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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 26, 2007
This is simply a great mob movie. Based upon the best selling book, "Wiseguy", by Nicholas Pileggi, it traces the rise and fall of "gansta" wannabe turned government informant, Henry Hill. Skillfully directed by Martin Scorsese, this film with its all star cast, megawatt performances, and period music soundtrack packs quite a wallop to the senses. Named 1990's best film by the Los Angeles, New York, and National Society of Film Critics, it garnered six Academy Award nominations and earned Joe Pesci an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In the 1950s, a preteen Henry Hill (Christopher Serrone) began his career as a "gansta" wannabe on the mean streets of East New York, where a small Italian American community thrived. Working with Paul Cicero's (Paul Sorvino's) crew, he worked his way up, doing the penny ante, gofer stuff, until he began more heavy duty involvement. As a young man, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) took to his life in the underworld like a fish takes to water. He married a nice, jewish girl whom he turned into a shrewish girl, as he lived the life he wanted. His wife, Karen (Lorraine Bracco), also became entranced by the perks available to a mobster

Henry teamed up with Jimmy "The Gent" Conway (Robert DeNiro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). Together they stole, lied, cheated, and killed their way through life, until they got wacked or got caught. When Henry, against the express advice of Paul Cicero, got involved with Jimmy in the 1970s cocaine drug trade, it was the beginning of the end for him and Jimmy. The film skillfully chronicles the rise and fall of Henry Hill from wiseguy to goverment informant in the witness protection program..

It is amazing that the actor playing young Henry Hill, Christopher Serrone, resembles Ray Liotta so much, right down to the piercing hazel eyes. He gives a terrific performance as young Henry, expressing all the joie de vivre that young Henry had over being associated with mobsters. Ray Liotta, as the adult Henry Hill, gives an outstanding performance. The viewer senses his absolute love for the life that he lives. He clearly enjoys all the perks of a mobster, his only regret being that he could never be a "made" guy, because he was not fully Italian, as his mother was Sicilian but his father was Irish.

Robert DeNiro is wonderful as Jimmy Conway, low key yet powerful. Joe Pesci gives an over the top performance as the wild, volatile, and totally crazy Tommy DeVito, an out of control wiseguy who has no redeeming value as a human being. He is a guy who does not think twice about killing someone over something trivial. Paul Sorvino is excellent as the mob boss who is all about the family and plays it the old fashioned way. Lorraine Bracco gives the performance of her life as Karen Hill, a woman besotted by the life of a mobster's wife, until she realizes that girlfriends are an expected part of that life. She is sensational.

This is simply a great mob movie. It is a film that the viewer will watch again and again. I, myself , have seen it at least three or four times, and each time is as if it were the first. Vastly entertaining, this film is a worthy addition to one's collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Scorcese & Pileggi's masterpiece on the life of Henry Hill as a Brooklyn NY mob wise-guy is great film. While not my favorite Martin Scorsese movie it is a stunning achievement, and one of his very best movies.

As much as the true events of Henry's life have more than likely been dramatized and glamorized to a certain extent, the essence of this film in my observation is that it is still a brilliantly damning portrayal of the characters and lifestyle of mobsters.

The sham of the Mafiosi is exposed - preaching loyalty, respect & principles - but when it comes down to it they are just two-bit criminals that'll stab each other in the back for money or power over others. Each of them has an inflated sense of self-worth and stature that comes with being a "wise guy", breeding with it paranoia that others are not giving them the respect they deserve. The story follows Liotta's character from boy to man as he climbs his way up through the ranks of organized crime. We see all the highs and lows of his life and meet a host of very believable and very undesirable characters along the way. It's a film full of memorable scenes whilst remaining much more than the sum of its individual parts at the same time. The film starts as it means to go on - violent, full of profanity, fast paced and very stylish.

