What Does SMH Mean?

Every one-star review for every number one box-office movie of the 1990s


Goodfellas 1990
Directed byMartin Scorsese
Produced byIrwin Winkler
Screenplay byNicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese
Based onWiseguy
by Nicholas Pileggi
StarringRobert De Niro, Ray Liotta,, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
CinematographyMichael Ballhaus
Edited byThelma Schoonmaker
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release dateSeptember 9, 1990 (Venice), September 19, 1990 (United States)
Running time146 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million
Box office$47.1 million

Goodfellas (stylized GoodFellas) is a 1990 American biographical crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, who also wrote with Nicholas Pileggi, and produced by Irwin Winkler. It is a film adaptation of the 1985 nonfiction book Wiseguy by Pileggi. Starring Robert De NiroRay LiottaJoe PesciLorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino, the film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.

Scorsese initially titled the film Wise Guy and postponed making it; he and Pileggi later changed the title to Goodfellas. To prepare for their roles in the film, De Niro, Pesci and Liotta often spoke with Pileggi, who shared research material left over from writing the book. According to Pesci, improvisation and ad-libbing came out of rehearsals wherein Scorsese gave the actors freedom to do whatever they wanted. The director made transcripts of these sessions, took the lines he liked most and put them into a revised script, which the cast worked from during principal photography.

Goodfellas premiered at the 47th Venice International Film Festival on September 9, 1990, where Scorsese was awarded with Silver Lion for Best Director, and was released in the United States on September 19, 1990 by Warner Bros. The film was made on a budget of $25 million, and grossed $47 million. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes calls it “arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese’s career”. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor. The film won five awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, including Best Film and Best Director. Additionally, Goodfellas was named the year’s best film by various critics’ groups.

Goodfellas is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, particularly in the gangster genre. In 2000, it was deemed “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. Its content and style have been emulated in numerous other films and television series.


Goodfellas is #94 on the American Film Institute‘s “100 Years, 100 Movies” list and moved up to #92 on its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) from 2007. In June 2008, the AFI put Goodfellas at #2 on their AFI’s 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten “classic” American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the movie-related community. Goodfellas was regarded as the second-best in the gangster film genre (after The Godfather). In 2000, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Roger Ebert named Goodfellas the “best mob movie ever” and placed it among the ten best films of the 1990s. In December 2002, a UK film critics polling Sight&Sound ranked the film #4 on their list of the 10 Best Films of the Last 25 Years. Time included Goodfellas in their list of Time’s All-Time 100 MoviesChannel 4 placed Goodfellas at #10 in their 2002 poll The 100 Greatest FilmsEmpire listed Goodfellas at #6 on their “500 Greatest Movies Of All Time,” and Total Film voted Goodfellas #1 as the greatest film of all time.

Premiere listed Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito as #96 on its list of “The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time,” calling him “perhaps the single most irredeemable character ever put on film.” Empire ranked Tommy DeVito #59 in their “The 100 Greatest Movie Characters” poll.

Goodfellas inspired director David Chase to make the HBO television series The Sopranos.” He told Peter Bogdanovich, “Goodfellas is a very important movie to me and Goodfellas really plowed that … I found that movie very funny and brutal and it felt very real. And yet that was the first mob movie that Scorsese ever dealt with a mob crew. … as opposed to say The Godfather … which there’s something operatic about it, classical, even the clothing and the cars. You know I mean I always think about Goodfellas when they go to their mother’s house that night when they’re eating, you know when she brings out her painting, that stuff is great. I mean The Sopranos learned a lot from that.” Indeed, the film shares a total of 27 actors with The Sopranos, including Bracco, Sirico, Imperioli, Pellegrino, Lip, and Vincent, who all had major roles in Chase’s HBO series.

July 24, 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of the film’s release. This milestone was celebrated with Henry Hill hosting a private screening for a select group of invitees at the Museum of the American Gangster, in New York City.

In January 2012, it was announced that the AMC Network had put a television series version of the movie in development. Pileggi was on board to co-write the adaptation with television writer-producer Jorge Zamacona. The two were set to executive produce with the film’s producer Irwin Winkler and his son, David.

Luc Besson‘s 2013 crime comedy film The Family features a sequence where Giovanni Manzoni (Goodfellas star De Niro), a gangster who is under witness protection for testifying against a member of his family, watches Goodfellas.

