GoodFellas ★★★★★

It's established canon that Goodfellas is one of the best gangster films out there, and for good reason. The great script, cast and of course Scorsese's directing produce a thrilling study of the mob: one of the most simultaneously attractive and repellent aspects of 20th-century America. Is it any wonder that Scorsese sometimes seems ambivalent about Henry Hill, and all the other wiseguys?

Goodfellas brings into sharp relief the reasons why the mafia's "glorious time" was ultimately doomed. Using techniques that might otherwise have seemed excessive - long tracking shots, freeze frames, and shots out of sequence - Scorsese not only shows us a whole undeworld, but also how it changes over 30 years. By the time helicopters buzz over Hill's head, we feel acutely how his world is ending and how a new one is coming into focus.