GoodFellas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

GoodFellas Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 12, 2009
Martin Scorsese's dazzling masterpiece is a tantalizing crime drama which is based on Nicholas Pieggi's best seller Wiseguy, a true-life account of the life of Henry Hill, impressively played by Ray Liotta in the finest performance of his career. Hill was a Brooklyn kid who grows up in an impoverished Irish-Italian American neighborhood who dreamed of becoming a part of the Mob, he started running errands for the local Mob boss Pauile Cicero, played superbly by Paul Sorvino; it is Cicero who will introduce Hill to his future mentor Jimmy Conway a master criminal and Paulie's lieutenant, played by Robert De Niro in a tour-de-force performance. Because of Hill's ethnicity being half-Irish, half-Sicilian he can never be a "made guy," but he does become part of Paulie's family along with his psychotic partner in crime Tommy De Vito, played by Joe Pesci in a fiery powerhouse Oscar winning performance that totally unforgettable. Hill soon becomes a threat to the Mob family because of his reckless cocaine dealings and his uncontrollable personal use of the drug, he becomes a target for both the feds and the mobsters, he is finally busted by the D.E.A which puts his life and that of his wife and kids on the line, Hill reluctantly makes a deal to turn FBI informant in order to save himself from the murderous wrath of the Mob. Phenomenal direction by Scorsese, with exceptional supporting performances by Lorraine Bracco, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Vincent, Mike Starr, Frank Sivero, Chuck Low, and in a small but wonderful scene-stealing performance the director's mother the late Catherine Scorsese brilliantly plays the mother of Joe Pesci's character. Stunning cinematography by Michael Ballhaus with astonishing editing by Thelma Schoonmaker & James Y. Kwei. A total triumphant and a must-see for any serious film lover. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture & Best Director: Martin Scorsese. Highly Recommended.
August 31, 2015
"The Godfather" is usually called the greatest gangster film ever made. Several films such as "Scarface", "The Godfather Part 2", "Bonnie and Clyde", and "Pulp Fiction" are rivals to that movie. To me, "Goodfellas" definitely ranks very high up there. I love both "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" and I think that both films are masterpieces.

This movie follows infamous gangster Henry Hill and his friends as they work their way up in the gangster world. It shows different people and different events he encounters in this film.

I just want to start off this review by saying that this movie is incredibly entertaining. It keeps the movie going at an enjoyable pace and it makes the movie very easy to follow. The movie even draws you in right at the beginning with its brilliant opening scene which is now iconic.

By far, Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) is my favorite character in this movie. He is threatening and he seems like the kind of guy that you don't want to mess with. He can lose his temper very easily and if someone annoys him even in the slightest way possible, they risk getting themselves shot and killed. The infamous "Funny How?" scene near the beginning is definitely one of the most tense scenes in all of cinema history. The audience is left wondering if he'll pop and the silence of the scene makes it more tense. In other words, he basically steals the show.

Ray Liotta also gave a fantastic role as Henry Hill. I can't think of a better actor to play him. He captures a feeling of innocence all while having a feeling of violence to him. He also loses his temper easily and when he does, those scenes stick with you very long after viewing it.

Also, Robert De Niro gave a great performance. Robert De Niro has always been one of if not my favorite actor of all time. I like him for his tough guy roles. In my opinion, his performances in "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" are some of the best performances ever in cinema. He gave another phenomenal performance in this movie as well even though he's not in the movie as much as you'd expect him to be based on the DVD cover.

This movie is based on the true story of Henry Hill and it is adapted from the best-selling book "Wiseguy". The book is great but the movie blows it out of the water in every way imaginable. Also, Henry Hill himself actually stated that this movie is about 95% accurate.

Also, the movie is very stylish with its dazzling cinematography. The cinematography looks so good mainly because of the lighting and realistic set design in it. On top of that, Scorsese's Copa Cabana shot is a fabulous shot and it has a lot going for it in terms of the long take.

In conclusion, this movie hits all the right notes and it is contains everything which I think is mandatory in gangster films. It is easy to follow, it has enjoyable pacing, great acting, and memorable characters. This film is definitely a masterpiece and it definitely ranks up there with some of the best movies ever made.
April 1, 2014
A masterpiece by Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas is simply one of the best mob movies ever.
½ November 2, 2015
Scorsese loves and is excellent at directing biopics, Scorsese loves and is excellent at directing them gangster films - so, easily, we have this as one of the most enjoyable gangster biopics in cinematic history to grace our screens. Bless Martin Scorsese.
October 29, 2015
Nothing like a classic mob drama. Martin Scorsese brings on one of the best mob stories brought to the screen. Great performances from the 3 leads and a wonderful direction makes this an instant classic. Anyone who loves realistic mob biopics and casual viewers alike with have a good time with this one. Shoutout to Pesci for the "you think I'm funny?" scene. It's gonna go down in history.
½ October 26, 2015
I wished black mass would have been done the same way not saying black mass is bad movie but when you see goodfellas you will know why

