Magazine December 22, 2019, Issue

Why Scorsese’s The Irishman Doesn’t Succeed

Robert De Niro in The Irishman (Netflix)

One of the pleasures afforded by the endless afterlife of Martin Scorsese’s mild critique of superhero movies is to read the fanboys who are still mad, still mad, that Scorsese doesn’t consider Captain America: Civil War to be a great cinematic effort, and who are taking the opportunity afforded by the arrival of Scorsese’s The Irishman on Netflix to watch his elegiac gangster epic and tweet about how inferior it is to their beloved genre sequels.

It’s rather less pleasurable, but necessary for cinephilic honesty, to watch The Irishman yourself and acknowledge that they might be right.

A distinction is important here:

This article appears as “The Mortal Mobster” in the December 22, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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