The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★½

This film is an absolute feat. 3 and a half hours of pure excellence from all parties involved. De Niro is at his best with such a quiet performance, his subtle way of moving through scenes and just watching everything going on is fantastic, how he's able to create an immense amount of tension for a full hour by saying basically nothing is outstanding. Joe Pesci as Russ is a perfect companion to De Niro, he compliments him perfectly by being this figure who never really does any dirty work in the film, yet holds every piece of power in each scene. Pacino is a delight to watch, his charismatic yet horrible persona creates some great scenes where you sit and think about whether or not you care for his character, how he has this connection with Frank and his family yet isn't morally a good person and has this facade to him. Of course, all of these characters and situations lead back to Scorsese, the fact that he is able to culminate a story like this, create so much from it AND make 3 and a half hours feel like 2 is just incredible. The story evolves so much, to an extent of which I've never seen. It goes from gangster flick to courtroom drama, to political drama to family drama and everywhere in-between, it perfectly matches the theme of life-changing as it goes on. The themes of death and mortality make this a dark film, how no matter what you do or who you are, you eventually die, some deaths are more significant than others, some are just worthy of a box of text on the screen as soon as you meet them. All of this coupled with some incredible cinematography from Rodrigo Prieto makes this one of 2019's best films.

However, the reason I am giving this a 9, is because of the length. Some may think that's unfair, or that it isn't justified, but even though it doesn't feel like 3 and a half hours, that doesn't take away from the fact that it is 3 and a half hours. I couldn't watch this at home, no way, I would get distracted too easily. It has its slow points and some parts I was staring at my watch. Still, this is one of the best films of the year and if you feel you have the willpower then please do, if not then I'd say split it up into chunks, or just power through, and watch life unfold before you.

Glen liked this review