The Traitor (2019) Poster

(2019)

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9/10
Il Traditore directed by Marco Bellocchio.
A fabulous movie based on the true story of Tommaso Buscetta, the repentant member of Cosa Nostra which, with the help of the magistrate Giovanni Falcone, revealed the most important names of the mafia. Great directing, and Pierfrancesco Favino is truly awesome. May seem slow, being a film focused on dialogue and words but it is a beautiful portrait of the more psychological side of the character.
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7/10
The real mafia........
s32761695 October 2019
Everyone has, of course, heard of the mafia but what and who these people are, remains hidden behind lurid headlines and sensational films.

The Traitor offers an insight into who these people really are, their motivations, ambitions and the structure of the organisation, headed by a commission.

What becomes clear is how tribal, loosely cohesive at best and brutal this group is. It underscores too, the fragility, of the judicial system in Italy. Law enforcement and judges intimidated by these groups and politicians potentially collaborating with them. Small wonder they became so powerful.

This film is inherently interesting, made more so by stellar performances, that are simple and honest. There is no pretension here, just an insight into the troubled and tortured life of a man who decided to expose the vicious criminal organisation he once served.

One notable downside is because of the breadth of ambition of this film, covering decades, it can be difficult to follow at times. Making the viewer work to keep up with what happening to who, when and why.

Nonetheless compelling viewing. 7/10 from me.
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9/10
Favino is from another planet
lallo-214 October 2019
The movie depicts 1 of the saddest pages of the Italian history. Unfortunately is not the unique and there are so many others, so sad and bad.

Favino is one if the greatest Italian actors amd should really deserve a role in a Hollywood movie with a large budget. But directed by an Italian if the movie describes Italian history.

Favino has interpreted his role so great that if you listen to the original recordings of the Mafia process, you hear the exact same accent, tone, voice and words. As he was there.

I strongly recommend to watch.
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6/10
A Long Winded Trawl...
Xstal25 July 2020
... through the life of a famous Cosa Nostra turncoat as he provides evidence to jail some pretty nasty villains/colleagues. A little bit all over the place and confusing as hell at the start, and most of the way through, especially as to the allegiances to a number of families. The court scenes are nonsensical and, if that is the way Italy does justice, I'm surprised anyone ever went to jail or that the truth ever really surfaced.
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7/10
It's not a Mafia movie. It's story of a Man who was part of the Mafia.
danythebest895 June 2019
I liked it. Although certain events of the so-called "Second Mafia war" took place, between the 1981-83, have been changed and rightly accelerated due to the film's rhythms (for istance the death of Salvatore Inzerillo is set in 1982 and not 1981 and is little bit different about how he was killed). Bellocchio has been able to discreetly direct a film that is not at all simple and above all with a character as a protagonist absolutely not easy to manage.

Favino is certainly the strong point of the whole film, with a really intense acting from beginning to end. So much has fallen well in the shoes of Buscetta that sometimes seems to see and above all feel the real Don Masino. The Maxi-Trial of 1986, shot among other things in the Palermo's bunker room, the same where the real historical juridical process took place is certainly the point that entertains the viewer the most. The comparison between Calò and Buscetta is truly faithful to what was really there, the same thing the scenes with the other Pentito, Salvatore Contorno, the scenes when he speaks fluent sicilian slang are really similar with the original deposition, but having proposed with other realism also other salient moments with the other defendants was really classy. Perhaps the film falls just in the act after the Maxi-Trial and following the 1992's Massacres (Capaci and Via d'Amelio) , when going towards the conclusion by now the same Buscetta becomes precisely more and more "invisible" and without anything more particularly interesting to reveal.
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8/10
Finally a high-level Italian movie
elgaucho919 June 2019
From the debates in the halls of Palermo to the killings in the streets, Bellocchio delivers a very well done movie with all the characteristics to be remembered as a great mafia movie. Favino is just fabolous, great acting. A marvelous portrait of a piece of Italian history. Thank you Marco!
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7/10
An historical film about the mafia penitent Tommaso Buscetta
stefanopertile5 June 2019
This film covers more or less 30 years of italian (not only) history, and tells the story of the mafia penitent Tommaso Buscetta, who accepted to collaborate with the judge Giovanni Falcone. The plot is accurate to what really happened and doesn't leave much to the director. Great acting by Pierfrancesco Favino playing Buscetta.
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8/10
cosa nostra or cosa nescessere
ops-525356 September 2019
No parla italiano, and that gave me some problems following the narrative, due to a very bad english CC's, that mustve been issued by an overeager middle schooled italian or siscilian. and that is a major drawback for the film....

