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Mean Streets
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Mean Streets

1973
Drama
Crime
1h 52m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 62.29% from 3365 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(3365)
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Rated 07 Mar 2007
5
91st
Undeniably rough around the edges, but its lack of polish gives it a great sense of freshness and spontaneity. Scorsese's massive talent is already on display, with some great camerawork and a boldness that would serve him well throughout his career. But more than merely being an indication of what was to come, this is a great film in its own right - a passionate examination of faith, sin and guilt. Keitel is great, and De Niro is utterly electric.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
87
95th
A film filled with visceral energy, Catholic angst, and gritty realism; Scorsese's dynamic use of camera and brilliant performances from Keitel and De Niro make this a rewarding watch.
Rated 08 Jan 2008
91
92nd
Brilliant work for anyone, but particularly brilliant based on when it was made. A technically prodigious piece of work with many bravura set pieces set to such artists as the Rolling Stones--a Scorsese trademark. Not as good as some of his other masterworks such as Goodfellas or Raging Bull, but still highly impressive and grittier than those works. You can also see the seeds being sown for Goodfellas with a reckless lead character who is on the road to ruin...
Rated 01 Apr 2009
92
87th
Mean Streets is together with Goodfellas & Casino one of my favorite Scorsese's. He came from the streets in little italy, his gangster movies always got the right feeling. true, hard & close to reality.
Rated 30 Jul 2012
90
80th
It's still Scorsese's most gritty and honest gangster film and it's really brilliantly made. What some might consider amateurish and unpolished works more as a very interesting and effective style. Its examinations on faith and relationships (business, friendship and love) are still insightful and impressive.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
87
87th
Martin Scorsese's first classic.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
97th
A young man who suffers from excessive guilt struggles to help a young man who has failed to form any superego whatsoever. The first real demonstration of Scorsese's greatness, dynamism and feeling for locality. The worst that can be said is that some shots are out of focus. Re-watching this in March 2021, what struck the viewer this time is the fact that so many bits from later movies really originated here.
Rated 04 Jun 2008
5
93rd
An obvious prototype of the methods Scorsese would chisel to perfection in later films, but here it's gritty, rough around the edges, and presented in a naturalistic style that was so common among American films of this period. It's an aesthetic I very much appreciate, full of energy and vitality.
Rated 04 Apr 2009
8
82nd
This film feels authentic and the characters are painfully real. De Niro and Keitel are perfect together.
Rated 28 Dec 2009
94
93rd
An innovative film with fine acting. Scorsese is still learning his craft, but the energy and power of this film is undeniable. De Niro's anarchic performance here may be his best ever, and Keitel's meditative, conflicted Catholic lingers in the memory.
Rated 04 Sep 2016
8
76th
Mean Streets is essential viewing and a significant piece of filmmaking from Martin Scorsese. This gritty and minimalist crime drama feels like an early experiment that has since evolved and shaped Scorsese into one of the most established and materful filmmakers of our time. This may feel like a rough draft of the much more polished work that has since followed. But all of the trademark ingredients are here and Harvey Keitel carries this film well whilst Robert De Niro steals every scene.
Rated 04 Apr 2007
85
73rd
Marty's direction is unpredictable and fresh. Keitel is young and fresh. Watching the young, pre-super-stardom De Niro is a true revelation. Everyone seems to be in their "formative" period, and yet the result feels fully formed.
Rated 29 May 2007
80
68th
The pinnacle of the mixture of pop music and film by the king of the art. Also, De Niro.
Rated 11 Feb 2018
87
83rd
Much of his later work is more polished, but the kinetic, small-time feel of this fits the subject perfectly. Keitel's Charlie plays the conflicted protagonist, while De Niro is a revelation. This strikes me as a deeply personal film, one filled with history and rooted in a specific community. That connection to the past comes out in the filmic references too, of which I was most struck by Fellini-isms such as the use of voice over and the community carnivals.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
84th
Very good, but slightly below the level of Scorsese's masterpieces.
Rated 23 Sep 2007
35
9th
Never got too much out of this one. Just seemed pretty picaresque and random.
Rated 20 Feb 2008
93
84th
An incredibly stylish, frantic film that is definitely Scorcese's real debut. It's amazing to come back to this post-Departed and compare; it actually made this even more enjoyable for me.
