Kill the Irishman (2011) Poster

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Very underrated.
NemedyNM5 May 2011
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.
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An exciting ride!!
calico2-18 May 2011
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 characters—for killers, that is—mostly 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!
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A great biography. A must watch for those who savor true drama
troy-manatunga2 October 2011
Wow..... Wow..... Wow.............


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
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Deserved a bigger budget
Matt_Layden12 June 2011
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.
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B Movie bad-ass Ray Stevenson finally given a chance to shine and show his range!
Hellmant7 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
'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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Kill an Irishman- Based on a true story but even that is a half-truth
tdz-30-1440829 May 2011
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.
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Great cast, great acting, and an absolute must-see for mafia-philes.
Frederick Smith23 April 2012
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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Failed Potential
jamfitz00118 June 2011
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.
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Irish mobster
billcr129 March 2012
Ray Stevenson is Danny Greene, an Irish mobster, active in the Cleveland underworld during the 1970s. Greene started as a union organizer and within a short time, won election to the presidency of the longshoreman's guild, which he ruled with an iron fist. He was eventually an FBI informant and was a Mafia enforcer at the same time.

Greene became entangled with the traditional Italian-American La Cosa Nostra with his own crew of criminals who ran gambling operations in competition with the already established gangsters. A series of bomb explosions made Cleveland one of the most violent American cities of the era.

The movie is brutal but also has great wit and Stevenson is as charming as can be as Danny Greene. The supporting cast includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken, and all are as good as expected. This may very well be the best unknown and unseen crime drama ever released.
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True story of famous '70's Cleveland based Irish mobster Danny Greene
Dan Ashley (DanLives1980)28 September 2011
I've been pretty excited about getting my hands on this film for some time now without knowing very much about it. But watch the trailer and if you're a fan of your 'Goodfellas,' 'Donnie Brasco's and 'Casino's then you'll probably relate.

'Kill The Irishman' has been called the best film since 'Goodfellas' as was stated on the DVD box that came in the mail today. Now all that tells a man to begin with is that the film is the best imitation of 'Goodfellas' there's been since 'Goodfellas' was introduced to cinemas and VHS tapes. Fear not, it is actually good enough to compare to the many times already aforementioned gangster classic and what comes as a surprise is pretty much everything about the film.

Firstly, a synopsis. Danny Greene's story - narrated by Val Kilmer (who lends some heavy support throughout the film) - tells of a tough Irishman working the grain silos at the Cleveland Docks whose rise to infamy begins when he goes to work for the mafia after a jail term for larceny makes headlines due to his muscling in on his former factory boss's business.

Greene is an old fashioned street fighting man who will stand up to anybody and although readily willing to commit crimes to make money, he is an honest and caring man by nature and this quickly endears us to the complex character so easily portrayed by Irish-born up and coming actor Ray Stevenson. I say up and coming but if you're British you'll already know him for television and minor film roles. If you're American you may know him for 'King Arthur', 'Outpost', 'Book of Eli' and 'Punisher: War Zone'.

As events unfold and just as Greene became unhappy with his factory boss, he sees the mafia acting unfairly, abusively and little involved. He declares that he will go into business for himself, meaning that he will inevitably have to declare war on the Italian mafia.

Naturally, what follows is the titular plot; the mafia attempting and failing over the duration of many years to hit the unflappable Irishman as he goes to great lengths to rub it in their faces and get revenge where necessary.

The film, based mostly in Cleveland throughout post-war '70's America, looks and feels authentic but it is the strong, earthy Irish charm that sets it apart from all those old classic I-tallian-American gangster films and a style of film-making that sometimes takes you back even as far as the forties for its occasionally rich film-noir texture.

What I find amazing because this is actually no huge Hollywood film is that 'Kill The Irishman' boasts a hugely classic cast including Val Kilmer (Heat), Christopher Walken (explanation???), Vincent D'Onofrio (Law & Order), Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) and Robert Davi (Die Hard and The Goonies) to name a few. They're all very admirably cast in familiar roles, some unfamiliar which works in favour of plot tiwsts, and help to endear us towards a film that is actually very down to earth and sometimes even hilarious for a such a darkly toned crime drama.