which is very good indeed, about the big trials towards the leadership of the cosa nostra divisions of siscily in the late 70's and the 1980's. i do remember some of the names, and especially the bomb attack on giorgio falcone made a deep impression to me when it happened. it also shows the primitive judicial system that were excecuted in italian court rooms, with poor discipline and frightened judges and officials and corrupt police.

the story do spring back and forth very fast and often, but survives by good time and place info on each shift. the pace are slow, but the acting are very well done and the lead male actor gave an excellent performance on many levels. i wish i had those cool demeanors...

if you want to see a film with some similarities to don corleone, and killing spree of blood feuds alla sciciliano style, then the grumpy old man recommend il traditore. a strong 8.
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8/10
A marvelous movie!
xristos_angelidis8 November 2019
The last film of Marco Bellocchio is the portrayal of Tommaso Buscetta, a former member of Italian mafia who brake ''omerta'' and became an informant. Moreover, through Buscetta's life we can see the Italian mafia history during 60's-80's.

As I was a bit dissapointed from Bellocchio's latest works I didn't expect to see a great movie, but in the end I was amazed both from the direction and the plot line. Some scenes of the movie are a real masterpiece and although it lasts 2,5 hours you don't get tired or bored.

Outstanding acting by Pierfrancesco Favino, he's perfect on his role.
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8/10
THE TRUE STORY ABOUT THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE MAFIA
Anass-gfx18 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Cosa Nostra on trial. This film is inherently interesting, made more so by stellar performances, that are simple and honest. There is no pretension here, just an insight into the troubled and tortured life of a man who decided to expose the vicious criminal organisation he once served.
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8/10
Slow start, powerful rest
kosmasp9 September 2020
The beginning may feel a bit dry ... or at least confusing, especially with the count meter (which you will figure out for yourself what it stands for, even without any context) ... but gets better with time. As time passes on that is. While it makes sense to read into the material or be informed about what happened to the Cosa Nostra in general or who our main character here is, you can enjoy this without any knowledge at all - I know because of first hand experience.

Now having said that, especially in the beginning and after some character names pop up it would not be surprising if you almost lose the "plot" or the who is who and why are they doing that. But later certain things are revealed and the scenes in the trials are gold. They feel so real, it is almost like a documentary! But there are also scenes of violence and anxiety. Or expectation at least ... not to mention surprise "explosions". You kind of anticipate any moment something to go south ... but maybe not the moment it actually does. This toying with the viewer is quite excellent and sets a tension that is really extraordinary. Acting wise this is amazing too, though it is mainly filled with male characters and is sexist at times (nudity included). But that is the world ... we get
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7/10
Gritty and terse Mafia crime drama
paul-allaer24 February 2020
"The Traitor" (2019 release from Italy; 145 min.) brings the story of Tommaso Buscetta. As the movie opens, it is "4 March 1980, Palermo", and the heads of various Mafia crime families are gathered to celebrate the patron day of Saint Rosalia, and making a toast "for the peace that must never end". They all gather for a group photo, and before we know it, the killings start to happen. We then go to "December 1980, Rio de Janeiro", where Buscetta has resettled so as to avoid the families' infighting, but to no avail, as one day he gets a call from someone back in Italy: "don't you remember who I am?". At this point we are less than 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest film from legendary Italian writer/director Marco Bellocchio, a/k/a the Italian Martin Scorsese, and now a crisp 80 years young. Here he brings an epic Mafia crime drama about one of the first Mafia bosses who'd betray and become a "pentito" (literally, a "repentant"). This is a plot-heavy movie and hence I'm not going to say much more about the story line. But I will say this: the movie contains lots and lots of violence, not surprisingly. The movie's overall tone and approach is gritty and terse, making for compelling viewing if you like that sort of thing. And yes, the 2 hrs. 20 min. are needed as Bellocchio looks at many different characters (which at first is a bit confusing if not intimidating). The movie hence features a large ensemble cast, none of which were previously familiar to me (and in a way that is not a bad thing). Kudos also to the excellent photography.

