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Plot:

Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran is a man with a lot on his mind. The former labor union high official and hitman, learned to kill serving in Italy during the Second World War. He now looks back on his life and the hits that defined his mob career, maintaining connections with the Bufalino crime family. In particular, the part he claims to have played in the disappearance of his life-long friend, Jimmy Hoffa, the former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who mysteriously vanished in late July 1975 at the age of 62.

Also Known As: Airis, Irac, Az ír, Ír, El irlandés, I Heard You Paint Houses, Irlandczyk, Irčan Czech, The Irishman, Ирландец, Iрландець, Ο Ιρλανδός, O Irlandês

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27 Comments

  • deepsea
    deepsea

    why i frequently get an (X) and the prompt of a problem ..more frequently than before.

  • anonymous
    Anonymous

    The Irishman – not working

  • cristobal-sandoval-cardona
    cristobal sandoval cardona

    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.

  • maan-shaantaa
    maan shaantaa

    But too long for the Instagram Generation, because it’s longer than 140 characters.What has happened to attention spans?

  • jan-ene
    jan ene

    If you love Scorsese films you’ll absolutely love this one. Pacino’s performance is just beyond perfect. Don’t listen to the nimrods that are calling this boring, 3.5 hours zoomed by when I saw it.Do yourself a favor and see this on the big screen if you have the chance.

  • sig-damiano-parisi
    sig damiano parisi

    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.

  • stefanija-martinovic
    stefanija martinovic

    Peoples are losing their minds over the sainted director, forgetting the movie. Sure, it’s well made, fascinating history. But it’s second nature for De Niro, and Pacino overreaches at times. The third reel is repetitive over the decline of the De Niro character. Would be a better movie at 2hr 30. In fact, I thought it had ended about then, but it meandered on another hour.

  • sandra-vicens-urrutia
    sandra vicens urrutia

    3 1/2 hours never went so quick. Scorsese proves with The Irishman that he is and always will be ahead of his time.

  • mia-hokkanen
    mia hokkanen

    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!!!

  • t-ina-imastownyan
    t ina imastownyan

    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?!

  • rein-remmel
    rein remmel

    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.

  • therese-marin
    therese marin

    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 film’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 may 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 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 past scenery-chomping 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.

  • wendy-smith-hutchinson
    wendy smith hutchinson

    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.***

  • kirsten-lind-holst
    kirsten lind holst

    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

  • milos-jamnik
    milos jamnik

    Martin Scorsese makes another great and captivating movie. This movie is amazing and I highly suggest you see it.

  • kozma-fekete-otto
    kozma fekete otto

    Everything about this movie is perfect, from the acting to the cinematography. Yes- it is a long movie, 3hrs 20 minutes, but I can’t understand why people complain about that. This movie is an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. One of the best if not the best mob/gangster movie of my lifetime. The story is a journey, a complex journey, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  • kenneth-gillespie
    kenneth gillespie

