Crime, Drama, Thriller, Biography
IMDB rating:
Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro as James 'Jimmy' Conway
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill
Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito
Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill
Paul Sorvino as Paul Cicero
Frank Sivero as Frankie Carbone
Tony Darrow as Sonny Bunz
Mike Starr as Frenchy
Frank Vincent as Billy Batts
Chuck Low as Morris 'Morrie' Kessler
Frank DiLeo as Tuddy Cicero
Gina Mastrogiacomo as Janice Rossi
Catherine Scorsese as Tommy's Mother
Storyline: Henry Hill is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?
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I highly recommend this movie
I really enjoyed this movie about the mob that took place in the 1960s Robert De Niro was a good mob boss that's his little sidekick Joe Pesci I think it was one of their best films to date I really recommend this film for adults I don't recommend it for children at all too much violence I gave it 9 Stars
Good for You
Entertaining story of a mobster/gangster who had a nice run lying, cheating, stealing, and killing and everything else and while in real life this would be considered a life of debauchery and worse but for entertainment sake it captures the viewer's attention courtesy of all the name brand stars performances in this movie with quality direction too. It also has a lot of memorable scenes making it a must own for your collection. I was glued to the film when I first saw it. It is a story well told and Ray Liotta delivers the goods 100%. Fascinating glimpse into the world of degenerates Mafioso type supposedly "cool" guys or so they would have you believe. The fact is it is a life of no responsibility and if you listen, a questionable future as the movie reveals. The story that this is based of real life Henry Hill couldn't believe he managed to live as long as he did always expecting to die at any moment. I mean we are all going to die but every moment? I like snacking while watching and this is a fun movie to eat with plus have a tasty drink too. Enjoy the sound track, the different things these guys get into and the satisfying closure at the end. You almost are sorry its over as it approaches the ending.
The best Mob movie ever made.
GoodFellas gets a 5/5 which does this film justice due to the amount of unique film techniques utilized by Martin Scorsese and the length of the movie that never seems to stagnant. The film manages to cover a two and a half decade timeline with the additions of narratives from two of the films main characters to pace the film correctly and fill in details that would've been impossible to inform us in 146 minutes or cover a 25 year timeline, which is integral when documenting a story of a character from childhood to manhood while including other aspects of his life.

Narration/Voiceovers played an integral part in GoodFellas because this enables Scorsese to give us ample information in a short period of time, which is essential to keep up with the films 25 year span or else the movie would have to be much longer or we'd miss out on crucial details that drive the film. Continuing, the film revolves around Henry but it is crucial to know and understand what he's into and who his friends or the people he hangs around really are which would've been impossible without the narrative. Fortunately for the audience Henry is a reliable narrator so we don't have to question what he is saying because no one can tell one's story better them they can, this also adds the ability to add opinion without them being wrong because they're his own opinions.Next the narrative makes the audience gravitate towards Henry and helps the audience to understand his ways and see him in a better light and not have to make our own assumptions about Henry whereas we see him as a hero rather than an anti hero, With Henry explaining his ways it helps us look past his greed, drug abuse, and cheating because him explaining himself is almost like an apology or friend telling you why they do the things they do. Lastly The dual perspective also adds a flavor not many narratives add which is a female perspective in parallel to the main character.

Furthermore the camera techniques used in this film are very different than an average cinematographers go to techniques. With the use of long cuts, freehand shots, and following movement during scenes this creates a genuine feeling and makes the film unbelievable realistic and intense. For example one of the most important scenes in the film from a cinematographic aspect is the restaurant scene when Henry and Karen walk from the street outside through a tunnel and walk through a kitchen into the restaurant and sit down all in one take and no cuts. Everything in the scene seems to flow fluidly and perfectly in cohesion with the two stars. The following of the character(s) by the camera adds a 3rd person spectating perspective that indulges you into the film and makes some seemingly pointless scenes interesting.

