43 comments on “The Irishman

  • Thank you for speaking truth to power (lol).
    Will humanity ever ask question it’s unstoppable lust for watching mass murderers ply their craft for no other reason than “entertainment?”
    Will Mr. Scorsese next do a ‘origin” story on Frank where we watch him murder countless German POW’s that were tried and convicted by men equally as sick as the creator of the final solution?

  • The Irishman has been reviewed by 99 film critics and only two of those reviews find any fault with the movie. Most are calling it a masterpiece. Maybe, this movie isn’t for your average film goer, who simply wants a quick fix but for a more appreciative audience who understand the art of true cinema.

    • It could be, films and film criticism is certainly subjective. But in a room full of film critics at the premiere, no one around me liked it. However there is also a big difference between what some critics will say in private versus what they write in their reviews because they want to be seen as cool or going along with the crowd. I just have to be honest in my reviews, that’s all I can do.

      • Oh ok so in other words you’re correct and the critics who suggest otherwise are just lying. You are such a pompous moron. Do you not realize Scorsese is one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers that has ever lived? And has consistently made incredible films that have been beloved by millions for decades? Oh but I guess they’re all lying right? You do not deserve to be called a film critic. Stick with Transformers and let real critics judge actual art.

        • I didn’t say they were all lying, there is not “being correct”, my review is simply my opinion, nothing else. I never said Scorsese wasn’t a great filmmaker, but even his greatest is up to each individual viewer. There are lots of influential filmmakers out there. I have never enjoyed Transformers for your information (clearly you have never read any of my other reviews). I am not judging Scorsese on his one film, and you shouldn’t judge a film critic, by one single review when I have written thousands.

      • I loved your response..could you elaborate on “wanting to be seen as cool or going along with the crowd” ? is it like a mob mentality of not wanting to be the one guy who didn’t like the great martin scorsese’s movie or will certain critics be alienated once they disagree with the critics groups/circles ?

        • In my experience certain critics I have encountered, will watch a film in a screening, they don’t like it, tell me how much they didn’t like it. Then as other high profile critics release their reviews and if the majority of critics and or public seem to differ from their negative opinion, they will either soften their review, so they don’t receive the onslaught of comments I seem to be getting on this one, or they will just change their opinion completely.

      • I appreciate your honesty, Mr. Chase. Despite being a monumental Scorsese fan, I still don’t automatically believe his films are masterpieces because his name is on the poster, but I do find most of them incredibly rich, save for a very few. They beg to be seen more than once. So I will see “The Irishman” with an open mind, no small feat considering the overwhelming amount of positive review. Then I will have to watch it again, obviously.

    • OR…

      Hollywood is filled with a bunch of kiss-a$$es that want to honor Scorcese’s final film and won’t criticize it. Hmmm. Seems more plausible to me and I like Scorcese pictures….

  • While I am rooting for The Irishman to be considered a universally acclaimed all time great mob classic, and I believe it to be essentially that, your review is honest and insightful. I appreciate your opinion. I disagree, as I thought the film was spectacular, but at least your “rotten” review is not utterly ridiculous like the one written by that other displeased critic. What I’m trying to say is, thank you for actually watching the film and not just being a Marvel/Disney shill.

    • I don’t take being a film critic lightly, I put my work (attending screenings and writing reviews) above everything else I do. I never want to be the guy who goes against the grain, but I also will never be the guy who says what studios (or in this case most readers) want to hear. Discussion and debate is also good for the soul. Thanks for reading my review and taking the time to respond. Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Great review. All those over the top reviews gave me pause . Especially all this talk of the movie being about mortality , regret and the price one pays for a life of crime . In 1990 Francis Coppola and Al Pacino made a movie about that very thing . Isn’t Scorsese a little late to the party . Also I don’t think DeNiro gets enough credit for the two movies he directed . A Bronx Tale was the movie Goodfellas should have been and The Good Shepherd was a better film than The Departed .

    • I LOVED THE GOOD SHEPHERD! That is one of my fab films, and I agree, that was more a masterpiece (to me) than The Irishman. I really enjoyed The Departed, although The Aviator is my fav Scorsese film, because it’s unlike anything else he has done and told a story that was unlike anything else I had seen.

