Quick Take: The Irishman
Martin Scorsese's grand epic The Irishman is available on Netflix now. The film spans decades as it follows the recollections of a lifelong career of an established mob man, Frank Sheeran. The film is three and a half hours long and doesn't exactly move at a brisk pace; in short it's not a movie for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of patience, but it's very worthwhile.
The fact that The Irishman works so well is that it rests on the shoulders of three really fantastic performances: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Each performance is so different and so vital to the film. De Niro's is the least flashy and most subtle, so I really hope he doesn't get overlooked when awards season comes. Pesci came out of retirement to be a part of this film and I'm so glad he did. Al Pacino plays Jimmy Buffet as a larger than life personality and seems to be having the best time in years playing this role. All men play themselves at all ages of their lives depending on some CGI de-aging technology, some at which feels a little distracting at first. Robert De Niro's in particular didn't always look perfect, but Joe Pesci's always had me convinced. All in all the special effects were an impressive effort, even if sometimes they couldn't cover up the way these old men moved.
While it definitely takes awhile to see where the film is ultimately headed, I didn't have a problem with the meandering pace. It really felt like a grand life being personally recapped to me. With The Irishman Scorsese gives a window into a world we all try not to think about existing: the world of organized crime. We see firsthand how important loyalty to that family is and the dangers of stepping out of line. While it's certainly an investment of your time, it is very much worth it. RATING: 8.5/10