This is it. The granddaddy of them all. Forget The Godfather, The Godfather Pt. 2, Scarface or any kind of mob movie in history. Goodfellas is the movie they all have to beat, and the one they never will. The ultimate Martin Scorsese movie, filled with rich music, boat loads of violence and plenty of meatballs (both the food and the fat Italian man), this is a sometimes darkly comic odyssey of the rise and fall of a crime family and one man in particular: Henry Hill.
Ray Liotta plays Hill, the man at the center of this tale, who we as a young teen wants nothing more than to be a gangster. As he moves up the rank we meet a bevy of colorful and reckless characters played marvelously by legendary wise guys like Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Paul Sorvino. As we go on his journey we are exposed to all the ins and outs of the mafia lifestyle: heists, beatings, pasta, money, burying a “big mouth” on the side of the road, all the way to his demise and exodus into witness protection. No stone is left unturned, and it’s a staggering, often hilarious ride.
However fun the movie is, there is a stark cautionary message looming in its loins about how crime never pays in the end, no matter how luxurious the ride may be. It’s a theme Marty would later touch on in a very similar fashion to great success in The Wolf Wall Street.
I will not continue any further because if you’ve seen the movie then you already know how stupendous this ride is, and if you haven’t, then you should stop reading and go watch it now. I’m serious. Go. Now. It’s 2014 and we have numerous ways to watch a movie. You have no excuse!