Grackles review The Irishman

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Reviewed by Scott Ray and Charlie Riccardelli 

In The Irishman, legendary director Martin Scorsese returns to the world of gangsterism that he’s explored in several of his most iconic films, but don’t mistake his latest with the kinetic, bloody opuses like Goodfellas or Casino. No, The Irishman is more restrained, a 3.5-hour meditation on death and the haunting realization of what we leave behind when we’ve failed to live a righteous existence. For a director who has made movies about Jesus and The Dalai Lama, this might be his most religious examination yet—a funeral mass for someone who is in no rush to face St. Peter.

Based on a true story, the film follows Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a WWII vet and truck driver whose willingness to follow orders, work hard, and keep his mouth shut help him get recruited and rise through the ranks as a soldier for Pennsylvania mobsters. Soon, Frank finds himself working as a right-hand man to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the legendary twentieth-century Teamster president who famously went missing in the 1970s. It’s safe to say that Frank will have more than a small part in the mysterious fate of Hoffa, a part that will weigh on his soul for the rest of his life. Because of his association with crime boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), Frank crosses paths with some of America’s worst criminals and most tragic figures. Like an angel of death, nothing good comes from the places he’s been.

Charlie Riccardelli: The Irishman is based on the nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, a title taken from the first thing Jimmy Hoffa ever said to Frank Sheeran. To paint houses means you kill people for a living