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.
#TheIrishman was well worth the red eye flight and well worth every single minute of that 3 and a half hour run time. More to come in a review on @ColliderVideo later but that lead trio is just as good as you’d hope & it marks another triumph for Thelma Schoonmaker. #NYFF— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) September 27, 2019
Boy. #TheIrishman is a fitting homecoming for De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, and Scorsese’s ode to gangster cinema. Hilarious and sharply written. A portrait of mortality and legacy, told like a culmination of everything we have ever seen in this genre. It’s LONG but never boring. #NYFFpic.twitter.com/OBTAXem4On— Kevin L. Lee @ NYFF (@Klee_FilmReview) September 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN is not GOODFELLAS/CASINO part 3. Different pace different tone. It is, however, absolutely fucking fantastic and I am floored. All hail the King.— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) September 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN is like a greatest hits album from a master of the medium. Yes, that’s a positive.— erickohn (@erickohn) September 27, 2019
The artifice of de-aging is more feature than bug.
It’s not “slow.” It often moves like lightening & elsewhere it’s downright Bressonian.
This is not a review! Those are embargoed.
THE IRISHMAN is good! takes 90 minutes to lock in & clear out the cobwebs / adjust to CGI, but the scope is a virtue, the performances are killer (Joseph! Frank! Pesci!) & it eventually coheres into a heart-stopping meditation on the myopia of time. an old man movie for the ages.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) September 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN: An instant Martin Scorsese crime classic that’s everything you want to be, and more.— Brett _________ (@BrettRedacted) September 27, 2019
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!
THE IRISHMAN is a masterwork. Funny, epic, and most of all, melancholy. It’s Scorsese confronting aging, legacies, and mortality. I may or may not have teared up at the end...— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) September 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN: Pacino unhinges his jaw and swallows this thing whole like a python choking down a gazelle carcass, berserker mode king shit— Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse) September 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN: al pacino ... oscar ?????— karen han (@karenyhan) September 27, 2019
To expand: THE IRISHMAN is well paced. Pacino gives one of his performance in years. Pesci surprisingly plays against type. Incredibly funny. I'll save the rest of my thoughts for the review. #NYFF57— Robert Daniels @ NYFF (@812filmreviews) September 27, 2019
#TheIrishman is utterly exceptional - vintage Scorsese. It takes so much from his best films and then becomes its own. Three brilliant performances and the deaging was no problem at all. #NYFF@FilmInquiry@netflixpic.twitter.com/wTCwhuopY9— Brent Goldman @ NYFF (@bgoldman22) September 27, 2019