The first reviews for Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman are in and they're outstanding 4 weeks ago

The first reviews for Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman are in and they're outstanding

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"Martin Scorsese's finest film for 30 years." The excitement builds for The Irishman.

He might not be the most popular person at Marvel Studios but for the last 52 years, Martin Scorsese has left a mark on cinema unlike very few other directors.

Simply put, he's a master of his craft and one of the very few filmmakers whose films are instantly given a 'must-see' status. However, given his quiet and unassuming nature, you'd never think that.

While there isn't a genre that Scorsese hasn't dabbled in - documentary (Shine A Light, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story), thriller (Shutter Island, Cape Fear), period drama (The Age of Innocence), comedy (The King of Comedy), biopic (Kundun, The Aviator) etc - it's arguable that no other filmmaker has done more for the gangster genre than the Oscar-winning director.

The Departed, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street (Jordan Belfort is a crook); they're all outstanding films, which is why excitement levels are at fever pitch ahead of The Irishman being released on Netflix and in select cinemas.

Aside from Scorsese's immense talents behind the lens, the film also boasts an incredible cast, including the return of Joe Pesci to the big screen.

Truth be told, the presence of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Ray Romano and Bobby Cannavale is a dream lineup.

Scorsese's new epic saga depicts the life of organised crime in post-war America as told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century.

Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history - the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa - and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at the real life story that inspired the film, JOE has previously talked at length about the life of Frank Sheeran and interviewed the author of I Heard You Paint Houses, Charles Brandt.

JOE'S Rory Cashin was at the London Film Festival to chat with the stars of The Irishman - we'll have more on site very soon - but the first reviews are in and they're extremely positive.

At present, the film holds an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 94% on the more reliable Metacritic.

Here's what the critics have said.

Empire - "Scorsese delivers a stunning, gangster flick but The Irishman is so much more, a melancholy eulogy for growing old and losing your humanity. Savour every one of its 209 minutes, you won’t regret it."

The Guardian - "Martin Scorsese's finest film for 30 years."

Variety - "Martin Scorsese's The Irishman is a coldly enthralling, long-form knockout - a majestic Mob epic with ice in its veins."

BBC - "Scorsese knows his audience and reputation so well that the film constantly plays with, and defies, expectations."

Salon - The Irishman isn't the last word on gangsters, but this long, involving, and extremely well-made epic seems to be an appropriate capstone for Scorsese - as well as De Niro, Pesci and Pacino - at this late stage in their careers."

Slate - "I'd be hard-pressed to say that the three-plus hours of The Irishman fly by, but it's also tough to think of a single individual scene I'd want to lose."

New Yorker - "It runs a minute shy of three and a half hours, and I wouldn't wish it any shorter."

The Wrap - "Scorsese's return to the gangster milieu is anything but a greatest-hits compilation from a filmmaker in his autumn years; as a storyteller and a crafter of images, he remains as bold and as provocative as ever."

The Irishman is released in Irish cinemas from 8 November and it's available to watch on Netflix from 27 November.

Clip via Netflix

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