Mean Streets
Mean Streets (1973)

"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?… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1973
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Also Available On

Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Mean Streets is a powerful tale of urban sin and guilt that marks Scorsese's arrival as an important cinematic voice and features electrifying performances from Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The acting and editing have such an original, tumultuous force that the picture is completely gripping.

Full review…
Vincent Canby
New York Times

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.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker

[F]or all the violence of the streets, this is less a crime film than a character piece, a love letter to the streets of New York's Little Italy and the young men rattling around like tough guys and fantasizing about becoming the real thing.

Full review…
Variety Staff

Scorsese is exceptionally good at guiding his largely unknown cast to near-flawless recreations of types. Outstanding in this regard is De Niro.

Full review…
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times

Its greatness lies in its leanness, with nary a word, a move, a gesture that's nonessential.

Full review…
Simon Miraudo

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.

Full review…
Time Out

One of the best American films of the decade.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

In countless ways, right down to the detail of modern TV crime shows, Mean Streets is one of the source points of modern movies.

Full review…
Fernando F. Croce

Scorsese exalts cinema as the mediator of reality, memory and reverie, the demonic art that enthralls the church boy

Full review…
More reviews for Mean Streets

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Daniel Perry
Doesn't reveal its quality until the very end, when all that's on the table so far--friendships and family relationships, debts owed,… More
jay nixon
If I was a Scorsese devotee this would be a higher grade but the film does have a fantastically gritty feeling and tremendous acting by Keitel and De Niro.
Carlos Magalhães
A groundbreaking movie that already showcased Scorsese's deep understanding of film language with a unique voice that would inspire other directors like… More
Alex roy
Martin Scorsese is one of the undisputed masters of gangster cinema. His genre films are raw, gritty, intense and unforgettable. Before he filmed Taxi Driver,… More
Mark Walker
Although Mean Streets wasn't Martin Scorsese's directorial debut it can often feel like it was. He'd already done Who's That Knocking at My… More
paul oh
For one of Scorcese's first, its one of his finest. The acting was great and the cinematography was raw. There is a certain feel that most Scorcese dramas… More