Hoffa Review

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A young member of the teamsters (Whaley) sits in a remote diner, and listens to the life story of union legend Jimmy Hoffa (Nicholson).


The story of the legendary head of America's hugely powerful Teamsters Union may resonate with UK viewers. Few will know much about him beyond his infamous 1975 disappearance, but Danny DeVito's ambitious and violent biopic nonetheless paints an intriguing portrait of a complex and angry man while effectively exploring his uses and abuses of power.

DeVito (who also puts in fine work here in front of the camera) keeps it rich with period detail and has assembled a great support cast - J.T. Walsh, John C Reilly, Frank Whaley among it, but the main attraction here is the incendiary lead performance from Jack Nicholson. Despite never really penetrating Jimmy Hoffa's psyche, this at least offers some correction to the much-maligned myth.

Despite never really getting to the core of Hoffa's character, this is nevertheless an entertaining and informative journey through the life of one of America's interesting and grey-edged characters.