Film: Kill The Irishman

In the summer of ‘76 thirty-six bombs exploded in Cleveland’s escalating mob war with local legend Danny Greene, an Irish gangster who is the central character in director Jon Hensleigh’s new film Kill The Irishman. The film has a terrific blend of action, humor, and humanity as it tells the gritty, blue collar tale of a man who rose from the trenches to become a major crime figure with a Robin Hood appeal who eventually led to the downfall of the mob’s network.  It stars some well seasoned actors such as: Vincent D‘Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken, as well as some up and coming talent such as Ray Stevenson who really rises to the occasion in his tough yet empathetic depiction of Danny Greene.

It’s hard not to compare the film to Scorsese’s Goodfellas because of the similarities in treatment and concept, but ultimately Danny Greene makes Henry Hill feel like he came up in the nice part of town.  The film contains some terrific performances that match the really tight storyline and the violence in the film is palpable thanks to the cinematography and sound design which make the audience feel every punch.  The only real downside of the film is in its nearly unwavering glorification of Green’s violence and nefarious lifestyle but that being said it’s still a great film and one that will appeal to a wide range of viewers.  In the genre of the American mobster works, this is a film that may not have a ton of subtext but it certainly stands apart with an original voice and will likely be a favorite to many.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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