It's funny, dramatic and engaging. The actors are a joy to watch and this might be the last genre film with these incredible actors.
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10/10
Worth the wait.
Viced28 September 2019
After anticipating this like a mad man for nearly a decade, I'm glad to confirm that all my hopes and dreams came true and it's a masterpiece.

The storytelling structure is mostly in the same vein as GoodFellas and Casino, but there's much more room to breathe (which makes sense when you consider the runtime). Less needle drops, more contemplation. Many brilliant scenes, some very intense moments, an insane amount of hilarious moments... and of course Scorsese directs the absolute hell out of it. Don't know how much of the "toxic masculinity" talk is legit, but Sheeran, while being a bit of an enigma, is easily the most introspective Scorsese mob character ever. And the final 20 minutes or so are an aftermath we've never seen before in a Scorsese crime film.

And De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci are all absolutely brilliant. The talk of De Niro being internal and Pacino being external was kind of right, but De Niro also has many funny, charismatic, and noticeably intense moments. Arguably his best moment comes in what may be the most awkward phone conversation in the history of film. Pacino, as you'd expect, nails all of the Hoffa speeches but also has rarely been this funny. And flawlessly portrays Hoffa's desperation (or... brazen lack thereof). Pesci is nowhere near the "go f--- your mother mode" many are probably hoping for. He's kind of the wise old man of the movie, while also being an ice cold mob boss. If he stays in retirement after this, it'll certainly be one of the finest swan songs.

Graham, Cannavale, Sebastian Maniscalco, and the great Harvey Keitel are the only other cast members that really get a chance to shine... and they all bring it with limited screentime.

Also didn't feel the length at all... shout-out to the legend Thelma Schoonmaker. And the cinematography is much better than the trailers made it look. Aaaand I almost forgot to mention the de-aging... because it truly slipped my mind. It, and De Niro's blue eyes, may be somewhat distracting at first... but you quickly get used to it and it becomes incredibly seamless as the film moves along.

The culmination of many careers, and a film for the ages.
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10/10
Scorsese masterpiece
raymstorey22 October 2019
But too long for the Instagram Generation, because it's longer than 140 characters.

What has happened to attention spans?
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10/10
Scorsese's still got it
mishraagastya11 November 2019
This is as close as Scorsese will get to his old style, and yet keep a significant distance between what made films like goodfellas and casino fantastic.

To call this a return to form is an insult to the master, who's last films have been nothing short of great and entertaining but only just scratching above the line of being true classics. The Irishman is well above that line, and it truly solidified itself amongst the ranks of Goodfellas in the last 30 minutes where Scorsese's plan goes from being a entertaining and engaging mess to a piece of art. To put it simply, it tells the story or betrayal and regret for 3 hours but only reveals what it means to Frank in the last 30. Pacino is a true actor in this film, embodying Hoffa and making people like De Niro and Pesci seem like backgrounds to which he can stand and perform. I want to commend Scorsese for giving us this film because no one asked him for masterpiece about ageing and becoming old. No one expected it from him to deliver a tale of this potency. But it becomes so clear that only an aged Scorsese could make a film like this. This is why we waited for The Irishman. This is why we needed another gangster film from him. Because only a veteran director can make you empathise with a part of your life that's 50 or so decades away.
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9/10
Scorcesse scores big!
mikela-811 November 2019
Really good film! It outshines lots of gangsters films of the past-equal to GodfAther 2- principals are superb, as is the script and production values.
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