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Director:Martin Scorsese
Cast:Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
Genre:Drama, Crime

At the Charles Theatre May 28 at noon, May 30 at 7 p.m., and June 2 at 9 p.m.

By Violet LeVoit | Posted 5/25/2005

Scorsese’s last great film (so far) marks the true story of Henry Hill’s anti-Horatio Alger progress from small-time mob lackey to architect of the biggest robbery in history (the Lufthansa heist of 1978) to paranoid cokehead and witness-protection rat. Henry (Ray Liotta) has eyes as blue and kill-ready as an arctic wolf’s. But those blue eyes mark him as half-Irish and lock him out of the Mafia’s innermost circles, no matter his willingness to go the distance for the family. Still, a life on the fringes of mobdom is better than just being just some schmuck. With paisanos Jimmy (Robert De Niro) and Tommy (Joe “You think I’m funny?” Pesci) by his side, Henry carves out a nice life for himself and his sexy, feisty wife, Karen (Lorraine Bracco). He just doesn’t listen to the three rules laid down for him by his bosses: Never rat on your friends, keep your mouth shut, and stay away from the drug trade. Scorsese’s always-mobile camera is never more expressive, floating merrily on a Steadicam cloud in the first act and jerking from one angry zoom to another by the third. By the end, everyone’s either unhappy or dead, but what lasts is the same feeling Karen had about gangster life the day Henry asked her to hide a bloody gun: “It kind of turned me on.”

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