Mean Streets (1973) 4.67/5 (3)
4.67/53

 

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Rating: The Good – 94.7
Genre: Crime
Duration: 112  mins
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval

Martin Scorsese’s searing Mean Streets screams cinematic counter-culture from the first scene to the last as Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, a loan collector who must continually balance morality, religion, familial duty with a night life of dangerous partying on the mean streets of the director’s youth. Keitel’s performance is flawless and full of playful improvisation which adds layers of substance to his various on-screen relationships. However, this film has been best remembered for Robert De Niro’s incendiary performance as Johnny Boy, Charlie’s unstable cousin who has been ostracised by everyone but Charlie and whose continuing descent threatens to take Charlie with him. The level of innovation and style present in Scorsese’s direction is truly breath-taking with the closing sequence in particular standing out as one of the great moments of 1970’s cinema. In fact, on many levels, even those beyond its direction, Mean Streets is arguably Scorsese’s best picture. A true cinematic masterpiece.

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