What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a movie for mature filmgoers. Violent behavior, vicious characters, and profane language occur from the very first frames and throughout. Multiple scenes involve the terrorizing of innocent people, savage beatings, and graphic killing, including several shottings to the head at point-blank range. Drunkenness, drug use, adultery, thievery, corruption, graft and dishonesty are the lesser crimes in this intense, realistic movie. It is a film without any heroes or positive role models.
What's the story?
From the mid-1950s as a young teen, to the 1980s as a broken, recovering drug addict in fear for his life, the real-life Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) was a member of the Mob. In Henry's words, "I belonged," and that to him meant everything. In lockstep with the icy, controlled violence of Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and the unbalanced savagery of Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), Henry traveled in style, breaking laws, abusing those he loved, untouched by corrupt cops and revered by fawning hangers-on. Only when Henry's mistakes, fueled by drug addiction and paranoia, led to certain awareness that his days in organized crime were numbered did Henry turn himself in to the FBI, rat on his friends, and talk his way into the witness protection program.
Is it any good?
This classic tale of mob life in New York City is a stunning, vivid look at the ugliness and depravity of a subculture that’s been glamorized, sanitized, and romanticized in countless other films. This is the real deal.
Nothing prepares an audience for the raw amorality and insanity of this crew. No movie has better shown how the "goodfellas" create a community wholly isolated from the rest of society by its own warped values and staggeringly amoral code. In scene after scene, Scorsese and his team bring this magnetic evil to life.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what all the violence in this movie tell you about its characters. What happens when a close-knit group of people considers itself above the law? Using Henry Hill and Karen Hill as examples, how do the filmmakers show the mob's influence on the values and behavior of its individual members? How does it change them? What do you think the filmmakers are trying to say about peer pressure and going along with "the gang." Why do you think there are no real "good fellas" in this movie?