Two of the best written films of the year are out on screens this week. Film critics Pam Powell and Chuck Koplinski joined us on set to talk about The Irishman and Knives out in today’s Friday Flicks.
The Irishman. Robert De Niro stars as Frank Sheeran, a World War II veteran who becomes a confidante to mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) who in turn introduces him to Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). The friendships he develops with these two men ultimately leads to Sheeran have to make moral compromises that haunt him. A genuine classic, this is an immersive film that’s surprisingly relatable as the decisions Sheeran makes are made with the best of intentions yet the moral cost proves too great. Some of the best work from all involved. 4 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 209 minutes
Knives Out. Writer/director Rian Johnson’s send-up of drawing room murder mysteries is a parody of the form as well as a crackling example of it. Eccentric Southern detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to investigate the death of mystery writer Harlan Thromby (Christopher Plummer) and there’s no shortage of suspects as every member in his family has a reason to want him gone. The twists and turns are numerous, but Johnson has his tongue planted firmly in cheek as he jerks the audience back and forth from one suspect to the next. It’s obvious the veteran cast, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Colette, Chris Evans and Michael Shannon are all having a grand time, sending up the archetypes they’ve been handed. Funny and smart, this is one of the wittiest and most entertaining films of the year. 3 ½ Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG-13. 130 minutes. AMC-C, AMC-D, SAV.