In 2014, the ESPN-produced 30 for 30 series debuted Playing for the Mob, the story about how Hill and his Pittsburgh associates, and several Boston College basketball players, committed the point-shaving scandal during the 1978–79 season, an episode briefly mentioned in the movie. The documentary, narrated by Liotta, was set up so that the viewer needed to watch the film beforehand, to understand many of the references in the story.

In 2015, Goodfellas closed the Tribeca Film Festival with a screening of its 25th-anniversary remaster.

American Film Institute Lists

  • AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies – #94
  • AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #92
  • AFI’s 10 Top 10 – #2 Gangster film

IMDb’s One Star review from the last decade

Overrated and boring

Nikhilthemacho – 21 March 2020

This film has no story. Just bunch of random guys acting cool with guns and killing people based on their liking. It has no suspense or thriller.

4 out of 12 found this helpful.

8.7 ? How ? So over rated

Siddhant-13114 – 11 January 2020

How ? Every 30 mins it seems i am watching an altogether different movie. So much details to trivial scenes but major events are hearsay ! It’s so fing overated

8 out of 26 found this helpful.


Shyinx – 4 January 2020

This is just a good way to waste of time. In whole movie, just the Cinematography is good. The story is not sad or not effective. In some movies, the ending is bad but also it really sad and effective. In this movie, the ending is not sad or effective. Every “rEaL” story is not good. Why there is a movie about this nonsense and unnecessary story at all? So this story is happened in reality and if we make a movie about it, it’s one of the best movies ever, huh? No need a good or effective story, it can be empty mafia story, doesn’t matter. They are litreally comparing with The Godfather… I’m speechless. Ughhh ReALsTiC MoViE, It’s awesome! So the best movie genre is… Documentary. They’re not realistic, they’re real. DO NOT WATCH!

3 out of 11 found this helpful.

Psychotic levels of violence

Powerpunt = 1 June 2019

It is rare that I am not able to give a movie a full viewing whether it’s inspiring or drivel , I am prepared to sit with it and give it the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately this one seems to be a vehicle for the sickest most gratuitous violence I’ve ever watched. The plot seems to be less about a story and more a bloodfest for anyone who is unhinged enough to enjoy this level of cruelty.I really worry for the mental and emotional state of anyone involved in the production of this film.

2 out of 23 found this helpful.

poster critic

Kianzandy – 23 April 2019

Warning: Spoilers

Criticism of the movie poster: In the poster of the film, Robert DeNiro in the middle, Joe Peshi is on the right side and Ray Leota on the left. Seeing this arrangement, the mind of the audience is guided by Robert Digno’s leading role, if Robert De Niro is not even a complementary actor in the film. The bottom of these three is a dialog from the movie, which, in my opinion, ends the whole movie after the dialogue ends, and does not start. The name of the film and the director’s name below it, so that all of the weight above the poster is on this director’s name. And a little tactful little slogan written: “Decades of Life in the Mafia”! This sentence remains so much over the air during the film, which seems to be that the director may have been jokingly using the sentence in his poster, because not only does it not exist and does not have a mafia, but the passage of these decades is by no means inevitable It is not logical and it goes through the wind direction for decades, and stories like prison and … are spent. The poster member is also the person who has fallen in the middle of a street, and with that hat and cover, he must tell the audience that the story of the mafia is this way, and after several decades of living in the mafia, this death comes down to these decades. .

3 out of 17 found this helpful.


fake mafia

Kianzandy – 23 April 2019

Warning: Spoilers

Such films have such themes and genres that excite the audience’s excitement and ultimately reminds them of it. Facing emotionally with an effect is heavily toxic to the target audience and does not know what is happening. Even after the movie finishes, it does not even name the names of any of the characters, but its excitement does not let its true sense of the film come to light. A good comedy movie is a movie that the audience, when faced with a so-called mafia story, presents itself to the film and does not see other components of the film, and only follow the movements of the mafia.