"The Traitor" premiered at last year's Cannes film festival to positive acclaim, and is currently rated a very respectable 76% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie opened out of the blue on 2 screens this past weekend and I didn't hesitate as I'm guessing this will have a very limited US theater run. Indeed, the Sunday early evening showing where I saw this at was attended dismally (3 people including myself). If you like a tough Mafia crime drama (and you know who you are!), I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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8/10
Crime doesn't pay.
dustyjoe18 November 2019
Some of the best movies are the ones which turn out to be nothing like what you thought before seeing them. Considering the subject, I was expecting something along the lines of 'Goodfellas'- a mafia underboss wiseguy whose life spins out of control. Watching the documentary currently available on a certain streaming TV service only bolstered my expectation. My preconceived notions were incorrect. That was a good thing. There is no glamorization of the mafia lifestyle in this film. We even see the mafiosi call their purported familial ties "a farce". It portays the members of the cosa nostra as the sick sociopaths that they are. Nothing glamorous about that. This is a very well made film, worthy of the high praise it has received.
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3/10
A lot of wasted opportunities....
gcarpiceci31 October 2019
The Traitor has wasted a series of really big opportunities, despite taking two and half very long hours of the viewers' time (definitely too much for the results it achieves). The Traitor could have been the opportunity to explore in depth the complex and controversial personality of Tommaso Buscetta but the movie barely scratches the surface of this multifaceted character. It could have been the opportunity to dig into the overall role of the "pentiti" of the mafia, the former "men of honour" turned into witnesses for the state; this was a very controversial, ambiguous and surely humanly difficult choice for those people yet again the movie misses its chance. It could have been the opportunity to offer a deep look into a dramatic moment of the contemporary history of the Italian mafia, the bloody 80' and 90's, but these events are presented in a rather fragmented, disjointed manner, bordering sometimes the caricature (like the trial scenes). The one thing to be saved of the movie is Favino's performance, really stunning.
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8/10
An insight into Buscetta and the fall of the Mafia.
impeyrules-5463412 January 2020
A great insight into the life of Buscetta and the beginning of the end of the mafia at that time. Starts off like a traditional mafia movie and then goes into more depth about the story and the fall out. I thought the court scenes were particularly well portrayed. They gave a good insight into the difficulty and at times chaotic nature of the convictions.
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8/10
This movie grew on me, reminded me of godfather
bpilato-0811111 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I loved watching this movie in subtitles, it gave me a feel for godfather 2. This is about a ex costra nostra who has his entire "family" slaughtered when he exists the business. There was some really cool scenes that were shot from a perspective I never seen, like when the bridge blows up and the camera shows the inside of the car view, very cool. I liked the story line, definitely recommend it.
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9/10
A masterpiece
house-3282130 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Very deep. Great soundtrack. A masterpiece. The only reason i didn't give 10 stars is that the "nightmare sequences" freak me out 😋The scene where judge Falcone die is very sad but VERY well made; Blew me off my seat. The french translation is excellent.
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8/10
A perfect portrait of the Mafia's Code
badlieutenent26 October 2019
