Run time: 209 mins
Martin Scorsese closes out a generation of gangland epics with a final, mesmerising masterpiece of cinema.
Weaving together several timelines, we follow the misdeeds of Frank Sheeran (De Niro) a real-life hit man for the Philadelphia mob who first cosies up to the head of the Bufalino crime family (Pesci) and eventually becomes an enforcer for Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). As their story crosses decades, Scorsese uses Sheeran as a narrative means of dipping in and out of the East Coast underworld, ‘painting’ this expansive and disturbing a ‘house’ of American gangster ruthlessness. Pacino remarkably, in his first Marty collaboration, plays it large, a snarling portrayal of an outsized personality. De Niro’s tightly coiled viper in Sheeran holds firm with icy coolness. With every moment onscreen, the duo justify their star status, yet through his soft and immovable presence as Bufalino, Pesci steals the show. Nobody, not even Scorsese, knew just what a gift he had in Pesci until this.
Scorsese has spent decades not only reaffirming his great style and vision through his own legacy but by lending his weight to the schemes of others. Marty has been working toward The Irishman his whole life (Chris Coetsee) An essential big cinema screen movie. Come.