Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Stylistically, it's a remarkable effort -- with a continuous sense of gliding motion -- and the film is entertaining and gripping throughout.
  2. 100
    No finer film has ever been made about organized crime - not even "The Godfather."
  3. 100
    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]
  4. Stunningly acted. [21 September 1990, The Arts, p.12]
  5. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    An appalling masterpiece.
  6. 100
    GoodFellas is "Raging Bull" squared. [20 September 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
  7. Reviewed by: Carmel Dagan
    Director Martin Scorsese's spectacular, irreverent picture.
  8. 100
    With patience, care, and strict attention to detail, Scorsese has staked out an impregnable position in the history of motion pictures.
  9. Reviewed by: Jeremy Beday
    Martin Scorsese scores again with his gritty, kinetic adaptation of Nicolas Pileggi's best-selling "Wiseguy."
  10. Ferocious brutality is presented without commentary or judgment, yet with unmistakable moral understanding and vision. [21 September 1990, Daily Notebook p.E-1]
  11. No so-called serious gangster film has ever been more fun, or less dangerous, or more intrinsically feminist, than GoodFellas. Even "I Married the Mob" was scarier.
  12. Scorsese's style, fierce as it is, doesn't accomplish what he clearly expected of it. Often, in many arts, fresh treatment can redeem familiar subjects, but it doesn't happen here. [Oct 22, 1990]
  13. 70
    Is it a great movie? I don't think so. But it's a triumphant piece of filmmaking -- journalism presented with the brio of drama. [24 Sept 1990]
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    So it is Scorsese's triumph that GoodFellas offers the fastest, sharpest 2 1/2-hr. ride in recent film history. [Sept 24, 1990]
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    Scorsese's rich tapestry is both broader in scope and more detailed than a mere recounting of the events in the trio's life of crime.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Great cinema - and also a whopping good time. [19 September 1990, Life, p.1D]
  17. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Simultaneously fascinating and repellent, Goodfellas is Martin Scorsese's colorful but dramatically unsatisfying inside look at Mafia life in 1955-1980 New York City.
  18. One of Martin Scorsese's most brutal but stunning movies, an incredible, relentless experience about the singleminded pursuit of crime.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 402 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 100
  2. Negative: 0 out of 100
  1. Aug 7, 2012
    Based on a true story, Goodfellas is another great film by Martin Scorsese that isn't one of his best films in my opinion, but is still pretty good. I would give this movie three and a half stars, but a lot of you guys would probably give it four stars because of its great directing. Definitely worth seeing. Full Review »
  2. Aug 13, 2010
    An amazing film that shows mob life at its grittiest, goriest, lowest levels.

    I loved Goodfellas. Every time I watched it, it still felt
    great. But one thing really perked me. How is it a classic? It is one of the best movies I ever watched but why is it so revered? I watched it another time just to keep my eye out for details.

    Now I understand.

    It isn't easy. Especially to praise a film with countless violence and seemingly aimless profanity (300 f words total). But Goodfellas isn't about that. It's about the story. It's about the array of characters. It's about the suspense. It's one of the most accurate portraits of mob life, specifically those in the lower end of the food chain.

    THe story is narrated by Henry Hill, an ex-mobster who explains his dreams of becoming a gangster. Through Henry's eyes, being a gangster was everything. Money. Cars. Girls. Respect. Nobody would dare talk rough to a gangster. And the cops could care less too. Our main man Henry, narrates his 30-year career as a mob member from parking cars to setting cars on fire to dealing drugs to carrying out dastardly schemes (the infamous Lufthansa heist). In the end, Henry is forced to give up his mob life and expose his fellow gangsters after learning his best friend is going to kill him. Even then, he still misses his old life stating that he is now a regular guy aka a nobody, a "schnook".

    Robert De Niro is charming yet cunning as Jimmy Conway. He smiles but behind is a greedy desire. He makes sure he gets what he wants and those who don't follow him get whacked. Joe Pesci, the show stealer, gives a fiery performance as the short-tempered Tommy De Vito. He wants respect and one word is enough to make him go berserk. Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco both give fine performances even though they are the most thankless roles in the film.

    Dialogue is a highlight even if it is laced with numerous profanity. But the music is something that really adds to the success. The eclectic rock soundtrack fits its scenes like a modern-day orchestra. Scorsese is able to fit a piano version of Layla and a montage of dead bodies so perfectly. That is a rare gift.

    Once again my favorite director stuns me with another classic that I now fully realize as a classic. It may not be his best (that would be Taxi Driver) but it definitely is one of them.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 10, 2011
    The famous crime movie "Goodfellas" is a decent movie. It is very realistic and portrays the daily life of crime. However the movie is unnecessarily long and tedious, lacking lasting appeal. Nevertheless, Martin Scorsese did create a fine movie that supports the core of American crime genre. Full Review »