    Based on the 2004 book by Charles Brandt, “I Heard You Paint Houses”: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa, written for the screen by Steven Zaillian, and directed by Martin Scorsese, The Irishman is about aging, loss, taking stock, regret. To a certain extent, it is to the gangster genre what The Searchers (1956) was to the classic western. One of the best-reviewed films in years, although I certainly don’t disagree that it has (many) masterful elements, I felt it’s just too long. Shorten it by just 20 minutes in the mid-section and you have a masterpiece. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with long films – I’m a fan of pictures such as The Godfather: Part II (1974), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Dances with Wolves (1990), The Tree of Life (2011), Potop (1974), and Sátántangó (1994) (all 442 minutes of it). However, such length has to be narratively justified, and I just felt that in The Irishman, it wasn’t, with the film’s 206 minutes occasionally feeling padded and (dare I say it) self-indulgent. Nevertheless, the acting is universally superb, the directing is more contemplative than we’ve seen from Scorsese in a while, Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing is predictably awesome, and Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography is flawless.The film opens in 2003 as we meet an elderly Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) living in a nursing home and close to death. Wanting to go with something of a clear conscience, he begins speaking about his time as the go-to hitman for the Bufalino crime family in Pennsylvania. In 1954, Sheeran becomes friends with family patriarch Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), and soon, Bufalino has him carrying out various hits. Loyal to the family, and adept at his job, Sheeran quickly moves up the underworld ladder, and Bufalino introduces him to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). The president of the Mob-funded Teamsters union, Hoffa is facing federal investigation and is struggling to deal with rising teamster Anthony “Pro” Provenzano (Stephen Graham). Bufalino wants Sheeran to babysit the volatile, unpredictable, and confrontational Hoffa and try to keep him out of trouble. Hoffa and Sheeran hit it off, and soon Sheeran is Hoffa’s unofficial bodyguard. However, as the years go by, Hoffa continues to antagonise his Mob backers, and some of them soon come to see him as more of a liability than an asset.Originally set at Paramount, when The Irishman’s budget started pushing $150m before shooting had even begun, the studio dropped it. Then came Netflix, who not only put up the money, they also offered Scorsese a near unheard-of degree of creative control. Netflix’s involvement is an interesting situation because here you have a film that simply could not have been made through the modern studio system (at least not in its current form). Many are predicting that streaming services such as Netflix will ultimately destroy the cinema industry entirely, but in this case, it’s hard for a cinephile not to celebrate their salvaging such an ambitious and auteur-driven film. It was a great PR move, sure (and they really, really want a Best Picture winner in their catalogue), but it was also a massive financial risk. In terms of the real-life background to the film’s narrative, most historians dismiss Sheeran’s account of how important he was to the Bufalino family, maintaining he was a low-level goon with a drinking problem who was never assigned to any important task. Indeed, several of his claims have been explicitly proven as fabrications, and several people who knew him have stated he did none of the things he claimed.Irrespective of this, however, The Irishman is a film written in regret. Much of this is tied up in Sheeran’s daughter Peggy (played by Lucy Gallina as a child and Anna Paquin as an adult). An almost completely wordless role, Peggy is introduced in a scene in which she watches her father viciously beat the grocer for whom she works because he pushed her, a scene which speaks to his sociopathy if not necessarily his psychopathology. The impression of him which this gives her is something Sheeran spends much of the rest of the film trying to ameliorate.Another important thematic element is that as each gangster appears for the first time, a subtitle tells us who they are, and lists the date of their deaths and how they were murdered. There’s no better illustration of just how concerned the film is with the nature of transience – every single one of these guys is a colossus in their own mind, and each deems themselves invincible (as do we all when young). Yet none of them make it out of life alive. In the film’s last act, this theme is distilled down to its very essence, essentially positing that the only important thing you leave behind is your relationships with other people, and Sheeran has badly mismanaged his, resulting in him sitting alone in a nursing home at Christmas. In Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), the protagonists lose their wealth, possessions, and status, but in The Irishman, the loss is more existential – Sheeran loses his soul.As the violence settles and the zingers dry up, the film’s last act is remarkably bleak in a way that the last acts of GoodFellas and Casino aren’t, and as we watch Sheeran sitting in that nursing home, taking stock, spelling out his regrets, reminiscing about his actions as a young man, it’s impossible not to see the meta dimension – Scorsese himself looking back on his career, remembering the classics of yesteryear, keenly aware that old-age is stalking him.In terms of the acting, the closest we get to a poor performance is Pacino, who portrays Hoffa as if he was playing, well, Al Pacino. Look at footage of the real Hoffa, then watch both The Irishman and Hoffa (1992) in which Jack Nicholson plays the character, and tell me who gives the more authentic performance. Don’t get me wrong, Pacino is fun (I would gladly watch an entire film composed of nothing but him and Stephen Graham insulting one another), and most of the laughs come from his over-the-top antics, but it’s not an especially accurate depiction of the real man. As for De Niro, this is his first not-phoned-in performance in decades, and he imbues the character with real interiority and complex psychology, without diluting the inherent inhumanity. However, the real standout performance is Pesci, although those looking for the fireworks of Tommy DeVito or Nicky Santoro will be disappointed, as this is literally the inverse of such performances. Bufalino is quiet, calm, considered, highly intelligent, but cold and sociopathic, the kind of man who wouldn’t beat your head in, but would order someone else to do so without a second thought.If the film has a single problem, it’s the runtime. As mentioned above, the last act is devastating; there’s little tension as such, but there sure is pathos. However, by the time we got to this point, I was starting to feel the film had outstayed its welcome, when I should have been the most heavily invested in the story. This has been a recurrent problem in recent Scorsese films, but this is the first time he’s strayed from over-long into self-indulgence. The film simply doesn’t warrant this length; whole scenes could easily be removed without compromising the story, character beats, or emotion.Another problem, albeit a smaller one, concerns the digital de-aging. It’s a little jolting at first, but easy to get used to. What stood out, however, was the tired bodies beneath those de-aged faces. This is most notable in the scene where Sheeran beats up Peggy’s boss. Except the beating is pathetic – the kicks are about five miles away from the man’s face and De Niro’s exhausted stomps wouldn’t flatten a wet cardboard box. It’s a shame as, it’s a good scene, but the lack of correlation between face and body is undeniably jarring. Another issue is one that has cropped up in all of Scorsese’s Mob films – glorification. Obviously, The Irishman is about the toxic masculinity of this world and the lonely endgame (if one even gets to the endgame), but much as was the case with the (frankly stomach-churning) softening of Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Scorsese runs a very real risk of glamorising what he claims to be condemning.For me, The Irishman was a very good movie, but not the masterpiece many have felt it to be. But that’s just me, and I can certainly recognise and celebrate such ambitious filmmaking, especially coming at a time when more and more it feels like films are being made by committees rather than by artists. Arguably Scorsese’s most eschatological film, certainly since Kundun (1997), The Irishman is the story of how one man lost his soul, and, by extension how the world for which he lost it, dehumanises and degrades those who participate in its rites. Although Sheeran is brought down by old-age, abandonment, and the merciless nature of human existence, Scorsese refuses to afford him an easy out – he made his choices, and he must now live, and die, with the consequences.

