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Parents' Guide to

The Irishman

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Scorsese's reflective, masterful, violent crime epic.

Movie R 2019 209 minutes
The Irishman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 17+

If you have 3.5 hours to kill then go for it

A lot to love in this film and it takes a long time to get there. My favorite parts were the final 30 minutes. Little do we see the elongated aftermath of what happens when you do what you want and create your own morality. The intricacies of how Hoffa is interspersed with politics, mafia money, casinos, and pensions is rich, so rich that it makes Peggy's response to her father feel egregiously petulant and adolescent. She is portrayed as someone who never grows internally and that is a shame, but not out of Scorsese character. The freeze-frames and fates of the vast amount of characters that you meet is a huge highlight and offers a wonderful candor and spirit in watching this film.
age 9+

Good Movie, a Little Overhyped.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20 ):
Kids say (41 ):

A magisterial entry in his long and masterful career, Martin Scorsese's crime epic is no mere nostalgia trip; reflective and melancholy rather than kinetic, it's touched by both greatness and loss. The Irishman assembles actors who appeared in Scorsese's classics Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, and Casino (plus Pacino, who's working with Scorsese for the first time -- and delivers a sucker-punch, scene-stealing performance as Hoffa). While Scorsese's gritty, energetic, often intoxicating filmmaking punctuated those earlier films, The Irishman is more carefully observed, more bittersweet. It actually has more in common with Scorsese's faith-based trilogy, The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun, and Silence.

In telling Frank Sheeran's long life story, the movie creates a tragic, passive character who comes close to greatness without ever achieving it and whose penchant for following orders and remaining loyal allows him to overlook any moral quandaries. Even the scenes of violence and suspense are deliberately dispassionate, as if to confess that these things should not be spectacles. Yet it's an exquisite-looking movie, with nary an unnecessary move. And it's even surprisingly, frequently touching and funny. In the end, The Irishman leaves off with many questions -- about legacy, regret, and more. It's a great movie from a director in his autumn years who's looking back more than forward but is still in awe of the mysteries of life.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 1, 2019
  • On DVD or streaming: November 24, 2020
  • Cast: Robert De Niro , Joe Pesci , Al Pacino
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 209 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: pervasive language and strong violence
  • Last updated: February 18, 2023

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