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Film Review: The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is about the rise of hitman Frank Sheeran who first joined the infamous Pennsylvania crime family of the Bufalinos and then worked for a powerful union activist, Jimmy Hoffa.

I am mesmerized to the directional greatness of Martin Scorsese whose crime drama detailing lost not an inch of fascination. The Irishman is remarkably constructed in the very same crime tone as Scorsese’s previous unforgettable crime works like Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, etc. I am impressed by how can any director maintain the same aura of directional artistry for more than 5 decades. The Irishman is a ridiculously superior crime saga of around 3 hours and 29 minutes.


It is not the hype of this hugely awaited film for which I am excited, it is the brilliance of the filmmaking, narration, production designing blended with rich performances by the stellar casting and spectacular action sequences which have impressed me.

Another aspect worth mentioning is Scorsese’s careful use of onscreen chemistries. I am talking about two of the most talking pairs of the film; Robert de Niro with Joe Pesci and with Al Pacino. Sad to see Joe Pesci gone slow and less angry due to old age but each of his screentime was worth and displayed a memorable performance.

Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) debate Hoffa’s next move. © 2019 Netlfix US, LLC. All rights reserved.

But with de Niro’s splendid performance in years, I will say it was Al Pacino’s magnificent supporting role equating with de Niro’s leading character. Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa was a talking point in the entire middle part of the film. Scorsese fixed them together in the most suitable screen minutes and heavy dramatic moments of the final hour. Every sensible viewer will enjoy their chemistry, especially in the final hour.


Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale were decent in pretty short roles, Ray Romano as Bill Bufalino and Stephen Graham as Tony Pro played very good supporting roles.

Hoffa’s political adversity highlighted some political tensions between Kennedy and Nixon eras. Some of the most notorious crime families were also depicted like Genovese, Philly, Gambino, and Colombo.

The Irishman is a phenomenal film. The final 30 minutes will drop you, break you and wreck you. There is no aspect that doesn’t impress you. In my opinion, the film deserves the Oscar nominations for the best picture, director, actor (de Niro), supporting actor (Pacino), editing, production design, and cinematography at least. Maybe also for the adapted screenplay which I have read to be very precise, for a few I have doubts which I don’t like to ponder here.

Overall, The Irishman is one of Martin Scorsese’s finest works, easily one of the greatest crime films, one of de Niro and Pacino’s most memorable roles of their careers.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (10428524co)
Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel. Actor Joe Pesci, left, actor Al Pacino, director Martin Scorsese, actor Robert De Niro and actor Harvey Keitel pose together at the world premiere of “The Irishman” at Alice Tully Hall during the opening night of the 57th New York Film Festival, in New York
2019 NYFF – “The Irishman” World Premiere, New York, USA – 27 Sep 2019 

Ratings: 9.3/10