'A Masterpiece!' - Here's how the international media reacted to 'The Irishman' starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci


The Irishman is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Helmed by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese, the film has a stellar cast of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. It was released in limited theatres on November 1, 2019, and received rave reviews. Now the film has been released on the OTT platform Netflix and has been receiving outstanding reviews.

PeepingMoon is here to take you through some of the best reviews which acclaimed websites and portals have given the film. 

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 96%, which is a really good one. According to them, the film is "an epic gangster drama that earns its extended runtime, The Irishman finds Martin Scorsese revisiting familiar themes to poignant, funny, and profound effect."

The Guardian found the film Martin Scorsese’s sweeping tale of crime and politics As per their review, "As the story shuffles the decades like a pack of cards (plaudits to ace editor Thelma Schoonmaker for making the transitions seem entirely organic), production designer Bob Shaw and costume designers Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson ensure that each vignette has a clear sense of time and place. For all its flash-back/flash-forward tricksiness, The Irishman rarely seems disjointed or thematically fractured. It conjures a kaleidoscopic illusion of depth that only starts to shatter as the pace flags in the final act.

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The Hollywood Reporter, mighty impressed with the film, stated in their review, "Martin Scorsese assembles a powerhouse cast headed by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Netflix's saga of mob hitman Frank Sheeran and his complicated association with union boss Jimmy Hoffa." They found the film beautifully crafted. "The Irishman is also on many levels a beautifully crafted piece of deluxe cinema. It's full of sinuous tracking shots from cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto that induce swoons; sumptuous period production and costume design that evoke not just a vanished America but a near-extinct American movie realm; and fluid cutting from indispensable Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker, who maintains the flow even in patches when Steven Zaillian's dense screenplay grows protracted. The movie is never less than engaging and its milieu at all times vivid and alive." 

IndieWire said, "Thanksgiving has landed, which means that most people are hanging around with their relatives and trying to come up with something to do. For movie buffs, that probably means watching all three-and-a-half hours of “The Irishman” on Netflix. Or does it mean making the effort to leave the house and catch “Knives Out” in theaters? Or getting up to date on “The Mandelorian”? Or…maybe binging “The Watchmen”?"

LA Times called the film "epic". They wrote in their review, "Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” sounds like more of the same from a director we know well, someone we’ve been on a cinematic journey with for our entire viewing lives.Yes, at 3½ hours, it’s arguably longer than it needs to be. Yes, its possibly true story of the life and crimes of a Mafia hit man who claimed he killed labor leader Jimmy Hoffa has been called not credible and worse. And yes, it’s the umpteenth revisiting of the Italian American organized-crime milieu starring actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, all directed by a man who also has been there before."

Vulture called The Irishman Martin Scorsese’s most satisfying film in decades. In their words,  "Martin Scorsese ranges toward extremes, which is why he’ll be a manic showboater in one movie and practice scrupulous self-abnegation in the next. But his gingerly paced, three-and-a-half-hour The Irishman is something new: a work of self-abnegation set where Scorsese normally showboats — the gangster dens of various crime hubs, among bosses, lackeys, and their families real and “made.” Cast with aging Scorsese vets Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel, plus a guest star from the other landmark gangster film of the director’s era, Al Pacino, this is an old man’s movie, narrated by the elderly title character, sometime hit man Frank Sheeran (De Niro), from a wheelchair in a Catholic convalescent home. It’s steeped in regret, not so much for things that were done as for things that were done but not felt. This is the first Scorsese movie in which the images don’t seem unified either by fever or by the kind of hard, rigorous focus that is fever’s opposite. It may be the 76-year-old director’s most stylishly daring work: one that’s pointedly sapped of style."

So, all Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci fans out there, go and watch this one for it is a true masterpiece. 

(Source: Rotten Tomatoes, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, LA Times, Vulture)