‘The Irishman’ Review: Martin Scorsese Directs His Best Crime Movie Since ‘Goodfellas’

It takes less than five minutes to establish “The Irishman” in Martin Scorsese’s unmistakable voice.

The camera glides into the retirement home where wistful former Philadelphia hit man Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) begins a sprawling recollection of his glory days as right-hand man to Sicilian mafioso Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and corrupt union overlord Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

With Sheeran’s voiceover as a guide, the movie flashes back to an innocuous road trip with Sheeran in the driver’s seat and Bufalino bickering with his wife about smoking in the car.

The mood is at once taut and funny, the essence of Scorsese’s ability to humanize the mob as prickly macho men just a few notes shy of lovable.

In that fundamental disconnect — between endearing people and the psychotic world they represent — the movie presents a fascinating onramp to America’s obsession with organized crime.Forget

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