In conclusion GoodFellas is a tremendous film directed by Martin Scorsese that utilizes many film techniques not used together often and creates a seemingly effortless environment while also being realistic to the audience. The theme of the film is surrounded in tragedy and misfortune. While we see Henry's rise in power within the mob, we inevitably see his fall towards the second half of the movie. With money,power, and greed even the mightiest may fall which is what we see scattered throughout the later half of the film.
Another version of the Godfather? No! Great movie? Yes!
This movie was an instant classic to me. From the second I pressed Play, I knew it was going to be great. And it was. A lot of people bash this movie for being a knockoff of "The Godfather", but it is in no way a knockoff. This movie is based off a true story first off. Also, there's no "mafia" or "families" really to speak of. And a majority of the characters are Irish, not Italian. I liked all the different characters involved, the wiseguys, the losers, the brutes, the smart AND dumb people, you name it. The fighting/shooting/heist scenes were perfectly executed (no pun intended). Ray Liotta is great as Henry Hill, he explains everything so well and makes "the life" look great. Robert DeNiro really proved himself once again in the part of Jimmy Conway. And Joe Pesci was perfect to play Tommy DeVito. All the supporting/side characters were great as well. I give this a 10/10, which I don't do very often but this movie deserves it.
Enter into the Mafia Lifestyle
"Goodfellas" is a movie based on the life story of Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, and his involvement in the New York mafia. Henry's main partners throughout the movie are Tommy (Joe Pesci), James Conway (Robert De Niro), the boss Paul (Paul Cicero) and his wife Karen (Lorraine Braco). The movie revolves around a few different plot points as Henry moves through the mafia.

At the beginning, Henry is a teenager and responsible for small things, such as parking cars or selling stolen property. As he grows up he becomes fully entrenched into the mafia. The film does a great job of showing the family atmosphere of the mafia, especially showing the distinction between their public marriage and their private affairs, or "Fridays are for girlfriends" routine.

As Henry gets deeper into the drugs, you can see his physical appearance change. Their house, which was once very simply designed, becomes designed with wild colors and arrangements, representing the craziness of their lives. The settings continue to get more and more convoluted until he is finally arrested. As he has to choose between his mafia family and his wife and kids, you can understand how much he felt he lost - his entire identity.

Another method that was extremely effective was that throughout the movie, Henry narrated, explaining different actions of the mafia, what things meant, and how he interpreted things. Karen also narrated at the beginning, explaining her attraction to Henry, but giving a vivid account of how she interpreted the mafia from the outside, showing how different the two views were at the time. This was in contrast to a similar movie series, "The Godfather," where very little narration took place. Both were effective ways of communicating the action, however the narration in "Goodfellas" ensured that the audience knew what was going on the entire time, whereas "The Godfather" allowed the audience to make up their own minds.

Overall, "Goodfellas" was an excellent film. The life in the mafia is always a bit of a mystery, and the film brought to light many different aspects of the life, from how they make money, to the killings, and their deep family life. The techniques the director used amplified in many ways Henry's life and his eventual arrest and the events thereafter. They helped form a bond with his character that almost made you feel sympathetic to him, and allowed the audience to really enter into the mafia lifestyle.
A terrific film which depicts the insanity of a career in the mafia.
By and far the largest complaint I hear from people is the use of voice-over in film. Many complain of how it destroys the purpose of a movie as a visual medium. "The actors should convey emotion through their acting, not through voice-over," these critics might say. I argue that in certain cases, voice-over can make a film better. "Goodfellas" is my proof that v/o helps a film (as well as terrific direction, masterful cinematography, Schoonmakerian editing and a killer soundtrack, but those are givens in a Scorsese flick). How else could we really understand Henry Hill's incredible story of prosperity and joy which eventually turns into one of paranoia and depression?

"Goodfellas" is the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a low ranking soldier (or something like that) in boss Paul Cicero's crew of Brooklyn wise guys. It's also about his friends and partners in crime Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco). It begins with good times spread around, but due to some poor decision making on everyone's part, the good times don't last long.

"Goodfellas" is a mix of black comedy and dark drama which is all the more affecting because of the humanity of the two main characters, Henry and Karen Hill. Karen is especially sympathetic due to her innocence. She tries to rationalize her husband's actions in her v/o, as Henry explains everything he thinks in his v/o.

Back to the point of v/o: It is necessary for Henry to speak his mind in v/o because as "Sopranos" creator David Chase said, these guys usually are lying when they talk to their fellow mafia members.

The one thing I haven't mentioned is the incredible acting by the whole cast. Liotta and Bracco shine here more than anyone else in the cast. (Yeah, Pesci is the most memorable part of this movie according to many other people, but he was much better in "Raging Bull" as was De Niro*. That's saying something about "Raging Bull" because Pesci won an Oscar for this film.) Everyone else here was great too.

Overall, Goodfellas is a must see for any Scorsese fan. It's my favorite movie of his and I think his magnum opus. Marty grew up around these people, so who better to tell their story?

*Robert De Niro is excellent movie he does. He probably even did research on the CIA and the florist industry for "Meet the Fockers".
Just plain overrated
Chalk me up as another reviewer who found this movie to be vastly overrated. My wife and I saw it a couple nights ago, for the first time, and it just pales in comparison to cinematic triumphs such as The Godfather movies or The Sopranos.

