Saturday, March 2, 2019


Movie Name: Goodfellas
Year of Release: 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, Mike Starr, Frank Vincent, Chuck Low, Frank DiLeo, Henny Youngman
Genre: Drama, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9 
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Following the controversy surrounding "The Last Temptation of Christ" and the episode of "New York Stories", director Martin Scorsese started the 90s with one of its most iconic, and to this date, one of his best feature films. The film is an adaptation of the book by Nicholas Pileggi and traces the life of mobster Henry Hill. Henry chronicles and narrates his life since his early days, where he was taken under the wing of a local crime lord, "Paulie" Cicero (alongside his associates, Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito) and how he goes through the ranks, making friends and progressively getting more and more power (and money). He eventually falls in love and marries the beautiful Karen, who is initially turned off by his criminal lifestyle, but who learns to live with it. As their lifestyle continues to expand with some extravagance, Henry starts spiraling out of control with drugs. Following a heist that doesn't go all that well, everything starts crumbling, with Henry having to resort to dramatic measures to survive.
Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker, and by 1990 had already made a name for himself with quite a few classics, namely "Mean Streets", "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull". "Goodfellas" joined the ranks of his best features, thanks to a crackling screenplay, an exemplary case of masterful editing from Thelma Schoonmaker, brilliant performances from the entire cast and an impeccable production design. This is a film that works perfectly, almost with a precision of a clock, while simultaneously maintaining a vibrancy, spontaneity and virtuosity that have rarely been captured in this manner. The film successfully builds this criminal underworld, but goes beyond the glamour shot, showcasing the entire family dynamics associated with the main characters and the darker aspect that bellies this universe. The film went on to influence the crime genre, including shows such as "The Sopranos", but it maintains its relevancy and mastery to this day. The cinematography from Michael Ballhaus is phenomenal, as are all the performances, in particular Joe Pesci's, who has been forever associated with the Tommy DeVito character. A fantastic film from a great director.