Rated 22 Jan 2009
95
96th
One of the most shockingly real films I've ever seen. Scorcese's revolutionary picture completely immerses you in the story through its incredible characters and starkly honest style. Harvey Keitel is excellent, and DeNiro is genius. If you haven't seen this, drop what you're doing immediately and see it.
Rated 11 Aug 2022
7
94th
playing the good guy, helping the people you care about, maybe more than they deserve, but only to the extent that you can without actually sacrificing anything. just enough that you can maybe tell yourself you're a good selfless guy while wearing your perfect little suit in the daytime, maybe not so much at night when you're alone with your conscience. letting loved ones get away with murder because in your own passive cowardly way you are too. yeah, i get it now. kinda wish i didn't.
Rated 09 Feb 2009
90
91st
The vivid cinematography and kinetic rythm form a pulsating and unique image of a city and some guys trying to keep their heads up in a tough environment. de Niro is fantastic as a dufus, Keitel fantastic as a good-hearted but faulty "martyr". The energetic soundtrack expresses a whole lot, and the ending is perfect in its mournfulness. Blistering.
Rated 04 May 2009
89
79th
The score is mostly for the fact that without this film, Scorsese might not have gone on to do future masterpieces like Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, or Goodfellas. You can see glimpses of brilliance in this movie.
Rated 07 Mar 2017
75
62nd
"Eeeeyyyy, eeeeyyyy, EEEEEYYYYY, EEEEEYYYY, EEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYY!!! I'M WALKIN HEEEEEERRREE!!!!" Occasional flashes of visceral energy interspersed with not much. Lacks emotional heft.
Rated 25 Feb 2010
85
63rd
Rough around the edges, like a student film version of a masterpiece like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. In no way does that diminish what a joy this is to watch.
Rated 09 May 2021
70
52nd
I love how Wikipedia's plot summary of this film is three paragraphs, and the last one and a half of that is explaining the final fifteen minutes of the film. This not only lays the groundwork for every Scorsese film that follows, but feels like the blueprint for a number of films that came after. I don't think I have ever seen De Niro play this goofy. I feel like Homer looking at the big can of Foster's, "oh, these streets are pretty mean, I guess".
Rated 14 Oct 2023
85
64th
The story structuring and pace organising feel slightly loose, but still very impressive with Scorsese's already master-level usage of camera. Robert De Niro played the role of a fucking spoiled bastard kid incredibly.
Rated 07 Mar 2011
75
65th
Unbelievable use of music.
Rated 11 Dec 2011
84
81st
The theological indulgences of Keitel's character are really interesting to watch. The way he tries to move up in the crime world while feeling extreme guilt and self-hatred is just fascinating. The energetic camerawork, the sinful red lighting of the bar, the amazing soundtrack - it's all pure Scorsese. Very impressive stuff.
Rated 17 Jan 2012
70
67th
Though it probably doesn't reach the heights of Goodfellas (1990) and others, this is another great Martin Scorsese crime film. It's one of his earliest too, but definitely shows the talent he has as a director. Both Keitel and De Niro are fantastic. It had a great soundtrack too.
Rated 31 Jul 2018
55
47th
Solid dynamic cameraworks (especially in the second part) unfortunately plagued by too many lighting mismatches and some very very poor cuts. The story is very typical but well-managed. I never understood the fascination with gangsters and particularly the attempts at humanizing them. Oh, and some people will say 'these were the 70s' but the direction is very sexist. PS: The bed scene seems inspired by the one in Breathless.
Rated 13 Jun 2012
65
40th
For a story about someone who owes someone a bit of money, this film takes a huge amount of time meandering around before finally reaching the pretty obvious conclusion, but that said, Keitel and De Niro (and others) are just outstanding (De Niro made me think of Liam Gallagher so I hated him! Keitel pulling of "trapped with no way out" just perfectly). Scorsese shows his promise in ramping up tension, but is way off the mark in editing, sound, and pacing. Keitels drunken ramble is just superb.
Rated 08 Jun 2020
75
67th
Under Quarantine Film Reviews #122: The streets were definitely mean, but at least it's accompanied by a outstanding soundtrack and a killer Scorsese cameo.
