An adapated 'true' story of the life and times of Henry Hill - low level New York mafia member. We're shown his life from childhood, his induction to the local 'family', and his subsequent rise in status. Then it all starts going a bit pear-shaped
If you're looking for evidence of the vital, passionate, wildly inventive Martin Scorsese we once knew and still love, then look no further than GoodFellas. It's yet another in his canon that was shamefully overlooked come Oscar time, now herelded as an undisputed masterpiece.
Think of it as if he's stepped back into the neighbourhood of Mean Streets with more money, more expertise, and more freedom. Virtually everything about the film (save for a few trademark Scorsese continuity glitches) is perfect. Cast? Yup. Camerawork? You bet. Editing? Check. Soundtrack? Forget aboutit. Whether you abhor the lifestyle, or hate the violence, the virtuosity on display through GoodFellas is undeniable. It's Marty's most visceral movie, and a genuine challenger to The Godfather for the title of greatest Mafia flick ever made. Hell, we dare you to find fault with this film.
Thanks to a bottomless empathy for the Italian-American subject matter, the eye of a poet, some championship camerawork and Teflon turns from De Niro, Pesci and Liotta, 'Fellas improves with the years: brutally funny, and often just plain brutal.