    • For me, of the three main performances, I would say Pacino, but I could find 5+ supporting male performances I would put ahead of him this year. Most critics seem to love the film, so I do think it will land lots of nominations, but I am not sure it will win anything because there isn’t one single thing about the film that stands out compared to other films this year. Even in the Netflix slate I liked Marriage Story, The Two Popes, The King and Dolemite better than The Irishman.

  • The book upon which this film is based is a pack of lies. So the movie is no more than a mob version of “Forrest Gump”, as stated in Slate’s review. In the book, old Frank was involved with the Bay of Pigs, killed mobsters, and got Lee Harvey Oswald his guns.

  • I’ve seen the movie and it’s a masterpiece with three great performances by De Niro, Pacino and Pesci. All the other supporting cast gave good performances as well. You say you were surrounded by other film critics who didn’t like the movie. Then how come only you and some imbecile gave it a bad review. Three incredible performances and you say two good performances. Who’s the two you’re referring to?

    • I thought Pacino and Pesci were the two stands outs. Although, they have all given very similar performances in the past, it’s not like there is any ground being broken here. Pesci plays a softer and quieter character than usual, but that also might end up hurting his award chances against Pacino who is playing it big and loud. Jut because I and another critic didn’t love the film as you did, doesn’t make us imbeciles. It means we have different things we want from a film that The Irishman didn’t provide, that’s all.

  • This is why film critic is such an unnecessary job. We don’t need them, we all have different tastes and prefer different experiences.
    People should just learn to make their own decisions.

    I will say that I respect your review because it actually gave real details as to why you didn’t like the film. The other reviewer to ‘publicly’ give it a negative review im convinced was more upset that Scorsese bashed Marvel films (he mentioned at least 5 times).

    Some believe Marvel films, and all superhero films, are god’s gift to cinema. When in reality, while some are quite good and some can be bad, many I find boring because it’s the same old thing repackaged.

    Back to this movie, I think will like it as a big fan of Scorsese and the leads and I can handle a longer film. But ultimately, kudos to you for your honesty backed up by real points.

    • Thank you… I appreciate your response. I do always explain why I didn’t care for a film, that is after all the point. I also agree with Scorsese mostly about the Marvel stuff, he is commenting more about what they are doing to smaller films finding space at the cinema, than pure hate of a particular kind of film. Sure most of them are forgettable but every now and then there is an original idea in one of them. Have a great day.

  • This is one of the most shallow reviews I’ve ever read, zero atttempt to engage with the film on any level, seeing as you have the attention span of a child and can’t seem to sit still and look at a screen for 3 and a half hours maybe you shouldn’t review films

    • Well A, you don’t know me. B, this is the first time I have ever heard from you (and I am betting the first time you have ever read one of my reviews). C, I don’t mind 3 hour films at all, when they are engaging.

  • One of the most misguided statements prevalent among young film critics these days: ‘art and art criticism is subjective’. Whoever believes in it has as much credibility talking on art critically as a janitor working in a dilapidated tax collecting office in midwest.

    • Would you prefer me to just say you are wrong and I am right? That wouldn’t make any sense. Trying to be civil about discussing one review with people who feel compelled to write in on a film they disagree with me on. Sure thats great, but I write 200 film reviews a year, have for 10 years, and just because I happened not to love a Scorsese film, everyone want to comment? There has to be some middle ground for discussion.

  • So want you are saying is that critics are bought and paid for by Hollywood and you are the only person left with integrity. LMAO!

  • I’m fairly certain the entire world knows what they’re getting with a Scorcese crime drama… and despite being half-Sicilian I’m thrilled I can’t take any of it with me or apply it to my own life. That’s literally the *last* thing I want to see in a movie. Give me dinosaurs, superheroes and aliens every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  • On Rotten Tomatoes it’s currently 117 positive (mostly raving) reviews and 4 negative reviews. One of the negative reviews gave it 4/5 for the fabulous acting but gave it 2/5 for gender and 1/5 for not having anything to add to the black experience. He literally complained that Bracco received awards while Paquin barely gets any lines… apparently he’s not aware that the story of “Goodfellas” was told by two people and the story of “The Irishman” was told by one. These are movies based on real people, it can only go so far. But yes, there are now four total bad ratings and one of them is a clueless political nutcase. What I’m mostly curious about… did you need to confirm your own dislike of the movie with the suggestion that others around you also disliked it? I’m fairly certain with a 97% positive rating we aren’t going to go into theaters and come out saying… wow, that totally stunk… I can’t apply any of that to my own life because my life is what movies are supposed to be about. I go to the movies to escape for a little while, I don’t get why a movie about a cold-blooded killer with regrets needs to speak to me personally.

