Martin Scorsese's The Irishman} finally premiered at the 2019 New York Film Festival and the first reactions are in. The majority of the first reactions are heaping praise on the movie, with some calling it an "instant classic" and others hailing it as a "masterpiece." Scorsese fans have been waiting years to see the movie, which is based on Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Fences memoir. The book and movie tells the story of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran as he recounts his alleged jobs as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family.
The Irishman stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci as Frank Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and Russell Bufalino, respectively. While the source material is definitely dark, the early reactions have noted a decent amount of humor to help the story move along. One early reaction says the movie "is a masterwork. Funny, epic, and most of all, melancholy." More than one person has noted that the story is also about Martin Scorsese confronting aging.
Another early reaction says, "The Irishman is like a greatest hits album from a master of the medium." Another person claims, "It's a masterpiece. Period." As for the performances, Al Pacino seems to be getting a lot of attention and there are already whispers of an Academy Award. "De Niro's best work in ages, Pesci lights up the screen, and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa screaming about the Kennedys is the peak of cinema!," says one person about Martin Scorsese's latest work. With that being said, there are some gripes about The Irishman too.
The de-aging visual effects Martin Scorsese and Industrial Light and Magic used to make cast members Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci appear younger are proving to be hit or miss amongst the early reactions. A few people spoke about The Irishman taking a few minutes to fully warm up. However, the VFX concerns have been present ever since we received the full-length trailer. And while some have called the VFX jarring, there are many who say it's just fine and that it's really easy to adjust to. This seems pretty obvious and it's the case when just about any movie uses the de-aging effect.
The Irishman hits select theaters on November 1st and then will stream November 27th on Netflix. Martin Scorsese originally wanted a wider theatrical release, but many theaters were against the idea over the idea of Netflix streaming the movie just weeks after its theatrical debut. Theater chains wanted the streaming platform to wait the traditional few months to start the home release. Regardless, it sounds like Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci have knocked it out of the park, so people are going to watch the movie any way they can. Netflix will announce ticketing info in the near future. Until then, you can check out some early reaction below.