Goodfellas (5/16/12 and 7/15/12)

GoodfellasMovie One Hundred Twenty One and One Hundred Sixty Seven

Goodfellas is based on the true life story of Henry Hill, a former member of the New York mob.

Goodfellas starts with a young Henry (Ray Liotta) growing up working for mob boss Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino), first as a porter and errand boy and eventually one of the leading members. We meet other mob members Tommy and Jimmy (Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, respectively) and the three have differing experiences with the mafia lifestyle. Life changes for all of them after a particularly large heist.

Some of the most dedicated followers may know that I consider Goodfellas my favorite movie of all time. My above plot synopsis doesn’t do the film much justice, it doesn’t touch on any of the characters, the humor, the dialogue, the violence, the allure of the mafia, the directing, the soundtrack, the acting…I could go on. Goodfellas is one of those films where everything just works and it is essential viewing for anyone that has heard the name, Martin Scorsese.

The legacy of Goodfellas has carried on through popular culture since it’s release in 1990. While some may argue The Godfather made mafia films “mainstream” but I would contend that Goodfellas played a bigger hand in our perception of the modern mob. It was even parodied on the children’s cartoon, Animaniacs and anyone that watched the HBO show Sopranos should recognize most of the cast from Goodfellas.

If I had my way, I could watch Goodfellas every week for the rest of my life. It’s one of those films that is just an absolute joy to watch and even though I’m trying to expand my viewing horizon this year, it has been a struggle to go five months without watching it.

I give it 5 Copacabana scenes out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


32 responses to “Goodfellas (5/16/12 and 7/15/12)

  1. Undoubtedly one of the finest films of all time, and my favorite Scorsese film after Raging Bull. I’d say The Godfather is better, but Goodfellas is still one of the best movies ever made. Great review.

  2. Great review. I’d love to watch this, but it’s far too violent for a 14 year old like me, isn’t it? Sometimes I hate being so young. 🙂 About to watch the Godfather, which seems along the same lines as this.

    • I keep forgetting you’re only 14…
      There are certainly worse movies out there. You saw Departed right? I think that’s on par, violence-wise. Godfather is also fairly violent.

      • The Godfather was violent, yes, but not quite as violent as the Departed. Keep in mind that it wasn’t just the violence. There was a good amount of language (230+ F-bombs reported), sex (one sex scene and a man in a pornographic theater), and drug use (medication misused). I’m still shocked my parents even let me watch a TV edit (they usually don’t take very much violence or drug use out on TV edits, just language and sex), so if GoodFellas is anything like that, I doubt they’d let me see it while I’m under their roof. And I feel complimented that you consistently forget my young age! 😀

      • If you’re talking violence, I’d like to throw Scorsese’s “Casino” in there, which makes Godfather, Goodfellas & Departed all look like family viewing – two scenes in particular, involving baseball bats and a vice!

  3. It doesn’t get much better than this. It’s neck-and-neck with Once Upon a Time in America for the greatest gangster film. That Copacabana shot amazes be every time; astounding both on a technical and a thematic level.

    Great, now I want to watch it.

  4. A great movie from start to finish. Scorsese is one of my favorites because you always get something great out of him.

  5. I liked Goodfellas so much better than the Godfather – it just made it much easier to understand what was going on (in my own backyard nevertheless) and the movie had a faster pacing. I was in the actual house they filmed part of the movie in; the end part (Henry’s home in the 80’s when he got busted). It was only a mile or so from where I used to live.

  6. Goodfellas is another very good, well-done movie. I’m glad I saw it, even though parts of it were kind of on the sadistic side, if one gets the drift.

  7. Not to be the token voice of dissent, but “Goodfellas” is a film that I admire for its craft, virtuoso technique and peerless acting but I can’t ever really enjoy it.

    I bow in acknowledgement of Scorsese’s cinematic nous, his unflinching vision and his work with actors but I can’t genuinely love much that he’s ever done – “Hugo” is one of the few films of his that I’ve absolutely loved without caveats, because it does a miraculous job of blending fantasy, cinema history lesson and kid’s adventure in one package.

    • Nothing wrong with that opinion especially since most his films (obviously with the exception of Hugo) tend to be of similar ilk. There is something about Goodfellas that grabs my attention and my imagination just as much as Hugo does, though.

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