Movie Review Flashback- Goodfellas

GoodFellas is a 1990 gangster movie directed by Martin Scorsese who co-wrote it with Nicholas Pileggi. It is a dramatization of the life of mobster Henry Hill and was released by Warner Bros.

Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) has been running with mobster Paul “Paulie” Cicero (Paul Sorvino) who places him on a crew with Irishman James Conway (Robert De Niro) and the volatile Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The three of them run several operations including heists, protection, and “debt” collecting. Things heat up when Tommy murders a “made man” within their family and the three cover it up. Henry soon gets a taste of the drug trade while in prison putting a strain on his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and in trouble with Paulie, who hates drugs.

The film is based on the nonfiction book Wiseguys by Pileggi and you could tell it has a more historical bent. Sure, it takes a lot of liberties with the history of the New York Mafia, but does it take you for a ride.

Scorsese is a filmmaking genius and this is no different. The man clearly knows how to craft an incredible story and he does so here. The pacing, the scenery, the plot, the score, and the characters all pull you into this gangster world, yet somehow avoid glamorizing it. It shows the breakdowns, the blood, the betrayals, and the body count as you watch it all come together.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the cast. Everyone is right on cue. Ray Liotta is brilliant as Hank, showing his “wiseguy” attitude, but also the nervousness when things go awry. De Niro is chilling, as usual, and his presence is a force of nature on the screen. Pesci is arguably the best on screen. He performs his character so well and he fully deserved the Oscar he won for taking it home.

There is no question that this feature is one of the greatest gangster films ever made. It is solid, brilliant, and the only thing I can truly critique is the sound editing. At times, background noises were so intrusive that it was difficult to hear the dialogue, but this was a minor annoyance in a largely brilliant movie.

Bottom line, Goodfellas is Martin Scorsese at his best. It is such an incredible film and one that you can definitely applaud at the end.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Brutal violence, Sexual content, Substance abuse

FAVORITE QUOTE: Why don’t you boys go down to Wall Street and find some real crooks? Whoever sold you those suits had a wonderful sense of humor.

Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Courage Under Fire and X-Men. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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This article has been updated from a previous version.

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