Good comedy films can be seen only once, because in the second time it quickly goes through all the problems of the film and loses the value of seeing it. Good comedy films begin with a flashback, it turns out to be claiming “how” it is from the beginning. In general, the film hits the main character, which is not personality, and the same type of person plays a member of a simple mafia. He is not at all the center of the film, and his only role is to explain the story to images that they do not know and do not speak themselves. Until the end of the movie, we do not understand how they are coming from, and they are continually being told, what they are doing is the same claim of how they do it, so that it does not happen to anyone, and it’s always a storyteller. Be As she tells the story, she wants to be a gangster and somehow into a mafia, her family is shown in a small, wildly scary plan, and after a while they are left behind. A little boy who aspires to a mafia is driven to a group by the help of the little girls and becomes a member of them. The problem with this is that there is neither a mafia nor a gangster, suddenly a court view and the victory of the boy from his first crime in his life and being official in that group, which is unclear and where is his place in the film. The brigades are bursting and constantly stealing and murdering, there is no life in the film, and not intuition, with all these backwardness of the film, suddenly the main character succeeds in marrying his unclean future in an unknown future. . A woman who, if removed from the film, will not cause any problems. The woman adds a bit of spiritual and religious sensation to the story, which ends in a few dialogues. A woman who does not know the mafia but is still homeless and without identity, who immediately marries a gangster who the gangster tells her is in construction, and it is not even known where in the film woman finds out what her husband really is. And how it works. No creature is defined in the film, the music comes and goes, the camera for itself hovers around several gangsters, and when it gets tired it zooms in and out some of them. The actors are always laughing and even teasing the mafia. There is no good reason for the killings, nor is a specific identity defined behind them. Suddenly, after two hours of confusion, everything is on a steep pace, and murders are carried out more quickly, the police arrest everyone and the entire dreaded band disappears. Unfortunately, the police can not take one thing, it’s a nonsense of the film, which is a free end to itself, and tells everything that it wants (even if it does not help the story). Because of the inability of the film in its own image and later in its nursery, the end of the film ends with sentences, they come and before the title, half-story is collected so that no one understands its weaknesses.

The director is also looking to repeat himself. If you look at this “Wolf of Wall Street”, you’ll find that both are the same with just different stories, all the camera movements and other mecensical components are the only difference. The average age of cast is lower. Repeating such a situation is not a sign of a signature in one work, but a sign of a kick in a particular area that the director fears to quit or try. Good comrades do not make friends and not a good particle, all humans hate each other, and it is not clear at what time they will try to kill each other. It does not really show up as a human being in the film, and then he was looking to introduce good comrades to them. The director does not know how to take the Mafia side and show them a little bit more colorful, and even can not destroy them and depict their actions void. Just as it comes from, it takes one side and goes.

rating: 0/10

4 out of 20 found this helpful.

No redeeming value.

Sevenhorseshoes – 22 December 2018

The more De Niro does movies like this, the more he proves he ISN’T a good actor. he was MUCH more interesting in The Intern. I’d watch him in that 100 times before I’d watch him in another one of these types of movies.

Scorsese: just because you CAN tap into the most base part of the male psyche, DOESN’T mean you should. Evolve please. Waht does it say about you that you can do movies like these easier than films without drugs, sex, and excessive violence? If you can do this good a job on this kind of movie, try doing something as uplifting as a Shawshank.

Scorsese, I’m embarrassed to share a first name with you:( Can’t wait for……. The Irishman!!! NOT:(

6 out of 28 found this helpful.

If you think about it

Svluong – 20 July 2017

So the main character, betrayed his street dad, who took him in when he was young, built his career, gave him money, fame, protections. He was told not to do drugs and touch the business because it brings danger to the family, it will harm the family that took care of him, not only he didn’t listen to his street dad, he went and used drugs, went against the order, brought danger to the family and then when he got caught, he ratted them out instead of just run for his life when he was bailed, if it was anyone out there who is righteous, the right thing to do was to run away and live poorly, not ratting out the people that took care of you….

3 out of 23 found this helpful.


Jazznme2 – 3 October 2016

This movie/story is repulsive! Disgusting movie! When I first saw it, I was disgusted. Decades later, I’m disgusted again! I was curious why this movie still gets such high acclaim, so I watched it again. Now, I think I understand why so many claim it’s the best movie of all time. Racists! Racists and gangster-minnow-minded would like this movie! They get to bust their chops over the dialogue of this crap movie! No wonder we still have so much hate and violence in our American society! We don’t care about others. “We” like or tolerate the savage killing and mutilation of other human beings. Entertainment has to be shocking, brutal, with inconceivable dialogues. The laughter was equally repulsive. It was so many years/decades ago, when I first saw it. And I’m glad to know I still feel the same. For my character, it’s a good thing. I still care about people in this world that has found ways to exist without actually communicating with people. We text! We “chat”. We Facebook snoop! Are we immune or obsessed?

11 out of 48 found this helpful.

Great Movie, But Pretty Overrated.