  • adrian-baldick
    adrian baldick

    A masterpiece, final representative of real films. This is not a marvel nonsense, real cinema.

  • nikephoros-kapetanios
    nikephoros kapetanios

    Saw this on the 10th November, Met and Exceeded my expectations. Every perfromance is 10/10 It’s De Niro’s movie, But Pesci and Pacino shine like Platinum Pennies Has to be seen in the cinema, and by heck does it plod along at a lovely pace. Fantastic piece of Cinema at this stage of their careers, and the likes of which we will never see again.

  • pan-spas-iakimchuk
    pan spas iakimchuk

    “What kind of a man makes a phone call like that!” It Happened! I’ve watched it! Quite simply, The Best Film of the Year! No, of the Last 3 Years! The hype is real, set your expectations as high as you can possibly reach!Let me tell you something, I’m 25 years old and I didn’t really got the chance to live the era of Masterpieces, I didn’t see Raging Bull/Goodfellas/Dog Day Afternoon at its time, I didn’t experience how its like to watch the best actors of all time in their fully artistic command. The first time I’ve watched Raging Bull I truly envied those people who lived in the 80s, I was always wishing if time can just go back and see De Niro’s rage or hear Pacino’s Attica once in a theater! But guess what, It happened!This is the end of the era! The summation of Scorsese/De Niro/Pesci/ Pacino career, a final statement by masters! Robert De Niro is EXPLOSIVE! sorry but no chance for Joaquin Phoenix this year for a win! Pacino/Pesci are unexpectedly MARVELOUS! Scorsese’s second Oscar, it’s officially! Zaillian’s screenplay is on point, you can’t go wrong with him. A 3.5 hour film without a single dragging minute, a poem of friendship, betrayal, regret and time!

  • olo-fiore
    olo fiore

    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.

  • sr-a-salma-cadena
    sr a salma cadena

    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

  • bradley-warren
    bradley warren

    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.

  • alan-scott
    alan scott

    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.

  • anthony-kennedy
    anthony kennedy

    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

  • kaylee-malone
    kaylee malone

    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.

  • julio-pedraza
    julio pedraza

    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.