Available November 27, 2019 on Netflix | Drama | 209 minutes | In English
The man narrating the life and times of the Mafia is Frank Sheeran, “The Irishman.” A retired gangster and now insignificant, Frank freely relates stories about Mob killings, graft, extortion, and influence peddling. Frank even confesses his role in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa, the corrupt president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. As the film progresses, Hoffa becomes pivotal. Hoffa asks his friend, mobster Bufalino, for protection. Bufalino assigns Frank to do this job. In those days Hoffa stirred fear in the hearts of politicians and the trucking owners. Frank said of Hoffa that “in the ’60s he was bigger than the Beatles.” In 1975 Hoffa vanished. His body was never recovered. His assailant never found. Overriding this brutality and bloodshed, Scorsese brings out some of the feelings shared by the mobsters to each other. Frank relates how the Mob’s operating strategies worked and the codes of Mob behavior. As A.O. Scott, New York Times film critic, writes, “This is Scorsese’s least sentimental picture of mob life, and for that reason his most poignant.”
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
- Metacritic Score: 92
The consensus among film critics is that The Irishman will get numerous Academy and Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci for Best Actor.
It received the honor of being the opening film at the 2019 New York Film Festival.
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Five decades is a lot of history to hold together, and it could have easily crumbled. But Scorsese is at the top of his game here. His film is never boring, and it explores some unexpectedly deep themes for mafiosos.
Martin Scorsese directs his best crime movie since GOODFELLAS. Scorsese’s ambitious epic is a pure, unbridled illustration of what has made his filmmaking voice so distinctive for nearly 50 years.
Those who worried that Scorsese was dipping into the Sunday gravy one too many times will be reassured by the tonal originality of what’s been achieved here. More so than any other Scorsese crime picture—and this is saying a lot—THE IRISHMAN confirms him as one of the greatest living comedy directors, who isn’t usually described as such, and De Niro as one of the great scene-stealing straight men.
The business of graft, extortion and influence peddling occupies all these men, but THE IRISHMAN finds its emotional center in the vicissitudes of their friendship. What THE IRISHMAN looks back on is a legacy of violence and waste, of men too hard and mean to be mourned. A monument is a complicated thing. This one is big and solid—and also surprisingly, surpassingly delicate.
Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN is a coldly enthralling, long-form knockout—a majestic Mob epic with ice in its veins. It’s the film that, I think, a lot of us wanted to see from Scorsese: a stately, ominous, suck-in-your-breath summing up, not just a drama but a reckoning, a vision of the criminal underworld that’s rippling with echoes of the director’s Mob films, but that also takes us someplace bold and new.
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