first this movie is energetic and funny at sometimes because of how the characters act. the music gives soul to this movie which i liked the performances were great but no one really popped out to me and stole the movie the usage of the one shot style scenes are absolutely amazing one of the scenes lasted for 3 minutes that shows how brilliant martin scorsese with his directory style and guess what this movie also based on true events and for a 2 hours and half movie keeping you engaged every moment and never lose focus that is pretty great if i have to say something bad about it, it would be that it's too crowded for its own good.
October 24, 2015
Probably one of Martin Scorsese's finest film. Fantastic acting orgy.
July 4, 2012
The ultimate gangster film, Martin Scorsese is stylish and effective behind the camera but after a entertaining 45 mins the film becomes a long drawn out epic that either your in after that or not. Very good but not the classic that it's made out to be
October 8, 2015
Martin Scorsese's greatest achievement, Goodfellas is one of the greatest films ever. Another Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro collaboration that resulted in brilliance, Goodfellas is a great crime film full of brilliant performances in this perfectly cast movie. A very gritty and realistic film that takes us deep into the life of Henry Hill, it shows the rise and eventual fall of his life in the mob. One of the greatest of all time and one of Scorsese's best, I strongly recommend seeing Goodfellas.
July 24, 2013
A well made stylish gangster movie that gives the audience a look into gangster life..but with a twist. It puts shows the glamour of mob life just as much as it shows the dark and dirty soul destroying part. Like a social commentary of the lifestyle. Quite long but never boring.
October 4, 2015
Goodfellas is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Ray Liotta (Henry Hill), Robert DeNiro (James Conway), Joe Pesci (Tommy DeVito) and Paul Sorvino (Paul Cicero). It is based on a true story about organized crime. It spans from a time period of 30 years and shows most of the life of Henry Hill. The performances from everyone are fantastic, the script is great and the soundtrack fits so perfectly to the time period and whats happening on screen. Obviously there are incredibly iconic moments, like the scene where Joe Pesci says "Funny how?" The movie is dark, funny and incredibly violent. But overall an great movie. 4/4
September 13, 2015
What can you say still one of the top gangster movies with sizzling performances all round.
September 24, 2015
Excellent movie! Well directed and the cast is brilliant, Robert De Niro never fails.
September 19, 2015
An amazing movie with outstanding writing and acting.
½ September 19, 2015
The movie that made the Godfather seem passť...I can't wait to watch this with my boys when they can handle it - somehow makes Joe Pesci, a Lilliputian, the scariest man alive. Might be a good one to avoid if you're trying to quit smoking.
September 19, 2015
½ June 23, 2012
Incredibly well directed by Martin Scorsese and superbly acted by Ray Liotta, Robert Deniro, Joe Pesci, Goodfellas is one of the best gangster films of all time, even if it resembles and carries some of the same tropes from Martin Scorsese's other movies.
September 15, 2015
Its not the most intellectual movie. With hundreds of hidden meanings and themes you need to decipher. Nor is every actor out of this world and eery camera shot isn't a masterpiece. But it's the movie that just that enjoyable you will want to watch it until old age.

Basically, if Carlsberg did movies, this would most definitely be it.
August 31, 2014
Story wise and picture wise it is mediocre at best. The dialogue are plain with no real character to root for. Personally I just can't understand the hype of Goodfellas as a classic. In terms of genre Godfather definitely did it better. In the end of the day, it is just an inferior predecessor of Wolf of Wallstreet.
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2015
A horrific and humorous hunk in a designer suit, Martin Scorsese's mafia masterstroke channels a lifestyle that many Americans long thought to be bunko and makes it tangibly sexy and scary at the same time. It's hard to imagine a world without Goodfellas - its savvy and stylish mob strands running deep through everything from The Sopranos (which winningly hijacked a number of Scorsese's actors) to The Simpsons (a gangster character named Louie bears such a striking resemblance to Frankie Carbone that actor Frank Silvero sued). As far back as you can remember, this is what mob films looked like - brutish, bold and somehow funny to boot. Spanning 30 years in its 2 plus hours, the film is based on a real memoir (Nicholas Pileggi's Wise Guys, which tells the story of Henry Hill) and details a very real crime (the 1978 Lufthansa Heist) but it purposely glamorizes a villainous way of life only to beat it against the rocks with the cold hard truth ... though you'd probably still take that risk if it got backed with such a rocking doo-wopped soundtrack.

In this R-rated crime saga now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Henry Hill (Liotta) and his associates (De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino) work their way up through the mafia hierarchy to pull off one of the biggest cash heists in U.S. history.

The performances ground audiences, however, establishing real persons that never feel like characters. Joe Pesci rightly won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but there's not a bad turn in the bunch. Less showy, Paul Sorvino's sedate steeliness as a mafia chieftain proves every bit as Oscar worthy. Sitting atop Scorsese's ridiculously accomplished CV, Goodfellas rivals Taxi Driver and Raging Bull as the legendary director's most stylish and standout work to date.

Bottom line: Mobbed Up
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