The Irishman

October 30, 2019

Review, Theatrical, This Week 7 Comments


The Irishman

Mark Demetrius
Year: 2019
Rating: TBC
Director: Martin Scorsese

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin

Distributor: Netflix
Released: November 7, 2019
Running Time: 209 minutes
Worth: $20.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth


From the opening tracking shot and accompanying song – a la Mean Streets – we are reminded that we’re in vintage Martin Scorsese territory here. But the self-referential elements are sparing, appropriate and – like everything else about this phenomenal movie – pitch-perfect. It’s a rollicking good yarn which evolves and slows down into something nuanced and emotionally intense, becoming even better in the process.

Robert De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a WWII veteran who goes to work for the Mafia. (“I heard you paint houses”, one of his Mob superiors euphemistically says.) It’s one of the finest and most riveting portrayals in his career. The action unfolds at different points in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies (the much-heralded “de-aging” works fine, incidentally), and the period detail is spot-on, but it’s the less tangible strengths – a cumulative sense of gravitas, for instance – which impress most.

The less you know about the plot going in the better. Suffice to say that if you’re familiar with the story of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), you’ll be able to imagine some of the contending forces at play, and the elements of suspense. As depicted here, Hoffa is garrulous, stubborn and somewhat neurotic yet charismatic, and Pacino makes the contradictions believable.

The Irishman is exciting and a visual delight, and also a brilliant character study; above all, it’s a late triumph. Everyone and everything in it is great: cinematography, acting (especially by De Niro and Pacino), dialogue, music, Scorsese’s direction, you name it… It’s his best film since Raging Bull. Do not miss it.



  1. Miguel Sierra

    Don’t have Netflix nor cable, wish the movie would be release in theaters here in the twin cities in MN so I could go see in the big screen.

  2. Elaina Neville

    My son, Liam, an Australian, works for Screen Scene in Dublin. He spent nearly a year de-aging De Niro and Pacino for this movie. Very glad you like it.


    Will this be releashed on Blu-ray? Don’t get Netflix either.How about Pay Per View? Would love to see this movie. It wont be shown in theaters here either.

    1. Anthony

      Screw Netflix. They are going to lose money nobody is going to sign up for Netflix. People want to see it in the theater I’ll wait for another time to see it.

  4. Krisy

    Psssh!!! If it ain’t on Netflix it ain’t gettin watched by me. 4 sure. Theaters are when ya support your local actors guild. Out of respect. For talents well deserved. To make a statement. Hmmm. Know what maybe should see in theater.

  5. Alistair Cheyne

    it’s pitiful that The Irishman won’t be shown in most regional cinemas as it’s on Aussie Netflix from 27 November. But I doubt if cinemas screening this masterwork will show this 3 and a half hour epic with an intermission. Inconsiderate and impractical – what if you need to go to the loo? This is happening to so many movies nowadays – not everyone has or can receive Netflix and/or other streaming channels so what happens when their local cinema doesn’t show the film they want to see ?

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