As much as anything else, there are no likable characters. Part of the reason you could keep turning in to The Sopranos is that you could genuinely like and identify with the principals, despite their brutality and crimes. Here, you can't. None of the principals have any displayed virtues: at best, they're shallow and two-dimensional.

Yes, the highly lauded soundtrack has many tunes. But if you're going to use the hoary old tactic of advancing pop tunes down the years to denote the march of time, could you not be so flamingly anachronistic as all of that? They were playing 40s tunes in the doo-wop era, 50s doo-wop post-British Invasion, 60s psychedelic pop in the 70s, and early Eric Clapton in the disco era. Get the freaking DATES right.

Speaking of anachronisms, the film's jammed with them, and while it's superficially a glittering, gritty portrait of the wiseguy life and the wiseguy era, the goofs just overload. Cars too late for the year. Phones too late for the year. Livery too late for the year. Did Scorsese bother at all with accuracy and continuity, or did they just say "Eh, get an old looking car out there." It pains me to read about how exacting and painstaking DeNiro was to get every aspect of Jimmy's personality true to life, exactly how the real Jimmy Burke did, in the middle of a blizzard of anachronisms.

Most damning, there's just no dramatic tension. There's little by way of plot, little by way of suspense. The actors did good jobs with the material and direction they were given, but that's not remotely enough to sustain this seriously overrated flick.

Couldn't bring myself to watch it in one go
I am really sorry but this iconic movie is unbelievably flat. I know this movie means a lot to many people. I was pretty disappointed when I saw it. I forced myself to see this movie in 4 stages just because It had a rating of 8.7. I couldn't sit and see it all at once. I know it is based on a true story, but it would have been much more exciting if the narrator dies at the end to break the monotony of the story line. Everything about the script was predictable. I raise my hat to Joe Pesci's performance and the exceptional skills of Martin Scorsese ...Other than that, I can't find a reason to give a rating higher than 6. May be it is a just me seeing this movie in 2016 i.e. 16 years after its release...
I'm the first to admit that Gangster films are not really my favourite!
Scorcese's masterpiece, that's probably the best way to describe it; he takes us on a journey through Henry Hill's (Ray Liotta's) life, from boy to man, as he climbs through the ranks of the mobster scene, and Ray Liotta gives the performance of his life. Supported by great characters portrayed perfectly by Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and the star of the piece Joe Pesci; this movie simply overflows with style, talent and guts.

It's incredibly violent and it's brimming with vulgar language, but every bit of it is warranted as a piece of the picture. Now i am the first to admit that i am not a big fan of gangster movies, but i cannot fail to appreciate the magnificence of this excellent film.

It's better than Casino (7/10) and it makes the godfather (6/10) look tame by comparison.

Goodfellas (9/10) and its genuinely worth it
One of Scorcese's Masterpieces
'Goodfellas' is right up there with the best of Martin Scorcese. I recently hauled this out for a re-viewing and I was surprised at how totally up to date it felt. How relevant the plot was, how topical the story.

And for a mafia movie of that era, how the women were brought front and centre and given a narrative voice - Karen Hill (played by Lorraine Bracco), the wife of the protagonist, Henry Hill (played by a riveting Ray Liotta) both get to tell their stories.

The movie is based on a true story and the cast are awesome. At this later viewing I was particularly interested to see many of "The Sopranos" cast, here making their debuts in a similar crime-family drama.

The movie is astounding in that it brings complexity, a riveting script, brilliant relevant music (with actual stars performing their hits) and mind boggling tracking shots, the most difficult of all movie sequencing. Scorcese, or his ensemble, do not flinch from the complexity of this and afterwards, one wonders at how many takes were involved.

We are drawn into the intimate life of a crime family, the gradual desensitizing to the horror of the life, driven by material greed at any cost, including the callous snuffing of lives.

The large ensemble cast (both known and unknown and including both of Scorcese's parents in brilliant sidebits), the cinematography, editing and dialogue are all masterful.

De Niro is at his charming best,Joe Pesci captivates as a psychotic, insecure 'made' man Lorraine Bracco is masterful in a fully developed role, Ray Liotta is marvellous in the way he depicts the reality of the hoodlum life, the juxta-positioning of sauce making against the back drop of victim burials. Paul Sorvino, Michael Imperioli, Debi Mazar, Samuel L. Jackson, Illeana Douglas and Kevin Corrigan all add to the over all engrossing engagement of the film.

8 out of 10. Not to be missed.
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