    • Ok, a couple of things to point out to you, and the other commenters I don’t think you are understanding:

      #1. I attended the premiere in LA, with nearly the entire Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA/Critics Choice). All critics who work in broadcasting. I can only speak to the handful of critics who were sitting with me, some liked it ok, said they would never watch it again, some said, that was so boring, some said “meh”. I talked to people from Gold Derby who liked it, and clearly there are many others.

      #2. Not all critics are on Rotten Tomatoes, in fact, out of the 30+ members of the Houston Film Critics Society (in which I am a member) only about 10 are on Rotten Tomatoes, so if you apply that across the country, there are a lot more voices that are not being tabulated on RT. Plus, The Irishman hasn’t screened Generally yet, only at film festivals, the LA premiere for BFCA and again today Nov 1st a daytime screening (which makes 40% of critics can’t leave work to go).

      #3. I didn’t need to confirm anything, this isn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last I disagree with the majority of critics, or mainstream. I love talking to people about movies, you, other critics, voters, everyday folk. I review around 200 films a year, The Irishman is simply just #133 for me, and just another film I like talking to others about to get their opinions. I gave it a C, so I don’t think it “stunk” at all. There were things I liked about it, and things I didn’t.

      #4. Some people (including critics) do go to movies to escape, I get that, I am just not one of those people. I watch films to learn, be inspired, transported, and ultimately leave with some insight, feeling or perspective I didn’t have before I saw the film. We all watch films for our own specific reasons, and have varying expectations of what we want from them.

  • Oh… and should every movie include screaming children to remind a couple on their date night that they have screaming kids at home? Should there be parenting tips since they’re clearly not good parents and need help from a movie? I’m still failing to understand the idea that movies should apply to our own lives unless it’s in the form of “Wow, I sure wish I was Chris Hemsworth” hehe.

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with gaining something valuable from films. For many people, cinema is the last resort in bridging a gap to the outside world or discovering stories, people and circumstances they will never encounter and would otherwise know nothing about.

  • Dustin: Glad you loved The Good Shepherd as much as I did . On the other hand i didn’t like The Aviator because I felt Decaprio was miscast and the only things you really learn from the film is Hughes flew airplanes ,slept with movie stars and urinated in bottles . There was a movie made for television called The Amazing Howard Hughes starring Tommy Lee Jones which was everything The Aviator should have been and Tommy Lee Jones was born to play Hughes . On another topic what did you think of The Immigrant? I loved that film and I will never forgive Harvey Weinstein for destroying James Gray’s movie because he would not bow down to him and cut the film and change the ending . It should have been nominated in almost every category that year but wasn’t because of Weinstein . One more thing about The Irishman , the almost nonexistent dissenting opinions reminds in a reverse way of what happened to Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate which is the greatest example i can think of how studio cowardice and critical over reaction killed a great film before we the audience were able to see it .

    • I am a big Marion Cotillard fan, I wanted to like The Immigrant more than I did, but still enjoyed the story. Kept me more engaged than The Irishman, and certainly got more out of it. I really like DiCaprio in The Aviator, I still think it might be my favorite performance from him, because it’s so different from anything else he has played. And Blanchett… I mean Blanchett steals the film!

  • I personally found the de-aging effects a little distracting, almost gimmicky. Though done well enough, I didn’t believe DeNiro as a 35 year old, assuming the scene he meets Bufalino is 1955ish era. He looked like a early 50’s ish DeNiro who put on weight for a role. His body movements really betrayed the effects. The scene where he beats up the grocer being the most unconvincing scene. It didn’t ruin the film for me at all though. It just took me out of the film a few times but I’m glad they did it. They’re all iconic great actors and it was a treat to see them turn in great performances.

    • The grocery scene was by far the worst scene digitally and how it looks, I certainly agree with you on that. If you stop and really think about the age stuff and body movements, sure it doesn’t make sense like you mentioned (Lord knows you get enough time to contemplate these things in 3.5 hours), but it’s also unclear to the passive viewer, who is supposed to be what age, and when. Thanks for stopping by, really appreciate your input.