The consistently fine acting by the large ensemble cast (both known and unknown), the cinematography, editing, dialogue, is fantastic. Scorsese and co-writer Mitch Pileggi never loses sight of their main goal - to tell a story. And in that it's really hard to beat this movie. As to the actors De Niro is on his usual top form, Ray Liotta is the best he's ever been, and this is Joe Pesci's definitive performance. Plus you have Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Michael Imperioli, and lots of well known faces in small but important roles (Debi Mazar, Samuel L. Jackson, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Corrigan), plus dozens of unfamiliar actors (and non-actors) who are all so good it seems unfair just to single out the "stars". Also keep an eye out for Vincent Gallo in a few scenes. He has no lines, but says a lot through his expressions.

This film draws you in and won't let you out of its grasp at any point. When it finishes you feel exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. If ever the word 'masterpiece' was meant to be used, it was for this film. 'Goodfellas' is (to date) Scorsese's last Great Movie, and one of the very best films of the 1990s. Absolutely essential viewing for any movie fan, this tremendous film is not to be missed! Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2004
John Wayne and John Ford had the great calvary trilogy in the 1940's. Ford knew the American West like no other, so it was only natural that he immortalize it on film. Ford was idolized by Scorsese (THE SEARCHERS are featured in the movie theatre sequence in MEAN STREETS), and Marty is the undisputed champion of mob movies. Let him emulate the master with his mob trilogy. With 1995's CASINO, now 2/3rds complete. GOODFELLAS is a masterwork that yet again redefined American gangster films (holding the crown until DONNIE BRASCO set its own mark in 1997). The superstar set, both in front and behind the camera are present. There are few aside from Nicholas Pileggi can ink underworld tales and only players like DeNiro, Pesci (brutally horrific as Tommy) and now Ray Liotta (this role made him a star) can bring them to life in all their vileness. Marty's telling of John Gotti would be the appropriate point on the triangle. Just as they did with TAXI DRIVER in 1976, and RAGING BULL in 1980, the Academy again played it safe and denied this Scorsese classic the best picture Oscar for 1990. That's a trilogy Hollywood should regret.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2006
This is one of my most favorite Scorsese films. His camera work is magnificent and so is the soundtrack. The actors are briliant. What I loved most about this film was that you learn more about mafia life than you do in anyother mob film. Even "The Godfather" Many great modern directors have used this film as a guide line because of how perfect it is. I highly recomend this movie to anyone.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2004
I feel that Martin Scorsese's GOODFELLAS is problably one of the best Italian mob movie ever.
Maybe I am biased, b/c I like the main characters (Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci)
Also, the fact that the movie is based on the real life of mobster Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) makes the movie much more appealing.
The movie shows Henry's life as young boy and shows his life from a mob errand boy to his life and downfall as drug-dealing member of the mob.
This is great...enough said. It should be made required viewing.
The film also has:
Lorraine Bracco (Tony's psychiatrist on the Sopranos) as Henry Hill's wife; Paul Sorvino as Paulie (a mob boss); Michael Imperioli (Tony's nephew on the Sopranos) as Spider; and Frank Sivero as Frankie Carbone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2004
Tommy was the brutal killer
Henry was the person who would plan/straighten out everything
Jimmy was the one who "Rooted for the bad-guys in the movie" and had lots of money. Tommy, after stabbing a part of the Gambino family in the back of an old Cadillac pays the price of a bullet in the head! Jimmy wants payback getting guns and silencers, and Henry goes to Jail and flushes his lifetime down the toilet boal...
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on July 10, 2004
GOODFELLAS is one of the greatest mob movies ever, perhaps the greatest movie. Everybody has to check this out. It is well-structured and includes some of the most solid performances from some of the greatest actors, like Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco, and others. It is one of the many classics that director Martin Scorsece has to claim, but I think this tops them all. It follows Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) from his childhood days ditching school to work at Pauly Cicero's cabstand, to his rise and fall as a gangster. During which time, it follows the beginning of his loving relationship with his wife, and the trouble that followed after he being drawn deeper into the life of a gangster. You are able to see how much he loves his