What surprised me the most is the link I made earlier on as I looked over the cast and crew of the film. Ray Stevenson (the last man to portray killer ex-military vigilante Frank Castle AKA The Punisher) being directed as the film's lead by Jonathan Hensleigh, director of the 2004 Thomas Jane version of The Punisher. And the team works brilliantly. Hensleigh who I associated with slow and simplistic storytelling since the latter has really thrown a curveball with this one and I can't help but wonder; what if Hensleigh had directed Stevenson as the Punisher instead, what kind of comic crime caper would we have gotten then? Kill The Irishman boasts some hilariously offensive dialogue that cannot be mistaken for anything but Irish, the film to me at first glance was authentic and quite realistic and I recommend it to everyone with a fully functioning brain and heart. 'Kill The Irishman' is one of the best dramas on offer at this moment!
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Irishman is iconic tour de force
djderka22 October 2012
I was surprised at how this was a really well told story.

It was made in 2011, but took place in the mid 70s. It is the story of Danny Greene an Irish mobster who would not sell out to the Italian mafia as they fought over turf in Cleveland.

And the Director, Jonathan Hensleigh did a great job on the direction and script. Too many who knew him, Danny had a 'good' side and a bad side and it was represented in the movie. Danny served Turkeys at holidays, saved an old lady from an explosion, yet easily planted a bomb to eliminate adversaries.

Jonathan told the story in 70's film language which has a lot of natural lighting, some hand held camera, realistic scenes, and sort of a cinema-verite feel to the movie. This made the film seem like a documentary but without the ponderous narrator and constant talking heads. Hensleigh told the story with action and character. The lighting, film stock, and camera work was reminiscent of The French Connection, a gritty 70's film.

Ray Stevenson was almost a look alike for the real Danny Greene and added to the realism of the story.

Even the fights were very realistic. There was no whack, thwack of a bamboo rod on leather as is typically overdone in movies. Those fights are a realism unmatched in cinema. a) they did not go on forever, with high kicks and constant up and down moments for the hero. b) sound of fist heating a chin was very real. Fights aren't an array of sound effects. c) most real fights end pretty quickly as in the movie, a few punches and the guy is down and you beat him up, he doesn't keep popping up like a whack a mole after being knocked out. Thank goodness the fights didn't go on forever with 'artsy' camera angles.

The feel of this movie was gritty, and matched the grittiness of the story and labor (garbage and longshoreman activities) and you didn't feel the supporting cast was acting but that you were watching a mafia spy cam on their activities. See the extra features and the movie is pretty much the real story. The supporting cast of name actors had them nicely blended into the background and not upstaging the main character. Nicely done.

I liked the incorporated newsreel footage, and forgot about all those explosions in the 70s in Cleveland. Funny how bombs are the "weapon"of choice for criminal types.

Thank goodness Scorsese did not direct this movie as it would have been over lit and much more hyped up and with those whack fist effects and other posed scenes.

And people died in these explosions, they didn't run ahead of them like Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford to "beat" the blast.

If want to learn about the historic story of mobster vs. mobster in the 70s and an icon of resistance...this is the movie.
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This is as good as it gets
mikekozel22 February 2016
The cast of players would be worth the time and whatever the fare. The story would be worth the time without the cast. The seamless direction, perfect flow, and consistent energy of the work is in itself sufficient for study and pure cinematic enjoyment. This work represents the best effort a team of professionals can give us. Great effects, visceral, brutal violence, great period design, brilliant direction and editing, and a very well made screenplay. The actors are so well cast, maybe a teeny bit stereotyped, but done so with those faces we love to see as characters from gang!and. Type casting aside, the actors were superb, with hardly a miss in timing and delivery. Cinematic art is not an individual effort. There are so many different crafts and talents necessary to create the whole piece, and evoke in the audience a sense of having been actually a part of the work. This film does that. It is the highest honor one can give a film, that for a couple of hours, you were there, with them, a spectator, but involved a bit in the story. So simple,really, to know a great film. This film, Kill The Irishman, is one of those. Is this ten lines?

