The Irishman (also titled onscreen as I Heard You Paint Houses) is a 2019 American biographical epic crime drama film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, with Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jesse Plemons, and Harvey Keitel in supporting roles.
In the 1950s, truck driver Frank Sheeran gets involved with Russell Bufalino and his Pennsylvania crime family. As Sheeran climbs the ranks to become a top hit man, he also goes to work for Jimmy Hoffa -- a powerful Teamster tied to organized crime.
Why It Rocks
- It's very faithful to the source material by Charles Brandt.
- Martin Scorsese does once again an astonishingly great job directing this film, just like he did on his other films like Hugo, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino and Goodfellas.
- Incredibly amazing character and story development with a very touching and compelling plotline. Frank Sheeran, in particular, is a very interesting and complex protagonist, and his retelling of his time as a Mafia hitman is very gripping.
- Much like Goodfellas, the characters have good chemistry with each other.
- Magnificent screenplay by Steven Zaillan.
- Wonderful cinematography and great camera workings that make for one of the, if not the most visually stunning crime film ever made, next to Once Upon a Time in America.
- Masterful and phenomenally stellar acting, especially from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
- Groundbreaking and majestic visuals and special effects that can easily be compared to those of Avatar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner 2049 and Avengers: Endgame, with the de-aging CGI effects in particular being very effective, similar to those of Captain Marvel. Additionally, the visual effects complement to the film's cinematography and production values, making them even better than what they already are.
- Awesome casting choices.
- Near-accurate depiction of its setting.
- The music by Robbie Robertson is amazingly well-composed.
- Superb editing by Thelma Schoonmaker.
- Beautiful scenery.
- Really good pacing.
- It does a pretty good job in balancing black comedy, drama, tragedy, emotional depth, mystery and suspense. It also does a terrific job at handling mature messages about serious topics like war, assassination, organized crime, etc.
- Alongside the aforementioned Raging Bull and Goodfellas, this film is undeniably one of Scorsese's best works, as well as quite possibly his definitive magnum opus.
- The film can get boring at times, especially considering it's three and a half hours long, though the film puts that runtime into good use.
- The narrative of the storytelling can get a little bit confusing at times.
- Sometimes, the CGI can get a little distracting.
The Irishman received widespread critical acclaim, receiving particular praise for Scorsese's direction, Zaillan's screenplay, Schoonmaker's editing, Prieto's cinematography, and the performances of De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, with critics calling it one of Scorsese's best films. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 96% based on 338 reviews, with an average rating of 8.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "An epic gangster drama that earns its extended runtime, The Irishman finds Martin Scorsese revisiting familiar themes to poignant, funny, and profound effect." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 94 out of 100 based on 54 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". It also has an overall 7.9/10 rating on IMDb.
- This Scorsese's most expensive film, having a total budget of between $159 to $250 million.
- It also hold the current record for Scorsese's longest film, with a 209 minute runtime, beating previous record holder The Wolf of Wall Street with a 180 minute runtime.