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Director: Martin Scorsese Starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Harvey Keitel, Kathrine Narducci Running Time: 210 minutes

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There is a moment, deep in the runtime of The Irishman where Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, a man decades in  service to the mafia, tries to talk Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa out of going past a point of no return, Hoffa invoking the wrath of the mobsters he’s found himself in league with. It’s a key communication, a warning to a close friend to put aside his pride and stubborness in the face of certain death, a plea for cooler hands to prevail in a genre where they never do, as well as an internal clash of Sheeran’s loyalties and his warped sense of duty. The words, to say the least, don’t come easy. Sheeran is unable to conjure more than loaded stock phrases and inneundo, a sad Johnny Tightlips mumbling that “it is what it is”. In the mafia, you never say what it actually is, threats and confessions alike meant always to be dangled just out of reach, and the great Martin Scorsese’s pensive reflection of decades of crime shows how these delusions and denials erode a man from the inside over time. Weaving through the histories of these stubborn criminals, The Irishman lays bare just how hollow their power and legacies ultimately are, gently but firmly.”You don’t know how fast time goes by until you get there,” says Frank and the story of how gets there and what is left of him when he does is one of Scorsese’s finest in years. A slow, sad reflection of the past.

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Director: Ben Affleck Starring: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning Running Time: 129 minutes


They say that time camps all classics. Nobody actually says that, but perhaps they should of films like Live by Night, a gangster film written by, directed by and starring Ben Affleck that may gather a few chuckles at its ludicrous pulpishness a few years down the line, but for now stands only as an irritating vanity project. Affleck is clearly enamoured with his main character, a Boston thief drawn reluctantly into the war between Irish and Italian mobs during the American Prohibition. So enamoured in fact, that he avoids challenging him or questioning him at every turn, leaving him to murmer gravelly in relative peace. Beware of spoilers, as if watching Live by Night won’t spoil your evening on its own, but Affleck tells the classic gangster tale of a good man who starts the film insisting he won’t be morally compromised by being drawn into a life of crime, but ends the film…building a shelter for women and children and playing on the beach with his son. Just like The Godfather?

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