Thanks again for the opportunity to write, and having read thousands of words about this film, please accept this sincere, simple accolade for a great work.
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Excellent action packed mob movie
dworldeater14 November 2012
Ray Stevenson really delivers a powerful performance as Irish mobster Danny Greene. Few actors can pull off dramatic stuff such as this while being so damn tough . Based on the life of real Irish crimelord Danny Greene this is very similar in style to Goodfellas and also shares some of the support cast of aforementioned mob classic . This also reminds me of the Sly Stallone crime classic FIST. Of which is a tough film in its own right , but also a well made , story, character driven drama like this film. Kill The Irishman has one of the best supporting casts around which includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Christopher Walken, Vinny Jones and Val Kilmer(plus half of the cast of Goodfellas ). Ray Stevenson holds his own among all of these great actors by playing Greene smart, tough , charismatic and ruthless . Dialogue is delivered just as well as brutal beatings.Danny Greene is truly a tragic figure and Kill The Irishman exhibits some humanity as well as making him sympathetic and likable . Excellent.
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True story about the man the mob couldn't kill. Very entertaining and good mafia movie, great cast and acting. I say B
Tony Heck12 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"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.
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worth seeing just for Walken and Davi
Snaporazz8 May 2011
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
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Wasted talent
shanayneigh16 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had high hopes for this movie, considering its strong casting. But sadly, it fails to deliver.

I don't know if the movie got slashed in post production, or it was simply poorly written, but the end result is a film which feels very rushed, with numerous scenes missing. It seems like Hensleigh is so terrified of the movie feeling slow, that he goes to the extreme in the opposite direction.

In what seems like the first 20 minutes of the movie, the main character goes from a struggling longshoreman, to being the head of the union, to getting married to some random waitress, to being locked up, to suddenly being an informant, and ending up as a low level gangster again. Oh, and somewhere in all of this he saves someone - I suppose a friend - from some loan shark, but it's not entirely clear why or how, although it for some reason becomes a big plot point later on. It's probably due to sloppy writing.

Everything is portrayed in very short scenes in a pattern of "and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened". The problem with this technique is that we never really get to know the main character, his motivations, his relations to the supporting characters (his crew and antagonists) and not to mention his first wife.

This isn't "Transformers" where the audience might be content with seeing some massive explosions and robots beating the crud out of each other. For this movie to be enjoyable, and actually make sense, we have to at least know and care a little bit for our characters.

Compare "Kill the Irishman" to "Goodfellas", a movie which obviously have been a strong influence on this film (not to mention the opening car explosion, which is taken almost beat by beat from "Casino").

"Goodfellas" is a full 40 minutes longer than "Kill the Irishman", but never gets dull. On the other hand, it rather feels faster paced than "Kill the Irishman". But we need those extra 40 minutes, because it gives us time to get explore the points listed above.

"Kill the Irishman" feels like wasted opportunity.

It could have been a "Heat" style film, exploring the relationship between Ray Stevenson and Val Kilmer's characters. But no.

It could have explored the tension between being a snitch and having the life of crime as the only realistic way of life. But no.

It could have been a rise-and-fall mafia style movie like "Goodfellas" or "Scarface" or even "American Gangster". But no.

It could have been a gritty look at the life of crime, kind of like a reverse "Narc". But no.

This movie can't decide what type of film it is, so it tries to be all of them at once, which is a recipe for failure.

It's a shame considering the talented cast, which has very little to work with in this garbled mess of a film.
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Movie About My Family
jc-liberatore23 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
No I'm not Irish and no my last name is not Green. I'm Italian and my last name is Liberatore. Its been documented for years the association my family has had with the mob. The murder of Danny Green would ultimately put my Uncle Anthony "Tony" Liberatore behind bars for the rest of his life, which also made headlines throughout the country for putting the "Don" of the Cleveland Mafia behind bars. Although this story tells the life of Danny Green, it also intertwines the lives of many high ranking members of the Mafia into the spotlight. The movie itself does in certain parts hold a lot of truth with his dealings with the Cleveland Mafia but what the movie does not show is the paranoia and public solitary confinement he lived the last years of his life in. Although not told through the eyes I would have loved to see the simple fact of being consulted for references about friends and family members who were attached to this story was nothing less than fantastic. I hope everyone likes the movie and be on the lookout for the other side of this story soon!
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good mob movie
SnoopyStyle16 July 2016
In a flashforward to 1975, Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) survives a car bomb attempt in Cleveland. In 1960, he and friends Billy McComber and Art Sneperger are longshoremen. He takes on corrupt union boss Jerry Merke who doesn't care about the working members. Sneperger is in gambling debt to Cleveland Mafia John Nardi (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Danny offers to help him steal from the docks. Danny takes over the union and marries Joan (Linda Cardellini). Police Detective Joe Manditski (Val Kilmer) takes him down and he's banned from unions. He gets work from loan shark Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken). After a dispute over money, he gets into a car bombing war with New York mobsters. He gains notoriety as the "Robin Hood of Collinwood" surviving multiple murder attempts.

