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Kill the Irishman may not add much in the way of new ingredients to its crowded genre, but the admirable efforts of a solidly assembled cast add extra depth to a familiar story.
All Critics (49)
| Top Critics (18)
| Fresh (30)
| Rotten (19)
| DVD (2)
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.
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.
Stevenson is big and swarthy and not altogether without credibility, but he's got as much charisma as a potato.
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.
There's an irresistible, Cleveland-esque, underdog quality about this whole production.
Stevenson is a good actor, but Kill the Irishman is standard mob fare, neither exciting enough nor interesting enough to matter.
Kill the Irishman tries a little too hard for an emotional impact it can't achieve, but it still tells an engrossing story about an interesting man living in interesting times.
KILL THE IRISHMAN should be appreciated as an important look at the way Greene affected the mob and crimes back in the late 70s.
A synthesis of stuff we've seen in every gangster movie since the '70s
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.
It's a small-scale film, but it packs a solid punch.
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.
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.
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!
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
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".
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