The Irishman (2019)

From IMDB: “A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.”

Editor’s note: This is gonna’ be a long review, but I’ll do my best to condense it.

What I liked:

  • This movie feels like ALL of Scorsese’s previous crime movies (Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino & the Departed) wrapped into one opus.
  • In Goodfellas and Casino, DeNiro & Pesci made their marks as tough guys. Here, their characters are more subdued and thoughtful.
  • Speaking of thoughtful, this movie is about older characters reflecting on their past and present decisions, and any consequences that will come or already came from them. This is different than previous Scorsese crime flicks, as those were less about meaningful reflection and more about glamorously chronicling events within a person’s life.
  • This movie does have that trademark Scorsese zip, but on a different, more mature level. It doesn’t have as much style as Goodfellas but has more style than the Departed (and it can’t touch the amount of style that’s in Casino).
  • I HATE LONG MOVIES, but I didn’t feel it so much. The middle was long, but that’s because there was a lot of story that had to unwind. It also has three timelines, with two converging at one point.
  • Given that length, it still kept my attention the entire time, and actually feels like a shorter movie. It kind of hypnotizes you into sticking with it. It’s a movie that you can just “have on”, letting it go through its motions and still end up being engaged.
  • DeNiro’s performance…doesn’t feel like “a performance”. There was one scene in particular where I felt “THIS IS DeNIRO, not someone acting or playing a character.” It felt so natural, but also serves as a reminder of why he is one of the best.
  • Speaking of actors, JOE MUDDERFU**IN PESCI, Y’ALL. His performance in this is my favorite by any actor or actress this year.

What I didn’t like:

  • WHAT IS UP with the poster designer using practically the same font for the title on the movie’s main poster that Netflix used on Stranger Things? And they even used the same red that Stranger Things outlines their logo with! That was the first thing I though when I saw the billboard months ago. Using that same font killed the poster for me. Booooooooooooooo.
  • Some scenes could have been a little shorter, as it feels like characters sometimes repeat their dialog after we get the point.

Overall: If Martin Scorsese were to end his career on this movie it’d be a good note to end on, featuring strong performances and an engaging, if somewhat lengthy, story. I’ll watch it again when it hits Netflix on November 27, 2019.

Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on Twitter and Instagram, and is also currently writing his first short novel.

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