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Martin Scorsese's The Irishman opened the New York Film Festival last month, but last night the movie had it's official U.S. premiere in Los Angeles. That means that another batch of critics have had a chance to see the film and weigh in on it. The initial batch of responses was rave reviews, and so, unsurprisingly, the love fest hasn't quit yet. More people have now seen The Irishman, and that just means more people love The Irishman.
The Irishman has nearly 100 reviews on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and every single one of them is positive. Not only that, pretty much every single one of them is glowing. The Guardian gives the film a perfect score by the numbers, and the review opens with unequivocal praise.
Martin Scorsese returns with his best picture since GoodFellas and one of his best films ever. It’s a superbly acted, thrillingly shot epic mob procedural about violence, betrayal, dishonesty and emotional bankruptcy.
Martin Scorsese and movies about mobsters are forever linked together. He's made movies that have told stories that have glorified that life to a large degree, but The Irishman appears to be something quite different. Scorsese and his cast of players, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, have all grown older, and the world has changed. So has the Scorsese mobster movie, according to Us Weekly.
Instead of flash and brash, Martin Scorsese delivers an effectively moving portrait that focuses on the emotional toll of being atop the mob underworld.
If there's been a significant knock against The Irishman, up to this point, it's that we know the movie is quite long, just short of three and a half hours. Some of the critics do point out that the runtime doesn't exactly fly by, but Slate argues that, in the end, every minute of the film is necessary.
I'd be hard-pressed to say that the three-plus hours of The Irishman fly by, but it's also tough to think of a single individual scene I'd want to lose.
There really isn't much of a bad word being said about The Irishman. Some reviews point out that the digital effects that de-age the main characters are, like most de-aging effects, a bit more noticeable than they should be. But the movie handles that well enough that it's not a deal-breaker.
The worst thing said about The Irishman overall might literally be that the movie is only just good, with solid performances, not the best film of Martin Scorsese's career, as some have implied. Salon.com is one site that holds such a view that the movie isn't world altering, but it's still pretty damn good.
The Irishman isn't the last word on gangsters, but this long, involving, and extremely well-made epic seems to be an appropriate capstone for Scorsese - as well as De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino - at this late stage in their careers.
If you want to be one of the first of the general public to see The Irishman, the film will be getting a limited theatrical release beginning November 1. If you're willing to wait, it will then hit Netflix on November 27.