Mean Streets
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"You don't make up for your sins in church; you do it in the streets; you do it at home. The rest is bulls--t, and you know it." Returning to the autobiographical milieu of his 1968 debut Who's That Knocking at My Door? for his third feature, Martin Scorsese examined the daily struggles of a wannabe hood to keep his morals straight on the streets of Little Italy. Driven equally by his wish to become a respectable gangster like his uncle (Cesare Danova) and his desire to live his life like St. Francis, Charlie (Harvey Keitel) takes on his energetically unhinged friend Johnny… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The acting and editing have such an original, tumultuous force that the picture is completely gripping."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"No matter how bleak the milieu, no matter how heartbreaking the narrative, some films are so thoroughly, beautifully realized they have a kind of tonic effect that has no relation to the subject matter."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"This marriage of indelible imagery with electric, seemingly incongruous pop songs wouldn't be bettered until, well, the next time Scorsese decided to do it."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Authentic in feel and immensely personal in subject matter, Mean Streets marked the arrival of one Martin Scorsese and his unique brand of urban filmmaking."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"Passionate, energetic, stylistically inventive and personally driven, it is the first mature, full blooded "Martin Scorsese Film.""
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Scorsese is exceptionally good at guiding his largely unknown cast to near-flawless recreations of types. Outstanding in this regard is De Niro."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Its greatness lies in its leanness, with nary a word, a move, a gesture that's nonessential."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Scorsese exalts cinema as the mediator of reality, memory and reverie, the demonic art that enthralls the church boy"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"showcases Scorsese's artistic strengths and weaknesses as they stood at the outset of his career"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Martin Scorsese's first great American crime story"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"One of the best American films of the decade."
‑ , Time Out
"In countless ways, right down to the detail of modern TV crime shows, Mean Streets is one of the source points of modern movies."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Features an attention-grabbing performance by Robert De Niro, but I maintain that Harvey Keitel's excellent central performance has always been critically undervalued."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
""Mean Streets" is more than a rambunctious time capsule of Italian American experience, it is groundbreaking film that announces the career of a truly original voice in world cinema."
‑ Cole Smithey, Daily Radar
""Mean Streets" is more than a rambunctious time capsule of Italian American experience, it is groundbreaking film that announces the career of a truly original voice in world cinema."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
More reviews for Mean Streets on Rotten Tomatoes

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