Film, Thrillers
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Martin Scorsese's thunderous gangland epic returns to the big screen

Sure, it’s a rush – but is that enough? ‘Goodfellas’ is often heralded as Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, and there’s no ignoring the full-throttle intensity and bravura visual style that underpin the real-life tale of small-time gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) as he rises and falls through the ranks of the New York mob. It’s a film of perfect moments: Henry’s ‘As long as I can remember’ voiceover at the start; a breathtaking tracking shot through the back rooms of a nightclub; Joe Pesci’s unforgettable ‘How the fuck am I funny?’ routine.

But it’s hard to shake the feeling that, rather like its characters, ‘Goodfellas’ lacks heart. This is a story of awful creeps and the women who love them, so it was never going to be a festival of feelgood. But the sinuous coldness of the camerawork, the viciousness of the violence and the depth of the degradation all make it easy to admire, but hard to really love. In ‘Mean Streets’ and even ‘Taxi Driver’, Scorsese made his loser heroes relatable. In ‘Goodfellas’, they’re just a bunch of well-dressed dirty rats.


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday January 20 2017
Duration: 145 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Martin Scorsese, Nicholas Pileggi
Cast: Ray Liotta
Lorraine Bracco
Chuck Low
Robert De Niro
Gina Mastrogiacomo
Paul Sorvino
Samuel L Jackson
Frank Sivero
Joe Pesci
Frank Vincent