Rated 17 Sep 2016
80
67th
Definitely liked it and see the talent involved, specifically De Niro (but Keitel was certainly great as well). Scorsese expertly shot this with some nice symbolic shots and usage of colour and music. Not in love with it, it's a little rough sometimes, but it's good enough to be considered a "great" flick, even if it's at the lower end of that classification in my eyes.
Rated 12 Aug 2013
74
49th
It's not the most compelling watch, nor the most straight-forward film, but it's got a gritty portrayal of urban New York circa '70s, and the performances are good and strengthen the relations between these hoodlums. I guess this is more a stepping stone for Scorsese and deNiro to go and make greater flicks.
Rated 05 Dec 2013
83
69th
Scorsese's first major calling card feels like just that; an at times brash, overly self conscious announcement from The New Kid In Town. Still an impressive achievement in many ways, with Keitel and (especially) De Niro burning up the screen, and the grim, somber locales contrasting beautifully with the gaudy nightlife the characters inhabit. Excellent source-music soundtrack with heavy input from the Rolling Stones.
Rated 15 Sep 2014
85
72nd
Scorsese's first iconic film, focusing on the troubled relationship of Charlie (Harvey Keitel), a small-time thug aiming for respectability, and Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), who flouts all the rules, indifferent to the results for him--or those around him. The script, which Scorsese co-wrote, has his usual eerily perfect grasp of human nature, though it tends to meander. And the acting, while good, is just that. But Scorsese's direction is as stunning as anything he's done in the 40 years since.
Rated 18 May 2015
84
92nd
Scorcese starts getting into his groove. I loved the camerawork, and some of the stylistic choices; for example the bar bathed in red, the camera following a swaggering Keitel, then later leading a drunk one. The film has an undercurrent of religious guilt and penance which works well in the setting; I never felt that anyone would find redemption. Keitel is brilliant, and I couldn't take my eyes off De Niro when he was onscreen. This is a wee bit rough, but essential viewing.
Rated 19 Feb 2007
75
89th
Great gangster flick.
Rated 24 Aug 2007
79
67th
Don't be mook :)
Rated 17 Sep 2007
75
79th
strong material
Rated 01 Oct 2007
100
95th
Scorsese's first masterpiece. He does, basically, his version of Fellini's _I Vitelloni_, and does it better than Fellini did. Absolutely not to be missed
Rated 04 Jul 2023
60
35th
It's a little strange to see that Scorsese has been making essentially the same movie over his career. It's an interesting exploration of religion and gangsters, although there's a lot that just gets left behind in what seems like a lot of pretty random slice-of-life moments. Pieces are good -- the soundtrack, the setting, the intensity of Keitel and De Niro's roles -- but I didn't think it meshed together enough for me to call it great.
Rated 04 Sep 2019
60
37th
has this cozy atmosphere in a way
Rated 20 Mar 2020
60
72nd
Seen: 2.
Rated 15 Feb 2008
100
98th
Cool to see a young De Niro and Keitel before they made it big. Great directing by Scorsese as usual.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
93
88th
# 149
Rated 23 Apr 2008
89
84th
Gritty fun, thoroughly entertaining. One of the more enjoyable Scorsese films for me. De Niro for the win.
Rated 18 Jun 2023
73
34th
For being a Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro collab, this was definitely at the bottom of that list. A bit slow and meandering plot. Can I say this is boring and dare I say forgettable? Is it hersey? I may need to revisit this one.
Rated 11 Jun 2024
6
35th
Disappointing. It has the sorts of visuals that make films like Taxi Driver great, but feels meandering and pointless (and not in some surreal, absurdist or dreamlike sense). I'm not sure how a critically acclaimed crime film with an ensemble cast headed up by Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel felt so dull to me, or why the soundtrack felt so overbearing when I normally like that sort of thing, but I guess it shows that a film can tick a lot of boxes yet still fail to click.
Rated 06 Jul 2008
81
69th
What's the matter with you? Wha? Get outta here! Forget about it! Have a drink!!!
Rated 19 Dec 2008
93
86th
146
Rated 22 Dec 2008
84
61st
Quintessential early Scorsese.
Rated 23 Dec 2008
95
93rd
1
Rated 10 Oct 2017
6
43rd
Aesthetically, the rawness (complimented by a rocking soundtrack) is refreshing and captivating (aside from the jarringly rough-around-the-edges sound editing), as dynamic, intimate, and largely handheld camerawork follows our characters around and lends the whole thing an air of stark realism. It doesn't work as well with the script; occasional moments of brilliance (see Johnny Boy's initial string of excuses) are overshadowed by an amateurish story filled with inconsequential scenes.
