Mean Streets - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mean Streets Reviews

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March 15, 2017
Certainly exhibits Scorcese flair, predominantly the eccentric Italian-American dialogue. Unfortunately 'Mean Streets' only treads on the line of 'gangster' since it misses that gritty edge and narrative depth of his later productions. Lead performances have enough energy and charisma to maintain interest but Robert De Niro, playing the eccentric friend, is merely a naughty schoolboy in comparison to 'Goodfella's Joe Pesci.
½ March 13, 2017
Hell on Earth 1970's
March 5, 2017
Mean Streets remains one of the most important films of the 1970s. It made Hollywood take notice of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, it laid the groundwork for the direction both their careers would take, and has a sense of realism that perfectly captures the decade. Both had made films prior to this, but none were able to show off their talents like Mean Streets did. For me, it falls slightly short of being one of Scorsese's masterpieces due to script and pacing issues. Harvey Keitel is a small time gangster trying to make a name for himself, and De Niro is his lose cannon buddy who screws up just about everything in his life. De Niro keeps screwing up, Keitel keeps trying to bail him out. That's about it. But, like I said, what the film lacks in story it more than makes up for with terrific performances, plenty of suspense and the fact it perfectly captures 1970's New York. Mean Streets may not be nearly as good as the collaborations that followed, but it's still a highly entertaining and important piece of filmmaking.
½ March 3, 2017
Mean Streets contains all the early elements - such as the depiction of the Italian mob and violence -that marked Martin Scorsese's career, also serving as a powerful vehicle for star Robert De Niro.
March 1, 2017
The beginning of the great Martin Scorsese. An incredible film that helped start the great gangster film genre. Tg3 camerawork by Marty is just some of the best you will ever see. A great soundrrack as well. The incredible script and acting (epically from Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro) keeps this film going. The only real problem is their isn't much of a story. But all the other attributes of the film make this one a true gem. This film is one of the most influential films over the last 50 years. This films dialogue inspired the incredible dialogue you see in other Scorsese and Tarantino films.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2017
Doesn't reveal its quality until the very end, when all that's on the table so far--friendships and family relationships, debts owed, "business" ambitions, a love affair and more--can't help but be cashed out. And what an ending. Unfortunately, though, after this many years, it kind of feels like an underfunded, underachieved Goodfellas. And if you're a De Niro fan, don't go into this thinking he's the star! I only knew a little about the movie before watching, and it took a while (maybe too long) for me to really invest in Harvey Keitel's character, Charlie, whose movie it actually is--I don't blame the filmmaker or Keitel for that though, that's my fault.
February 19, 2017
A slow build up with the climax right at the end, don't expect your usual Italian gangster film. This one is more of a low key movie, keeping it to what it might have been like in those days. You see everyday life which is mundane and interesting at the same time.
½ February 12, 2017
We watched this film as it made the Netflix top 50? One of the worst films I've ever seen ...
½ January 18, 2017
While Mean Streets isn't Scorsese's best, it's still an amazing film.
January 16, 2017
Where Scorsese found his voice
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2017
A groundbreaking movie that already showcased Scorsese's deep understanding of film language with a unique voice that would inspire other directors like Quentin Tarantino, and it boasts a killer soundtrack and two amazing performances by Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro.
January 1, 2017
Klassiker som jag inte sett tidigare. Här ser man Scorsese blick redan från start.
December 31, 2016
I waited for years to watch this. I always put it off as I just thought I wasnt gonna like it for some reason. Anyway I watched it tonight and I was right. It was shit. Its like a long music video. Song after song. Theres not real plot. It just fucking meanders along to a pointless ending. Fucking drama. Nothing mean about it. I dont know how this gets such high marks off people. Yeah it looks good etc but doesnt a lack of a storyline matter? or a weak storyline?
½ December 27, 2016
Scorsese's first gangster-flick is filled with great environments and interesting characters, specially Keitel's and DeNiro's, but the lack of solid story and a slow pace script keeps the film from going further, something that the groundbreaking director clearly learned to perfect in future instalements.
½ November 14, 2016
Both Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro playing setting real momentum behind their career as actors. Enbarking into the Italian small-time mafia, Scorsese manages to captures us into their lives of problems and culture. Robert De Niro really loses it and practically giving a fuck, causing a life of hell for everyone around him.
½ November 3, 2016
Mean Streets has annoying characters as well as a boring second act, but as crime films go, it is as good as it can get with some pretty dramatic scenes with even some tender moments in them, excellent performances from Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro and a great ambiguous ending.
October 27, 2016
Favorite director, no plot
September 21, 2016
The beginning of an amazing collaboration between DeNiro and Scorsese.
September 12, 2016
Martin Scorsese's crimson-lit tale of penance and petulance is a stylistic triumph characterised by unforgettable collisions.
Mean Streets is a study of ambition versus tradition, which is echoed no-end through its themes, characters and endless visual experimentation, all of which clash with the film's roots as an old-school mob flick.
The film grabs us by the balls and doesn't let go. It drags us through barroom brawls and dingy backstreets with a forward-thinking fervour that still rings fresh today; the old and the new locking horns in every frame.
Then there's Robert De Niro's turn as loathsome lowlife Johnny Boy - one of very few all-time great character performances that can be described as so good, you want to punch it in the face yourself.
Over time, Martin Scorsese has reinvented the gangster movie. The seeds of an entire genre overhaul are all planted firmly in Mean Streets.
July 9, 2016
Martin Scorsese's first masterpiece, and one of the most influential crime films ever made. Mean Streets added a sense of grit and realism to the genre, but watching Mean Streets now it's even a bit surprising to find that it's probably the director's most surreal work. Tricky camera work, unpredictable cuts, and eerie use of voice-overs give the film a dreamy quality, that subtlety transgress any of the gangster tropes that audience members might otherwise find pedestrian. Hell, the film might even feature the best dynamics for pop-songs in any Scorsese movie, as here they feel more organic rather than a John Hancock of the director's. Gangster cinema was never quite the same after Mean Streets, and rarely would it be anywhere near as powerful.
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