'The Irishman' is Martin Scorsese's best-reviewed film of all time

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino appear on screen together for the first time in Martin Scorsese drama 'The Irishman'.

Martin Scorsese’s new gangster epic The Irishman is officially the best reviewed film of the director’s illustrious career.

The three-and-a-half-hour tale, which will be released by Netflix, has been reviewed by 80 critics on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and currently has a 100% record of positive notices.

This bests the 98% approval scores listed by the site for lauded classics Taxi Driver and The Last Waltz, as well as the 97% and 96% ratings for Mean Streets and Goodfellas respectively.

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According to the Rotten Tomatoes review consensus, the film is “en epic gangster drama that earns its extended runtime”.

The Irishman reunites Scorsese with regular collaborators Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for the first time since 1995’s Casino and sees the director working with Al Pacino for the first time.

De Niro portrays Frank Sheeran — a labour union official with links to organised crime and the subject of the 2004 biography I Heard You Paint Houses, which gave the film its original title.

Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Harvy Keitel attend "The Irishman" at the New York Film Festival. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Film at Lincoln Center)

Pesci portrays high-ranking mafioso Russell Bufalino, while Pacino is Jimmy Hoffa — president of the Teamsters union.

The Irishman premiered at the New York Film Festival last month and subsequently had its UK premiere last week as the closing film of the BFI London Film Festival.

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Netflix picked up rights for the movie after it was dropped by Paramount Pictures as a result of the ballooning budget, which was rapidly increasing due to the sophisticated visual effects required to de-age the three leading men.

As well as its critical praise, Scorsese’s film has been lauded on social media by fellow filmmakers, including Guillermo del Toro, Edgar Wright and Ava DuVernay.

The Irishman will arrive in UK cinemas on 8 November and will be available on Netflix from 27 November.