This is very much a Goodfellas wannabe including a "Based on a True Story" moniker. There isn't anything wrong with aspiring to be one of the best films of all times. It's got plenty of solid actors in the many supporting roles. D'Onofrio is a standout although it may be trying to fit in too many characters. As for Ray Stevenson, he has a really powerful presence. He's a hulking man. The movie has minor flaws here and there that keeps it from being a truly great mobster movie. Some of the side characters need to step up. The wife and mistress are bland. The movie doesn't always flow well but it's a good watch.
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Danny Greene is one tough guy!
Siddharth Krishna Dwivedi20 November 2011
Crime movies attract me like a magnet, and so I landed on this.

It shows the continuous attempt to kill Danny Greene (the Irishman), and his story of pauper and king substantially.

This movie catches imagination and seesaws Danny Greene as a good and bad guy. Still at the end you end up liking Danny played effortlessly by Ray Stevenson.

At times it even reminds you of Robinhood like baddies, a classic as modern fanatics go; this movie resembles.

The Mafia and crime syndicates are back with this flick, enjoy the chase to kill the Irishman......
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What this movie needs are more cars blowing up.
morganmorgan27 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I went in really wanting to like this flick and boy was I utterly disappointed. Not like angry, I got ripped off, wasted my time kind of disappointment but more of a why did they even bother going through the trouble of making this movie to begin with kind of disappointment.

It is so full of unbelievable film and story clichés it's astounding (And at some points kinda embarrassing). There is no attempt in any way to take something that on paper would appear to anyone as being a pretty typical mob/gangster story and create a film narrative that can come across as something other than a typical mob/gangster story.

I think the worse thing the production does is start a story that is so obviously taking a page from Goodfellas and then proceed to deliberately hire half the cast from the same movie. Painfully obvious. Did it even occur to anyone during pre-production that there were more than a few sequences that seem rather... similar? (Which, speaking of Goodfellas cast members, note to Tony Darrow: The worst thing a character actor can do is get plastic surgery. On his face. See Dan Hedaya.) The other thing is the movie. It's supposed to be a MOVIE, as in, you know, moving motion pictures. This thing has such a glacial pace I wanted to start clubbing baby seals to relieve the boredom..

And what was up with Ray Stevenson's hair? It's like a mutant grafting of Gene Wilder on a six day coke binge and John Belushi with six days of sobriety. Almost all the actors in this either looked like older impersonators of themselves or bloated, inflatable pool toys. And I kept waiting for the alien to pop out of Vincent D'Onofrio's host carcass but then I remembered that was another movie back when he wasn't simply working to support his restaurant tabs. Which, apparently, are extensive.

And poor Robert Davi-- we don't even get that good a glimpse of him in the whole movie. And he was a Bond villain for heaven's sake! It's not right. I'm just sayin'. And yeah, yeah, I know, it was supposed to be a device to make his character seem 'mysterious' and 'dangerously ubiquitous' but it just came off as if the actor wasn't showing up on time and they had his stand-in complete all his scenes in a pinch.

Then at some point, some wiseguy editor managed to sneak in an extra reel of people sitting in their cars and then blowing them up over and over again on a loop that seemed to last for about 45 minutes. Then more things blew up. And then somebody said something or did something which all inevitably lead to a huge cue we all expected anyway that came lumbering up main street like the mother of all Godzillas... and then some kids came and more people blew up again.

