There are two kinds of heavy violence that affects a film's level when contented: bloody and non-bloody. The bloody violence is only in the rings, while outside of the rings is the heaviness of the non-bloody violence (heavy enough to be too strong for the 4-star film to hold). The heaviness is one of two ways that stirred up the biopic's drama and become powerful, the power that's hard to fight like how La Motta fought his demons. Speaking of which, the story of La Motta fighting his demons that affected his fight to the top done most of the stirring of the drama while the characters around him were the other sources.
While the violent content and the too-much power may'd affected the film's level, the performances and the direction are generally praised. De Niro's performance is one of his best behind "The Godfather, Part II," and is almost like Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky." Pesci, who played La Motta's brother Joey, seemingly performed his best. Scorsese may'd felt this project ambitious, but it turns out to be sort-of one of his finest work, despite the film being powerful with heavy non-bloody violence. (B)
(Full review coming soon)