Critics & Fellow Filmmakers Hail Scorsese’s The Irishman as a Masterpiece

Martin Scorsese’s return to the world of crime is being hailed as a masterpiece. The legendary director’s The Irishmanwhich recently had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, has been screened now by festival-goers, critics and some of Scorsese’s contemporaries. The reactions thus far are ecstatic.

Scorsese’s film is centered on Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and spans much of Sheeran’s life as he looks back on his career as a driver and hitman for the mob. The film utilizes cutting-edge technology to render the cast many years younger then they are now. Sheeran was a World War II vet who found his way into the employ of Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), the head of the Bufalino crime family. Sheeran eventually becomes a trusted hitman for the mob and, thanks to Bufalino, eventually gets connected to the legendary Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Hoffa famously disappeared, never to be heard from again. It’s widely believed he was murdered, but no one has ever been convicted and his body has never been found. The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” in which Sheeran had claimed to have killed Hoffa in 1975.

So there’s your bare-bones outline. Now let’s take a brief stroll through the early reactions:

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman:

Time‘s Stephanie Zacherek:

Slate‘s movie critic Dana Stevens:

The New York Times A.O. Scott:

And finally, director Guillermo del Toro went on a must-read 13 Tweet thread about the genius and scope of Scorsese’s achievement:

The Irishman is in theaters on November 1 and streams on Netflix on November 27.

Featured image: THE IRISHMAN (2019). Joe Pesci (Russell Bufalino), Robert De Niro (Frank Sheeran). Courtesy Netflix.


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.