Next time I think I'll just watch Goodfellas.
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Worth seeing, but it's NOT going to be a Mob Classic
woljm4513 March 2011
I had a chance to catch this at the Sunshine Theater on East Houston in NYC. I was looking forward to seeing this movie after reading about it a few months ago, and luckily found a theater that was actually screening it. I initially heard of Danny Green from the Mobsters series on BIO Channel, so I already knew the background story, and overall this movie keeps things pretty real in that regard(with some dramatics added here and there for the sake of entertainment). Overall I was slightly disappointed as parts of the movie and the dialog was too "Hollywoody". Casting Christopher Walken for example, he's become such a fixture of humor because of the way he talks, so when he talks in this movie about serious subjects, its still funny. Plus the meetings and interactions(especially amongst the Italian characters) was so typical it seemed like a 18 year old wrote the script after watching a few episodes of the Sopranos. The special effects seemed very low budget on the car bombing sequences, you can totally see a green screen poorly camouflaged into the some of the shots. That being said it is a good movie, just not a classic like Goodfellas, The Godfather, or even something one tier lower like Casino or The Departed. Ray Stevenson is awesome and is able to carry the movie past some of the shortcomings I mentioned, but with the talented names in the cast and the storyline they had to work with, it could have been so much better.
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Broad shouldered crime film based on one extraordinary true story
NateWatchesCoolMovies10 June 2017
I'm not too sure just how much of Kill The Irishman is based in actual truth, but if even half of what we see on screen did happen, that is some pretty impressive stuff. The film focuses on the life of Danny Greene (a bulked, sturdy Ray Stevenson), who was an Irish American mobster working out of Cleveland back in the 70's, a guy who seems to have caused quite a stir of chaos amongst organized crime back then. Getting a leg up from the longshoreman's union, Danny quickly rose to power alongside several other key figures including numbers man John Nardi (Vincent D'Onofrio), enforcer Joe Manditski (Val Kilmer) and nasty kingpin Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken). It seems it all went south pretty quick though, because before he knew it he was at odds with Birns, and dodging multiple brash assassination attempts coming at him from all directions. What's remarkable about Danny's story is his sterling resilience: something like over a dozen attempts were made on his life and the darn mick just kept on going, even taunting the underworld between car bomb blasts and raucous shoot outs. Of course, such a life alienates him from his wife (Linda Cardellini) and puts him in perpetual crosshairs, but Stevenson plays it casually cavalier, a gentleman gangster who really cares not for the danger he's wading into, and treads lightly amongst the mess, making me wonder if the real Greene had such an attitude and the sheer luck to back it up. Walken is quiet and dangerous in a somewhat underplayed role, but he is entertaining doing anything, so it's all good. The cast is enormous, and includes the like of Vinnie Jones as a bruiser of an Irish street soldier, Robert Davi in an explosive third act cameo as a lethal specialist brought in to neutralize Danny, and your usual kennel of Italian American character actors like Mike Starr, Bob Gunton, Tony Lo Bianco, Steve Schirippa, Paul Sorvino and others. It's loud, fast paced and ever so slightly tongue in cheek. As a crime drama it works great, could have been slightly longer, but Stevenson keeps things moving briskly with his affable, hyperactive performance and it goes with out saying that the rest of them provide excellent supporting work.
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A great B movie
Srdon477326 March 2012
Frankly, I liked it almost as much as Good Fellas". The fact it's based on a true story is amazing. It's a good idea to read Danny Greene's bio on Wikipedia. Those were very violent times in the city of Cleveland. Danny Greene is a seriously tough guy, one you wouldn't want to mess with.

The movie has an excellent cast. Ray Stevenson from HBO's Rome is really excellent here. Unexpectedly, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer round out a familiar crew and give solid performances.

Detroit is where the movie was made. It's seriously as depressing as Cleveland ever was.

Too bad this didn't get a good theatrical run. I caught it on cable and it grabbed me within the first few minutes of watching.
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Routine biopic on the life of a vicious brute, with no insights, and nothing interesting to say or show.
BOUF8 June 2011
The charmless lead actor does nothing to lift this by-the-numbers mob movie out of its predictable rut, nor does the script/direction offer anything more than bits out of other similar films. Occasionally Val Kilmer manages to make his character seem like a a real person; otherwise, it's strictly caricature from everybody else. But you can't blame 'em. The writer and the director clearly wanted to make several old films they'd already seen, with all the interesting bits cut out. There's no character development, so we never get to know much about our leading thug, (real-life Philladelphian, Danny Greene) except that, for a while, he regrets some of his more appalling behaviour. Basically though, he wants to be top dog, and there's always someone else who wants that job. There's a little bit of plot development, but basically one power struggle leads to another in a series of punch-ups, detonations, shootings, Mafiosi gesticulations, insults and more explosions. Our hero's wife - after she's scowled for 6 scenes, at her husband brutalising half the neighbourhood, she's packed all the suitcases, put the kids in the car, and is leaving - says: "it's over." Can you imagine the wave of surprise that swept over the audience? One standout in this picture is the hair and makeup, it's bizarre. Stevenson (who reminds me of old Warner Brothers stock actor, Alan Hale) must have the worse hairdo of any leading man after Nicholas Cage.Christopher Walken, plays a Jewish mobster, who neither washes, nor combs his hair, nor has it cut over a timespan of a decade. Vincent D'Onofrio looks like the most unkempt wiseguy in the history of the Cosa Nostra, and..I'd better stop here. Suffice it to say, if you're happy with fisticuffs, explosions, and clichés, enjoy.
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