Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker. The man’s directed and produced many of the best movies of all time, from Taxi Driver to The Departed. There’s one thriller movie of his that Steven Spielberg particularly admires, so much so that he’s penned a short review to exclaim its praises.
For Variety, Spielberg commented on just what makes Goodfellas excellent. “I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve experienced this epic cinematic masterpiece,” he writes, “which includes a brilliant screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi and Scorsese, and one of cinema history’s greatest acting ensembles: De Niro, Pesci, Liotta.”
He goes on to say that the drama movie has “no background performances”, noting several smaller roles featuring the likes of Michael Imperioli and Samuel L Jackson. Truly, the film is a tour de force, and game recognises game.
“It’s no longer a guilty pleasure to sit for 2 hours and 26 minutes, but rather a masterclass for any aspiring filmmaker who wants to see a breathtaking balancing act of multiple storylines, timelines, shocking violence and violent humour,” Spielberg continues. “The film has an intoxicating energy expressed not only through masterful editing, but also the greatest needle-drop score since American Graffiti and the best spoken narrative since Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity.”
The action movie, featuring Liotta as Henry Hill, a mobster who rises through the ranks of organised crime in New York City before having a rather unceremonious fall. Goodfellas captures the entire arc of his life as a criminal, narrated by Hill, drawing from the book Wiseguy by Nicolas Pileggi the chronicled his life.
“Everyone has a favourite Scorsese picture,” Spielberg adds, “and this is the one for me, in a photo finish with my other favourite picture of his, Raging Bull.”