I've seen a lot of movies about mafia and Aldo about Buscetta (I Giudici by Ricky Tognazzi), and this is the best of recent Times. Favino is quite better than Al Pacino and in the Brazil scenes you can smell Drug and music.
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10/10
Il Traditore: The true story of Tommaso Buscetta
MarcelloStrano16 November 2020
Another masterpiece by Marco Bellocchio, inspired by the life of Tommaso Buscetta and the Maxiprocesso of Palermo. Pierfrancesco Favino's interpretation as Don Masino was exceptional: a double applause for having been able to recreate the character in every little detail.
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6/10
Important watch for Italians mostly, here and there also interesting for foreign audiences
Horst_In_Translation1 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"Il traditore", which of course means "The Traitor", is a new Italian Italian-language movie. Or is it really? Partially I'd say. It premiered in 2019 already, other countries got delayed because of the pandemic, and there are many other production countries credited here and also several other languages, even if really most of it is in Italian. So no surprise that thise film was the huge winner at the most recent big national film award ceremony in Italy. Which also means, it got picked to represent Italy at the Oscars, but came short and dit not make the final short list, let alone the nominations. Maybe one reason is why this is a truly slow film, especially early on at times. It runs for a massive 2.5 hours (yes I know another very long film won the Oscar for Italy not too long ago), even minimally over, and I must say there are moments when it drags more than just a bit. Maybe I was just a bit tired early on, but I can't deny that the first 30 or even 45 minutes felt exttremely slow and I would not have given three stars out of five for these. Certainly not. But luckily, things get more tense, more interesting and just better in general in the second half. Actually, from the second third onwards even. I think one problem I had with all this early on as that it was still gruff with the shooting of all these characters there, but you did not really know who they were. You did not really know who the shooters were. So there was just no connection whatsoever and it did not feel deep or inspired as a consequence. I mean taking lives is something drastic and tragic, but if you have no clue what is going on and who is who, then it is almost impossible nonetheless to really feel something. So yeah, the introduction to it all could have been handled better or maybe I was just too tired, but the longer the movie went, the more it grew on me and with the lengthy courtroom sequence it certainly had drawn me in eventually. So I am glad the protagonist's attempt to take his own life inside the plane(?) with this poison did not turn out successful. Because then the film would have ended at a point where it really shouldn't have. The courtroom sequence was certainly amomng the best courtroom sequences from recent years to me. I mean what a mess going on there and I do not only mean the audience's excalamations, but also the constant denying about who knows who, the guy who is naked suddenly, the guy who stitched together his lips to make a far bigger statement than his lips could, the guy who is suddenly naked and so on. Most of all how everybody is so eager about cross examinations, but after the first does not go so well for the defense, they do not wannt to do them anymore. This specific scene there with Ferracane also made him remember me easily. A bit surprised to see that he lost the Italian Film Award to another supporting actor from this film here, one I did not consider too memorable at all. Same applies to Maria Amato, who was also nominated. Wait, is she really Bud Spencer's widow? Okay cool. Then I have to go easy on her. Love the man. Back to this film here, anybody else thought there were many actors in here who resembled slightly famous American actors. Like John Slattery, the guy who palys Eli Gold on "The Good Wife", Woody Harrelson (I Think), the dude from "The Walking Dead" yes Andrew Lincoln and maybe one or two others. Sorry, very random, probably just me.

