The greatest gangster movie of all time is now on Netflix 5 months ago

The greatest gangster movie of all time is now on Netflix

"What do you mean funny?"

Ok, with that headline, we were obviously daring you to disagree. But Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, which has just been added to UK Netflix, is the best movie about the mob, period.

Ok, yes, The Godfather and its sequel are masterpieces. But they are big and operatic and grandiose. They don't have that grit, that realism, that honesty that Goodfellas does. The Godfather is a movie that feels like it was made by people who've watched lots of gangster movies - whereas Goodfellas exudes authenticity from every frame.

Of course, a big part of that is because it is based on Wiseguy, the memoir of real-life mobster Henry Hill (fun fact: the film changed the title to Goodfellas as not to clash with the forgotten 1986 Danny DeVito comedy Wise Guys).

For 25 years Hill associated with the Lucchese crime family, but in 1980 he became a mob informant, with his testimony helping convict mob captains Paul Vario and James Burke.

Martin Scorsese might not have been in organised crime, but growing up in Little Italy, Manhattan, he knew that world. When Henry Hill's voiceover opens the film by saying "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,", we instantly get the allure of the mob world. Scorsese's bravado filmmaking brings the vibrant world to life, with audacious camera moves (including that incredible tracking shot through the club), and a pitch-perfect soundtrack.


And then there is the cast. Ray Liotta has never been better than in the central role of Henry Hill. Robert DeNiro may have become a parody of himself in the last two decades, but here he is at his very best, and the emotion he shows when he finally thinks Tommy is going to get 'made' is heartbreaking.

And then there is the livewire Joe Pesci, being utterly, utterly terrifying.

It is an utter masterpiece.

Think you know Goodfellas like the back of your hand? Take our quizzes on the movie, and the films of Martin Scorsese.