Today’s Prayer Focus


also known as “Buenos muchachos,” “GoodFellas - Drei Jahrzehnte in der Mafia,” “Les affranchis,” “Maffiabröder,” “Mafiáni,” “Chlopcy z ferajny,” “Dobri momci,” See more »

Reviewed by: Peter Cook

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Crime Drama
Length: 2 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release: 1990
USA Release: September 19, 1990
Copyright, Warner Bros. Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE
Relevant Issues
Cover Graphic from GoodFellas

murder in the Bible



the final judgment of God


justice of God

extramarital affair


deception / lying


interfaith marriage

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

gangsters / organized crime / mafia

selling illegal drugs / cocaine


sexual harassment

police corruption


witness protection program


father son relationship

mother son relationship

mother daughter relationship

brother brother relationship

mass murder



“Three decades of life in the mafia.”

The movie “GoodFellas” begins with a Mafia cliché. Three men are driving down a deserted road. They hear a thump. They pull over and check the trunk. Sure enough, the person in there is not quite dead. Two of the characters graphically remedy the situation.

Fortunately for the viewer, that is the only cliché contained in Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas”, one of the best films of its genre. The movie is based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, the true story of Henry Hill, whose career in the mafia lasted three decades.

Hill is played perfectly by Ray Liotta, who also narrates the film. The movie follows Hill and his friends Jimmy “the Gent” Conway [Robert De Niro, and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci)]. Other supporting actors include Lorraine Bracco as Henry’s wife, Karen and Paul Sorvino as Paul Cicero, head of the crime family.

The strength of this movie is in its realistic portrayal of criminal life. At the beginning, Liotta enjoys his life and brags of the benefits, but at the end is a man who realizes he is in over his head and sees only one way out.

The film does portray loyalty as commendable, and shows the negative side of drug use. It can bring up questions about how far people will go to be part of something larger than themselves.

Scorsese’s eye for a shot is flawless in this film, and the acting is superb. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. As with many Mafia movies, though, this contains a considerable amount of violence and pervasive strong language. There are at least five murders shown in the film, some quite graphically, and scenes of people being hit or otherwise abused. Other murder and violent behavior is insinuated.

The film also contains some sensuality (but no nudity) and adulterous behavior. Drug use is also evident, as is deception. Characters are almost constantly being shown performing or condoning criminal acts.

Children should not watch this film. Christians should exercise discernment, if thinking of seeing this film. “GoodFellas” is extremely well made and Scorsese’s best film, but contains a great deal of material that may be offensive to many.

  • Language: Extreme— for example, 300 f-words (over 2 a minute)

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I rented this movie a few years ago. I only got through the first 10 minutes before I turned off the VCR. I felt as though Joe Pesci had dumped a bucketful of “F-words” on top of my head. This movie is not recommended for anyone.
Lisa K., age 40
Negative— …Every other word out of Pesci’s mouth is the “F” word…
Len Barton, age 51
Negative—“Goodfellas” is a classic. One of the greatest films ever made. But there is WAY TOO MANY USAGES OF THE F-WORD. There are really bad things to not see and hear in this film, things that are horrid. I can't totally recommend “Goodfellas.” Very wrong. Very unnecessary. But fantastic. Wild. Luxurious. Use severe discernment. There are positive messages or a good message. The main character, one of them, realizes what he does is wrong, and goes to what looks like a normal life. It goes from extremely offensive to a little less offensive and maybe a little past that for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Stephen Jacewicz, age 22 (USA)