You might have heard some buzz about a new motion picture called The Irishman. It’s possible you’ve seen an advert (or five) about it too.

But what is The Irishman? And should you watch it?

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What is The Irishman?

The Irishman is a 2019 crime drama, about a former truck driver who becomes a hit man. The movie is based on Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa, and stars Robert De Niro.

Who directed The Irishman?

The Irishman was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Who are the cast of The Irishman?

Image: ©Netflix

Robert De Niro is the lead actor in The Irishman, playing the role of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran. De Niro is joined by a cast that includes Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Katherine Narducci, and Stephen Graham.

Where can I watch The Irishman?

The Irishman is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Did The Irishman receive a theatrical release?

The Irishman received its world premiere at the 57th New York Film Festival in September 2019, followed by a very limited theatrical release from November 1st. Beginning November 27th 2019, the movie became available to stream on Netflix around the world.

Why is everyone talking about The Irishman?

Image: ©Netflix

The Irishman is being talked about for a number of reasons. The first of which is because of the director.

Martin Scorsese is a high-profile director, with a filmography that includes Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Casino (1995), Gangs of New York (2002), The Departed (2006), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), amongst others. When Scorsese isn’t getting into debates about the validity of Marvel movies, he is known for delivering some of the most respected films in cinema.

A Scorsese film is reason enough for discussion, but one that includes Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Al Pacino amongst its cast is also a picture that draws a great deal of attention. The Irishman boasts actors who are considered to be some of the finest in their field, and who have previously worked with Scorsese in his best-loved films.

Outside of the people involved, The Irishman is also being heavily discussed due to its short theatrical window, followed by its rapid move onto Netflix.

Traditionally, movies tend to be given a considerable gap between the theatrical release and the streaming release – but this has not been the case with The Irishman. The film has arrived on Netflix within a month of hitting cinemas.

This might not be a huge talking point for a small picture, but The Irishman has Scorsese at the helm, De Niro as the lead, and a budget of $159 million – so, it’s a big deal. While The Irishman did receive a theatrical release, it was more of a ceremonial thing than anything else, as Netflix wanted this to be a big picture for its service, to highlight the quality of its content.

The Irishman is a huge movie for Netflix and one which continues to further the conversation about how streaming is changing the shape of cinema. If a $159 million movie can move to Netflix so quickly, do audiences need to go to the cinema anymore?

Is The Irishman worth the hype?

Since its release, The Irishman has been nominated for a number of awards and has received a positive reception from critics. Empire awarded The Irishman five stars (out of five), while the IMDb rating is currently 8.6/10.

Having watched The Irishman I can confirm this is an engaging, well made picture with strong performances. The film is 209 minutes long – so expect a lengthy watch – but it is worth investing your time in.

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