Mean Streets (1973)

2007 #126
Martin Scorsese | 107 mins | DVD | 18 / R

Mean StreetsSemi-autobiographical New York gangster movie, guaranteed a place in history as the first collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro — what a place to end my little season!

As with Goodfellas, it’s someone else who’s the main character; and, as with Goodfellas, De Niro’s supporting character is a disturbing presence even when off screen. The similarities don’t end there, but I’m not going to go into them in detail. Suffice to say, Mean Streets feels a bit like a less epic, oddly less focused, grittier, and perhaps more realistic, prototype for Goodfellas. But even then it’s only that in some ways — the two are notably different enough to make each worthwhile.

4 out of 5

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