One thing I need to say here is that while watching this film I was a bit surprised how there are really not too many films about Mafia (or Cosa Nostra) from Italy anymore as you could think there were. I mean we here in Germany are constantly getting films about the GDR, the relentless government there, the RAF sometimes too, so I would think that such a crucial subject from Italy's political history should be featured more frequently. But maybe it helped this movie that they did not feel there are not really any more stories left to be told and this explains the film's success. I mean it was a good film all in all, but the awards recognition and nominations sometimes were a bit too much perhaps. Also at Cannes Film Festival. Howw can anybody else there get in than the male lead. And so random this female submission too. Never heard of lead actor Pierfrancesco Favino before though, who physically reminded me a bit of Benicio del Toro. Certainly my loss. He is good and sometimes it feels pretty impressive how he carried the film from beginning to end. I mean he always gets help from the supporting cast, but still does a marvellous job at times. One scene that was basically only him is when he is at that supermarket and kinda worried somebody could show up and kill him too like with the prestigious judge earlier. So he buys the gun. A lot of the suspene in the final quarter of them film is linked to whether he will live or die (through somebody else's hand) and as this film is based on actual characters and stories, you could not be sure at all. A 50-50 matter. But yes, I wrote spoilers included, so he lives in the end and dies from old age apparently, but he never really feels safe anymore which we know through seeing him constantly on the roof up there with his gun for protection right near him. He even sleeps up there. These references about actual characters like Buscetta are why I think this is an especially crucial watch for Italian and those are the ones that I recommend it to the most. But also non-Italians like myself can have a good time seeing this one here. or a haunting time maybe even. There are some psychologically shocking moments like when we see the woman outside the helicopter and they use her and threaten to kill her to get information out of him. This shot definitely stays in the mind, almost epic. Others that were painful to watch (not because they were bad, certainly not) include the one when the two sons are brutally strangled. Or those recurring recordings of prison inmates going literally insane in these very small chambers and you can tell from the way they walk in there. (Just like with animals who have too little space. There's a scientific term for that even I think.) Or behave. Definitely helps in staying on the right side of the law this movie. Okay what else can I add. Yeah well, do not doze off in the first 35 minutes and you are in for a solid treat. I must still say the film was not really on a level where I would want to watch it anytime soon again unfortunately. Once is enough maybe. Oh yes, one I have not mentioned yet at all is Marco Bellocchio. Shame on me, also in terms of how I have not seen too much from his gigantic body of work that received so much awards recognition. He's been in the film industry for 60 years now, turned 80 in under a year and while he was not retired or so, he made a big comeback with this movie after focusing on short films recently in the years before that. Well, this film is anything but short. Maybe his experience and that he witnessed all those Buscetta events in person as he was not just alive, but also conscious back then, helped with this film too and how realistic it feels. Yes he is just a co-writer here and several other people worked on the screenplay, but that is nothing unusual either. By the way, anybody also getting Buscetta and Bruscetta mixed up? Probably no Italians would. And also no non-Italians that speak the language. Okay, I am drifting away now, so I shall leave it at that. It is almost a must-see if you like Mafia films. (No I know Mafia does not exist. Thanks for telling me.) But it is not really a film that will get you interested in the genre. If you wanna go for it, please don#t expect Godfather level. The overall outcome here gets a cautious thumbs-up from me. No enthusiasm, but I am still glad I got to see it.
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10/10
Marvelous
stavrosstamatiou17 September 2020
Very good acting, strong scenario and the best Italian movie of the last 2 years.
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6/10
I expected more
nikiriki10 November 2019
Main role: excellent acting. Movie feels too documentaric and fragmented. Film should have been 20 min shorter, and it lacks the point beyond facts and dramatic history.
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8/10
A mafia portrait
valadas2 April 2020
And very realistic. The story of Tommaso Buscetta the mafia boss that became an jnformant and who fully collaborated with the authorities in the eighties of last century attracting then the hate of Cosa Nostra who labelled him a traitor. This movie is a real orgy of of awful crimes culminating in the murder of Judge Falcone who inquired Buscetta almost becoming a friend of him. The trial scenes are excellent and very well performed by all actors both principal and secondary. The figures of all mafia members are well performed and shaped by all actors with a special mention of Pierfranceso Favino as Buscetta- This is all based on real events that happened in Sicily, Brazil and the USA of which we can see splendid images. Surely one of the best movies of 2019.
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3/10
O.M.G. really?
pravda-1883019 November 2019
I reckon, not sure that this has been televised. have watched it partly twice cause I fell asleep, seriously. storyline, if any, hard to follow. if you are sufferiing from insomnia I recommend watching it 3 start cause some details were accurate, , the end
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4/10
Boring
JGB_LBJ13 July 2020
I fully agree with fellow reviewers about Favino's excellent acting. Very devoted, very suggessive. Great actor indeed. However, the plot, screenwiting was quite poor, directing also fragmented, heavy handed with unlikable, forced scenes (nightmares, and such). I would never have thought that a mafia movie would bore me so much. This did. Endless conversations without any steam, with contents that only the most informed viewer-historians could fully grasp. What happened with the key switch before the explosion? Can anybody explain? Thanks. Also, why was Falcone bearded? Although acted by a good actor, he bore no resemblance to the real Falcone. I also missed Borsalino from the picture, similarly to other characters that were left out, or not ellaborated. All in all: I am a great fan of European cinema, and the new wave of Italian directors (Sorrentino, Sollima, Comencini, Cuppelini, etc). Only wished this movie was handed to one of them.
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