Rated 21 Mar 2009
71
70th
young keitel and de niro are a joy to watch. i thought there were a couple too many songs, it could've been tighter, but it's certainly a great early success for scorsese
Rated 23 Jul 2009
87
98th
Little Italy sure doesn't seem like a nice place in this semi-biographical account by Scorsese.
Rated 30 Aug 2023
85
71st
Scorcese, the master, rounding into form. A beautifully shot, gritty depiction of 70's Manhattan, the camaraderie, bravado, arrogance and foolishness of the leads all swirl together seamlessly. Sets the tone for his later, greater works but essential viewing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Scorsese
Rated 17 May 2019
60
28th
A see the talent, below bad sound design and other low-budget flaws, but i'm totally disconnected from this. It's not my country, it's not my youth. The gangter side of the plot is better developed in future films. Scorsese said about this film that he wanted to describe how his contemporary talked, lived, dressed. A very neo-realistic goal, and i suppose he nailed it. But i think Scorsese was still learning the skill of making things interesting for everybody.
Rated 04 Oct 2009
80
68th
This is worth watching just to see De Niro in action. He's fantastic. The movie itself is good enough, although I got a little bored in the middle. It's visually interesting, but the story started to get repetitive. Like I said though, it's worth seeing just for De Niro.
Rated 07 Oct 2009
85
82nd
A film about a wannabe priest "who runs numbers", trying to redeem himself of his own accord, through controlling the chaos that surrounds him (personified by De Niro, in a kind of angst-ridden rage that reminds me of Mifune in Rashomon: overrated overacting but still impressive). The film's middle section lags, and the girlfriend's introduction is abrupt and confusing. But the brilliant ending washes away any bad taste.
Rated 17 Oct 2009
9
76th
Incredible film with some memorable quotes and a strong message in the troubles of a no-good best friend.
Rated 26 Nov 2009
77
46th
Gritty crime drama.
Rated 10 Jun 2021
51
12th
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Rated 08 Nov 2019
63
46th
Good story and well acted, but the film does kind of end without properly concluding. It's clear that Scorsese is still trying to find his creative footing here, but much of what will make his later films famous is prominently on display
Rated 09 Mar 2010
90
68th
It's eerie how many elements of Scorsese's subsequent this film contains. It's all there, from Taxi Driver to Casino. This is the original, and the best.
Rated 21 Mar 2010
89
89th
89.000
Rated 30 Mar 2010
5
18th
The narrative felt dated and disjointed. Some great touches but too much brawling in bars. I couldn't care about the characters - was that the point?
Rated 11 Apr 2010
67
31st
An aggressive Scorsese I quite like -- woo! // Shame about the really fucking overbearing soundtrack.
Rated 15 Jun 2010
8
79th
Early Scorsese and has since been out shined but still a genuine character driven film. Great chemistry between the cast also.
Rated 07 Mar 2017
85
90th
çiğ anlatılar ilgi çekiciyse, scorsese'den gelmiş çiğ gangster anlatısı ayrı bir noktada duruyor. adeta takip edecek harika işlerin bir girişini yapıyor. kamera işi muazzam. diğer yandan de niro'nun henüz isimsizken harikalar yarattığı bu işleri izledikçe -tıpkı 2000'lere kadar olan diğer filmleri gibi- bugünleri düşünüp de *keşke* dememek insanın elinde değil.
Rated 02 Aug 2010
95
95th
Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro working with Scorsese is my dream team line-up. Mean Streets is an intelligent crime movie, with its characters thrown into a twisted lifestyle that I was almost too wrapped up in the awe of Scorsese's stylistic and rhythmic visuals to care.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
73
37th
I don't really remember much about this film other than that I really enjoyed it while I was watching it. But it didn't stick with me.
Rated 30 Sep 2010
6
49th
scorsese was still learning...