DanielBerardi – 10 June 2015

I did enjoy this film, but I think it gets a little too much praise. The Godfather movies are far superior. This was innovative, but it ranks too high in all lists.

Goodfellas is based on the memoir “Wiseguy” about Henry Hill’s life as a gangster. Ray Liotta plays Hill and gives are star-making performance. Robert De Niro plays Jimmy The Gent and Joe Pesci earns a well-deserved Oscar as Tommy DeVito. Hill grew up in urban New York and wanted to be a mobster his whole life. Only, he wasn’t cut out. Tommy and Jimmy were his best friends and extremely brutal. There was reluctancy sometimes in Henry. He marries Karen (Bracco) and their family life is well-documented. As Henry becomes more like the other thugs, bis life crumbles and surrenders to the witness protection program. I thought that the story was great as it cover major parts in Hill’s life and some infamous crimes in American history. Scorsese also recreates some bits from the book that come out better in the movie. For example, he adds lots to the scene with Spider.

I’m not saying this is the best mob movie ever like Roger Ebert said and I’m not saying it sucked. It will never reach The Godfather heights. Although the editing and film techniques were top- notch, it was not enough. One thing I didn’t like was that it practically glorified being a mobster. There’s so much loyalty and it makes it out to be fun. Being a gangster is not fun. Sure it’s good that everybody is treated better, but they do horrible things that puts everybody in danger. Goodfellas does show that the mafia can be bad, but there’s so many circumstances surrounding them that can be learned from.

Another thing I didn’t like was the music. The music was too loud and too good. Great music such as the Rolling Stones and Bobby Darin were playing. They proved to be distracting and did not fit well with some bit. Why not just use regular background music instead of hit songs that are overpowering?

Then there’s the flow and story. As I mentioned above, the story is good but does not come across to its potential. Some of the scenes go great by themselves but not all work well as a whole. They jump around too much without giving leads in or out. It just goes from thing-to- thing-to-thing-thing over the course of minutes, plus there’s the distracting music. I don’t mind 146 minutes, but it seems like 5 hours was condensed in half its time. Some parts could have been cut out and replaced with more flows and better plot development.

Goodfellas is a brilliant flick, but not one of the best.

5 out of 21 found this helpful.

Predictable story of an average gangster

Lashawill – 19 December 2012

Warning: Spoilers

At a most general level the movie is about a dilemma of an average gangster. At certain point in his career if things go wrong, an average mobster faces a dilemma. A dilemma of becoming either a ‘rat’ or a ‘martyr’.

At the story level the most of the characters are all too ‘rationalistic’, in the sense that most of the time they are doing whatever they got to do to stay fit and survive. Probably the only exception is Tommy DeVito, whose overcompensating, psychotic aggression makes him the only interesting character. However, even in his case, the all too ‘rationalistic’ social milieu makes his fate far to predictable. Everybody except Tommy know the rules and know the limits. There are rules to rob, rules to kill, rules to betray and rules to go to jail. Tommy is the only person that challenges the order.

Overall, contrary to romantic stereotypes, the portrayal of mafia world gives a picture of strict subordination and ‘law-abidingness’. The story gives the picture of the mafia world that is exactly the opposite of what the narrator’s childhood memories describe. What seemed to be the world of the free, daring and interesting, strong men, appears as a world of socially conditioned, ‘rationalistic’ and predictable world of predator mammals, who do whatever their dominant cultural environment permits or commands them to do.

25 out of 72 found this helpful.

Sick of over-the-top “Cool Gangster” movies? Me too.

Starscreamforicecream – 27 February 2010

So is anyone else sick and tired of over-the-top “Cool Gangster” movies? I am completely burnt out on hearing about what a great movie this is. I watched it for the first time recently and was blown away by the ridiculous pervasive language and big ego-ed tough guy mobsters. Yeah, Joe Pesci is the epidomy of intimidation! This movie ranks right up there, floating around at the top of the toilet bowel with Scarface, and this mornings used breakfast burrito. I can’t believe I hear people talk about how great this and some of those other gangster movies are. I doubt any real gangsters get to behave in any fashion remotely close to this without being arrested. My favorite part was when stupid little Joe Pesci gets murdered, as the end was undoubtedly near. Untouchables was better. So was Space Jam. Whatever goodfellas people. Your favorite movie of time belongs in the garbage.

52 out of 134 found this helpful.

Goodfellas 1990

Sick of Goodfellas… GO HOME