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Goodfellas

The good fellas in GoodFellas are bad boys to a man, and boys is the operative word – the gangsters in director Martin Scorsese’s epic, which whizzes by faster than a cartoon, are bullies on the lam. No so-called serious gangster film has ever been more fun, or less dangerous, or more intrinsically feminist, than GoodFellas.

Poster for the high-water mark in gangster films, GoodFellasThe film is based on Pileggi’s Wiseguy, a non-fiction account of the exploits of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a half-Sicilian, half-Irish crook who commenced his illegal activities at the age of 14 in 1955.

His life in crime is presented festively, energetically, with a smile at the corner of the screen. There is no obvious effort to make these characters either sympathetic, or symbolic of anything but themselves. Instead, Scorsese concentrates his artistry on filmmaking, on visual textures, startling montage and aural time travel.

– Jay Scott, Globe and Mail

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