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Kill the Irishman (2011)

tomatometer

50

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 8,976

My Rating

Movie Info

Over the summer of 1976, thirty-six bombs detonate in the heart of Cleveland while a turf war raged between Irish mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) and the Italian mafia. Based on a true story, KILL THE IRISHMAN chronicles Greene's heroic rise from a tough Cleveland neighborhood to become an enforcer in the local mob. Turning the tables on loan shark Shondor Birns (Christopher Walken) and allying himself with gangster John Nardi (Vincent D'Onofrio), Greene stops taking orders from the mafia

Jun 14, 2011

$1.2M

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (18) | DVD (6)

Hensleigh romanticizes Greene and doesn't have a very nuanced understanding of labor racketeering. That said, he does possess a fine eye for shabby urban landscapes and a nice way with explosions.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The cast makes up for some occasionally spotty storytelling and telegraphing of events that keep "Irishman" from being as good as it could have been.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes this film special and memorable is the character of Danny Green, who is not the usual neighborhood hoodlum you see in movies, the kind who gets in deep and gradually loses his soul.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stevenson is big and swarthy and not altogether without credibility, but he's got as much charisma as a potato.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Comments (3)
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's an irresistible, Cleveland-esque, underdog quality about this whole production.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stevenson is a good actor, but Kill the Irishman is standard mob fare, neither exciting enough nor interesting enough to matter.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

KILL THE IRISHMAN should be appreciated as an important look at the way Greene affected the mob and crimes back in the late 70s.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Gordon and the Whale
Gordon and the Whale

A synthesis of stuff we've seen in every gangster movie since the '70s

January 12, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Hensleigh wields the techniques with a sure hand and uses them to construct a compelling, engaging narrative, but at the same time seasoned viewers will constantly feel a nagging sense of familiarity.

July 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

It's a small-scale film, but it packs a solid punch.

June 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

A certain clenched-fist tonality to the picture that helps it wade through routine, and it's nice to see the city of Cleveland used for change when detailing the horrors and intimidation of mob rule, giving NYC the day off.

June 12, 2011 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

It's not just that the movie appears to find Greene far more charming than he was in Porrello's book. It's that Kill the Irishman never brings either freshness or energy to its tale. In the end, even the many explosions seem tired.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Akron Beacon Journal

It's great summer night slumming cinema, with an integral moral complexity that doesn't intrude but guides the action.

April 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Vancouver Voice
Vancouver Voice

Certainly the filmmakers rounded up the right cast of tough-guy actors for this story of mob activity, but their presence doesn't lend much vigor to this unfocused and sentimental tale.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A minor mob-cinema classic.

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

...suffers from the twin deficits of a charm-free leading man and a screenplay that seems composed of dialogue and scenes written and then discarded by writers working on better films.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

Hey, "Kill the Irishman." "The Sopranos" called. It wants its actors back. Along with everything else you borrowed.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Comments (2)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Rushed and simplistic, with little sense of its characters as people or the flavor of their time and place.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

[Stevenson is] crazily charismatic here, a blend of brash cockiness and sensitivity, and he makes a satisfying film even better.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Will hardly replace the classic gangster flicks, but it's a pretty good little account of an episode in American mob history that had surprisingly wide-ranging ramifications.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

In an era when even low-budget movies have slick digital presentation, the infectiously crude "Kill the Irishman" is a tonic of knocked-out teeth.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The problem is that writer-director Jonathan Hensleigh doesn't do much beyond filling in the template; he's telling the specific, true-life tale of mob decline in 1970s Cleveland, but every character and setpiece feels like it fell off a truck.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Audience Reviews for Kill the Irishman

There isn't a single frame in "Kill the Irishman" that is of any originality, and I truly mean that. The dialogue is flat, the direction and cinematography are uninspired, and almost every character is some sort of mob-movie stereotype. The structure and narration (from Val Kilmer; who's character has little reason to exist) have been employed for the soul purpose of drawing comparisons to other, mostly superior movies. Even the score plays as self parody, inducing unintentional chuckles during what are supposed to be dramatic scenes. But even with all that is mind, "Kill the Irishman" is still a highly entertaining gangster story that benefits from it's fact-based narrative and the highly underrated charisma of Ray Stevenson in the lead. This is all really derivative, but nevertheless well staged, well performed and it gets better as it moves along. Enjoyable fluff for a rainy day.
November 10, 2013
YLOWBSTARDreturns

Super Reviewer

Really good drama that brought twists, turns and suspense to a real life gangster story. The suspense of the story line is taunt with superb acting, and a tight script. Ray Stevenson was wonderful in this, and was well supported by a host of very familiar faces...even Christopher Walken. Good job!
October 13, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Excellent movie about Danny Green and the Cleveland Mafia during the seventies. Lots of action will keep you interested all 1hr and 46 minutes. 4 1/2 Stars 3-1-13
March 1, 2013
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

This is a fun little romp based on the rousing true story of Danny Greene- an Irish hood who waged a turf war with the Mafia all throughout the 1970s in Cleveland, and basically caused the downfall of the mob's activities in that region.

Now, Greene was no saint, but he was a noble guy who had a great sense of personal pride and ethics. He went from low level trouble maker to union boss, to hood, to Mafia enemy #1 in just a few short years. And his story is both really fascinating, and a lot of fun. Heck, he survived so many assassination attempts that part of the movie actually becomes rather comical.

To bring this story to life, writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher (2004 version)) assembled one heck of a lineup including another person involved with the Punisher (Punisher War Zone), Ray Stevenson in the lead as Greene. Filling out the roles as various mob figures, union guys, and cops are Vincent D'onofrio, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Bob Gunton, and tons of THAT GUYS! like Robert Davi and a bunch of others. Oh yeah, and Linda Cardellini as Greene's wife.

This is quite a set up and notabel cast, and, thankfully their efforts don't go to waste. The period details are great, the story is really interesting and enjoyable, and the performances are all pretty solid for the most part. Yes, the movie does somewhat come off as a Scorsese rehash, but I never felt like the film was a total ripoff, but rather just an homage. Of course, given the impact of MS, it's really pretty hard to not make a film like this without garnering such accusations.

All in all, this is a worthwhile film that fans of the cast or the subject matter should definitely check out. I had no idea that the events in the movie actually did happen, but man, it's some wild stuff that definitely has me wanting to learn more about the actual exploits of the so-called "Man the Mafia couldn't kill".
June 24, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Danny Greene: Is that all you got? Gonna take more than a few firecrackers, to kill DANNY GREENE!
    – Submitted by David S (23 months ago)
    1. Joe Manditski: You really think the luck of the Irish is going to save you?
    – Submitted by Aaron K (2 years ago)
    1. Joe Manditski: I will cut your fucking heart out with a rusty butter knife and eat it while it's still beating.
    – Submitted by James I (2 years ago)
    1. Danny Greene: How did the entire Polish firing squad die? They stood in a circle.
    – Submitted by Thomas H (2 years ago)
    1. Danny Greene: What do you do if a Polack throws a grenade at you? You pull the pin out and throw it back.
    – Submitted by Thomas H (2 years ago)
    1. Danny Greene: That all you got? It's gonna take more than a few firecrackers to kill Danny Green.
    – Submitted by Aleksandar & (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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