wife and his children. Hill is the perfect person to follow, because despite the brutal mafia life he has been drawn into, he remains to show signs of compassion, separating him from his colleagues. This film is based on a true story, and is adapted from the novel "WISEGUY" written by Nicolas Pileggi, who also wrote CASINO (another Scorsece film that would follow this, another good movie, but doesn't top GOODFELLAS.) You stay deep in tune with Hill's perspective on everything, because Liotta (as Hill) narrates along with Bracco (as Karen Hill) who describes her thoughts on what she went through. This film was nominated for many awards and earned Joe Pesci an oscar. Finally, a 2-disc special edition that includes more special features like documentaries and commentaries from Scorsece and even from Henry Hill himself, along with ex-FBI agent Edward McDonald. I have yet to see MEAN STREETS (an earlier Scorsece film, which also comes out with a special edition on the same day that this 2-disc edition is released. I have no complaints about buying GOODFELLAS over again, and I wouldn't have a problem buying CASINO over again, should they release a special edition. Anyway, if you like mob movies, even if you aren't keen on them, you will probably still enjoy GOODFELLAS. It has comedy, drama, violence, suspense, and even some romance. Go check out
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on July 2, 2004
This just happens to be my favorite movie of all time. And I'm so excited about having a 2-disc SE. Finally!!
Before I saw this movie, I had already loved Robert DeNiro's acting, and Martin Scorsese's directing. Where DeNiro is always flawless (as he is here), Scorsese really took it to the next level.
The actors perform brilliantly, the writing is top-notch, the narration by Ray Liotta is perfect, the violence is shocking and not over-done. And the music is unbelievable. I wish the soundtrack was also getting the 2-disc treatment.
This is one film that desperately needed a Special Edition, not only to satisfy is large fan-base, but to improve on the two-sided DVD that is out there now. One should never have to flip a DVD over half-way through the movie.
If you like "The Sopranos," you're gonna absolutely love this. Then again, if you like "The Sopranos," you've certainly already seen "Goodfellas."
But, "The Sopranos" ain't got nothin' on "Goodfellas."
I strongly recommend this movie!!!
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on June 29, 2004
Scorsese delivers a realistic portrayal of life as a gangster in the tough city of New York, spanning three decades, mixing the glamour and violence to create a world that both gratifies and disgusts the viewer. As you learn that violence and murder was no big deal to these people, it was the only way people stayed in line.
Robert De Niro, plays Jimmy 'The Gent' Conway. who acts as mentor to Ray Liotta's, Henry Hill, guiding him through the cheap steals and hijacks that fund their way of life. Along with Joe Pesci's psychotic portrayal of Tommy and the ever-looming, Paulie, as the boss; you cannot help but like them.
There is no real honour in family of gangsters, it is all about money and once Henry goes behind his boss' back to partake in cocaine dealing with his Pittsburgh connections, it sets off a chain of events that coincide with the end of the gangster era.
Joe Pesci delivers a superb performance, which he deservedly won an Oscar for. His temper and natural violence detracts attention from his diminutive size, who can only be controlled by De Niro, in a quiet but effective character role. I believe that Liotta does a good job as the lead character, his voice-over helping define scenes and situations.
Scorsese is the real master behind the film, through his camera work and plotting to tell a story about a group of people he both detests and admires.
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on May 14, 2004
FINALLY! It's about time Warner releases this baby the way it was meant to be: in a glorious two-disc special edition. And if the picture above is any indication, it looks like it'll be released in a keep case instead of some flimsy, cardboard set (i.e. Once Upon A Time In America SE, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest SE, etc.). Best of all: no more having to flip the DVD over after Tommy wants to know where the shovels are! As of this date, Amazon hasn't posted the features of the DVD yet, but here they are:
Cast and Crew Commentary
Cop and Crook Commentary
Documentaries: "Getting Made," "The Workaday Gangster," "The GoodFellas Legacy," "Paper Is Cheaper Than Film."
Theatrical Trailer
Sounds good to me. "GoodFellas" is a movie everyone likes, so it's a bit bewildering that it took this long to be released properly. Ah, well. Better late than never, I suppose. I wonder if Warner will simultaneously release some sort of Ultimate edition in which the packaging that houses the DVD is a shinebox that has the name "Tommy" on it. *smirk*
P.S. - Alright, Warner. Now how about that Batman special edition?
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