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GoodFellas Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    With patience, care, and strict attention to detail, Scorsese has staked out an impregnable position in the history of motion pictures.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Great cinema - and also a whopping good time. [19 September 1990, Life, p.1D]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    No finer film has ever been made about organized crime - not even "The Godfather."

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    All of the performances are first-rate; Pesci stands out, though, with his seemingly unscripted manner. GoodFellas is easily one of the year's best films. [21 September 1990, Friday, p.C]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Masterful but brutal gangster tale isn't for kids.

What 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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: This movie is about amoral, unethical, and illegal behavior. The characters lie, cheat, steal, gamble, abuse drugs, maim, torture, and kill. In almost all cases, they show no guilt or remorse. Instead they are driven by an unwavering loyalty to the most violent and powerful among their peers. It's a striking example of "mob mentality." Women are treated as sexual objects and second-class members of the society.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: From start to finish violence is at the forefront of this film. There are frequent vicious beatings, incidents of domestic abuse, point blank shootings, and stabbings with both knives and icepick. In addition, the audience will witness psychopathic outbursts, blood spurting and gushing in scene after scene; a father beats his son with a belt; numerous men are executed with shots to the head.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Several scenes show passionate kissing and touching as foreplay to sexual intercourse. Oral sex is implied but not actually in full view. Adultery is shown to be part of the gangster lifestyle.

  • language false5

    Language: Profanity and cursing is pervasive throughout. "F--k" in all forms is used in nearly every scene. There are also several ethnic slurs uttered, including the "N" word and ugly references to Jews.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Seen here, the consumption of cigarettes, cigars, and alcohol are integral components of the mob lifestyle. There are frequent sequences of social drinking taken to the extreme and leading to drunken misbehavior and even violence in some instances. A leading character's descent into drug addiction is graphically shown. Cocaine use is explicit in several scenes.