It took a lifetime to make this film. it took a lifetime of experience to grasp what this film is about. Strong direction leading strong actors. It’s almost a quiet Scorsese film. It’s a grown-up film. It flies by but at the same time it is slow, and deliberate. And it has the most perfect ending.
They’re all getting up there. This could be the last (gangster) film by Scorsese. This could be the last movie of DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci in a gangster movie period. Let’s appreciate this and give all of them their flowers while they can still smell them.
There are 209 minutes in “The Irishman” and not one of them is wasted.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
It’s the ultimate fusing of Scorsese’s two sides… And even though it takes a while to get there, the movie is a masterpiece, one made by a man counting down his own years as if they were rosary beads.
I hear you paint houses.
Based on the mob hitman memoir I Hear You Paint Houses, The Irishman is the “true” story of Irish Frank Sheeran, a blue-collar World War II veteran who made a life for himself in the Italian mafia hitman “painting houses” with the blood of his wiseguy victims.
An epic saga of organised crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
The gangster genre has been the bread and butter of Scorsese’s career and quite deservedly gets a lot of love and a lot of hate. These films invariably glamorise a life of crime, rarely showing any real consequences, often killing our “heroes” off in a proverbial blaze of glory. With The Irishman Scorsese has come full circle, closing the loop he launched his career with when he turned his lens onto his New York upbringing in Mean Streets. We see the majority of Frank’s life in this film, narrated with a knowing perspective not afforded to younger generations. As Frank tells the story of his life from his nursing home wheelchair, there’s a pervasive sense of loss and regret that slowly ramps up as we see Frank choose this lonely path, eventually pushing everyone away or killing them with his bare hands. The film has the kind of voice that comes with age, experience and loss, and Scorsese and his cast here use it to gives us a rare and very depressing look at the life of a gangster.
USA 2019, 208 min, rated R13 (violence, cruelty & offensive language)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin & Jesse Plemons