Scorsese’s wickedly entertaining gangster saga charts the rise and fall of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a Brooklyn kid who dreams of being a wiseguy, as he works his way up through Murder, Inc., from parking Cadillacs to pulling million dollar heists alongside high-rolling Jimmy the Gent (Robert De Niro) and Joe Pesci’s don’t-call-him-funny loose cannon. Spanning 1955 to 1980, the film captures the changing eras and fashions via spot-on period detail and a golden oldies soundtrack that bounces from the Ronettes to the Rolling Stones. Between Pesci’s rage and Liotta’s coke-addled depravity, De Niro emerges as the most “restrained” goodfella. An outsider due to his Irish heritage—making him ineligible to become a made man—Jimmy hides a cold-bloodedness simmering beneath his understated suavity.
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