A strong contender as Martin Scorsese's most negligible, most dispensable, most redundant movie. Here we go again: the subjective tracking shot through a nightclub, the stack of goldie-oldies to be gone through on the soundtrack, the torturously repetitive dialogue ("fuckin' " this and "fuckin' " that). Yes, there's a new device to be tried out, too: the intermittent freeze-frame for comic-ironic punctuation -- well, not exactly a new device: a New Wave device. Scorsese tosses in so many tricks that some of them will look new simply because they look out of place. But the real problem with the movie -- beyond its untimeliness, its extreme tardiness, in the tramp-tramp-tramp of "demystifying" portraits of the Mob -- is that too much of the essential information is gotten across through the protagonist's narration (with additional narration chipped in by his Jewish girlfriend and later wife), so that Scorsese is reduced to a mere illustrator, even a mere time-killing doodler. To be sure, a highly capable illustrator (helped immeasurably by colorful portrayals from De Niro, Pesci, Sorvino, and company), but never so incapacitated a movie man. The script, boiled down from a true-life, as-told-to book about a half-Irish Mafia informant, boiled down therefrom to an episodic and piecemeal mush, is not a proper movie script at all. With Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco. (1990) — Duncan Shepherd
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