  • “very little to take with them or apply to their own lives.”

    So is that what we should judge all movies on? Whether we can take its lessons or morals and apply it to our own lives? I guess there’s a ton of great films that we can’t enjoy if we’re going to look at it like that. Especially Scorsese films. I guess we can’t like Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, or Casino. Gimme a break! Watch a superhero film if you want gallantry and happy endings.

    You could have said the lesson was as cliche as “crime doesn’t pay”; instead, you just said it’s too long and didn’t give any substantial evidence to back up your claims.

    “….even the most insignificant of tasks”

    You must be one of the few people who actually thought they were actually going to paint houses. Every scene in this film flowed and was necessary to the narrative and the ending.

    “Given free rein by Netflix”

    Reign*

    “the film builds to one singular uncomfortable moment, the one that finds Frank truly the middle man. It’s the third act where we get the slightest of emotional resonance, not that DeNiro’s character shows much of anything.”

    Either a clear misfire or the film is too complex for you if *that* is what you came up with in the last act. It isn’t so much that “singular moment”, but the dramatic buildup and coda to that moment. Without spoiling much of the film, a main character is struck with a decision that tests his emotional well-being and his moral compass. A decision that he has had to live with for the rest of his life. As the tagline of the film suggests, “Time changes nothing,” we follow all these characters (aka bad guys) to the very end of their lives where they are faced with their mortality and the decisions that led to whether or not they had lived a life of meaning. Have you seen Ingmar Bergman’s WILD STRAWBERRIES? It’s a very a similar structure that Scorsese is utilizing (non-linear) to show the audience this character’s mindset, considering he has experienced a very important part of US history. Yes. You can’t tell this story in 2.5 hours. Yes, it’s harrowing and humanistic experience for this character to have lost everything for the sake of his macho lifestyle. If you can’t at least sympathize or understand that aspect of the film, then this movie is either too complex or not made for you. No need to brush it off because you don’t like the characters or it’s too long for you.

    And the fact you gave MA, CHARLIE’S ANGELS, and ROCKETMAN passes…absolutely shameful. Brush up on your film history.

    • You are missing the point entirely, I don’t want happy endings, or at least ones that are unearned.
      And no, I don’t think that invalidates all Scorsese films. Take The Aviator for example, it really dives into a billionaire with a disorder, following his struggles to achieve great things. There is a pivotal message there. I review superhero movies just like I do Scorsese films, I like those even less (which you would know if you had read anything else I have written, instead of just lashing out at a review you happen to disagree with).

      Actually Jack, I have the correct spelling of “rein”, I argued this with my editor, I had “reign” originally, he showed me via the dictionary it’s “rein” and most people use it incorrectly.

      And finally we get to the real discourse here. No, actually I haven’t seen Wild Strawberries. No, I didn’t find sympathy for these characters, at all. Maybe the film is too complex for me, I won’t deny that it could be a possibility, however, I have reviewed, enjoyed far more complex films than The Irishman, so I don’t think that’s the case here. Too subtle, maybe, too complex, I don’t think so. I’m not brushing it off as much as I am reviewing it, like I do all the other films, giving my assessment, and then moving on to the next film. It’s wonderful you found so much that excites you in The Irishman that you feel the need to reach out to those who disagree with you, I admire that passion.

      You bring up three films where I gave better grades, and without going back and specifically looking at those reviews, I can tell you one major characteristic they had, than Irishman doesn’t, in my opinion. Octavia Spencer, Kristen Stewart and Taron Eggerton are portraying characters unlike ones they have in the past. They are trying different genres, personalities, etc. As someone who reviews nearly every single live action feature film released… seeing something original, new, different, is always going to get a higher score from me over something that looks and feels like familiar territory. Ma, Charlies Angels and Rocketman all have major issues and are not perfect films, they are deeply flawed and not worth revisiting in all honesty. It takes a lot to get an A- or an A from me.

      I could have said “cliche”, sure, but that seems trite, too soft on the point I was trying to make, and lets face it, if I had said cliche, it probably wouldn’t have ruffled your feathers as much.

      The insignificant tasks I was referring to, for one example is the scene where DeNiro’s character is sitting along at the breakfast table I believe, the shot just holds for about a minute or longer and then he walks out the door. There are a few of those, contemplative moments, but they seemed unnecessary in a film with such a hefty running time.

      Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

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