This is Martin Scorsese at the peak of his career. He utilizes many techniques that have become his signature like freeze frames, fast cutting, and long tracking shots. That being said, Scorsese's best move was with the all-star casting; including incredible performances by Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro. It is the extremely over-the-top performance by Joe Pesci that really makes "GoodFellas" thrilling and unpredictable.
"GoodFellas" became an instant classic because of its ruthlessness, violence, and intriguing exploration into the crime-filled adventures of a popular American mob family. "GoodFellas" is so great, it won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and it won Pesci the Best Actor in a Supporting Role. It also consistently ranks extremely high on lists like "Greatest Films of All Time."
As one would expect, the film is well-directed, with the freeze frames, fast editing and narration working very well together. Some very inventive camera tricks also make the film very visually appealing.
Overall, I feel this may have been one of the biggest mistakes in Oscar history, and quite possibly Scorsese's best film.