Rated 27 Oct 2010
52
27th
Fair enough, if we didn't have this film, we might not have some of my all time favourite films, but I just didn't find it THAT enjoyable
Rated 26 Dec 2010
85
83rd
gotta love de niro, kietel, scorsese. not their best film, but great nontheless
Rated 31 Dec 2020
85
82nd
Great cinematography and use of music. Frenetic story told frenetically. Feels almost slice of life. Reminds me of Uncut Gems.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
85
82nd
Not often a gangster movie portrays mediocrity with no heroes, no stand-out villians, but just endeavour, a bit of confused loyalty and some vaguely unattractive characters. No black and white in this film, but no real overt middle of the road subtlely/complexity either. Robert De Niro is stand-out superb.
Rated 30 May 2011
85
72nd
Saw this in 35mm. It was great!
Rated 19 Jun 2011
20
3rd
"Mean Streets" is a painfully boring, badly-written, amateurish film. The soundtrack is god-awful and the photography equally terrible. There really isn't anything good about it.
Rated 13 Jul 2011
60
52nd
I liked the themes being explored in this film more than I actually liked the film itself. Friendship, religion, guilt, sin, penance, loyalty... it's all there, and enhanced by memorable performances by Keitel and De Niro. But the film is too unpolished for me to say I honestly enjoyed watching it. There are certain scenes that work well, but it's very obvious that Scorsese is still learning his craft.
Rated 26 Oct 2011
83
93rd
Nice movie
Rated 30 Nov 2011
94
88th
#115
Rated 30 Aug 2018
50
24th
Pretty rough and unmemorable.
Rated 10 Feb 2012
82
64th
It's cool just seeing De Niro before he was typecasted as an authority figure.
Rated 02 Mar 2012
25
3rd
Annoyed me to no end. There are flashes of competency from everyone, but it really is hard to get through... and not in the good way.
Rated 10 Mar 2012
74
57th
Meh, not Scorsese's best, but you definitely get a glimpse of the techniques he has built his career around. De Niro and Keitel are good though.
Rated 17 Apr 2012
76
82nd
I believe Scorsese spent almost all of the budget on securing the right songs. When you're friends with Robert De Niro, you can get away with that.
Rated 17 Apr 2012
75
55th
Fast-paced, atmospheric, moving and entertaining. Feels like a predecessor to Goodfellas in its editing and camerawork (though much, much rougher) with the human elements of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull in there.
Rated 19 Dec 2020
75
48th
A bit overrated. Sure, there is some classic Scorsese camera direction and some cool scenes. Keitel gives a pretty solid performance. The script must have been extremely loose, the actors seemed to be given a ton of space to roam and improvise, which led to some poor results and lots of non-essential, hollow dialogue. There's next to zero depth in DeNiro's character. It's as if they told him, "OK, you're a punk goon rebel who doesn't listen to nobody! Annnnd ACTION!".
Rated 08 Jul 2012
74
68th
It ain't the polished, attention-seeking gangster beasts Marty later became famous for, but Mean Streets depiction of thugish life feels raw and authentic.
Rated 29 Jul 2012
70
55th
You can see a lot of the skills there that were put in to Goodfellas. I probably would've scored this higher if it was more plot heavy. The musical onslaught is impressive.
Rated 28 Oct 2012
91
56th
91.000
Rated 06 Nov 2012
88
60th
87.500
Rated 18 May 2018
72
66th
Scorsese doing his thing; good flick. The odd aside about the one guy's appreciation of Willy B and his ramblings on Tygers was a neat and bizarre side plot. 35th film of 2018.
Rated 18 Sep 2013
89
97th
88.67.
Rated 29 Nov 2013
90
69th
A little dated, but still classic
Rated 22 Jan 2014
98
94th
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.
Rated 19 Sep 2023
95
88th
De Niro is brilliant of course. Beautiful imagery captures a tough neighborhood before its transition into a sanitized tourist district. These films become the definitive depictions of lost times and places.
Rated 07 Apr 2018
6
31st
some gross greasy thing about two assholes owing some other assholes a bunch of money for some reason. idk it felt kind of meandering, and not in an interesting way. if my time machine ever broke down and I got stuck in 1970's new york I'd kill myself.
Rated 18 Jan 2015
73
49th
Stylish, and very easy to see how much talent Scorsese had even this early into his career, but it relies a little too much on the narration, and some of it is a little patchy, but its engaging.
Rated 10 May 2016
87
82nd
Solid movie, great soundtrack

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