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Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1989)

Scorsese basically shows off in every single scene, and for once, he has a screenplay worthy of it. Even if all the acting is very good, I'm not all that gung-ho about the male leads' (Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci) although I believe that Paul Sorvino does his finest cinematic work and that Lorraine Bracco (and Marty's Mom!) outact everybody else. It covers most of the major mob activity in NYC from the '50s through the '80s, but don't expect to find anybody to root for or care about. Even so, it's a brilliant film. As far as the long, "drug-induced" helicopter scene [which is understandable in Henry Hill's case], there really have been police helicopters flying over my house for decades. My friends have often been paranoid because they thought it was about our illegal outdoor toking, but they fly around constantly searching for criminals who try to hide out in a huge park near my house. Scorsese's masterpiece covers almost everything significant he's tried to convey through cinema. You can watch many other of his films, but I'd start with this one and branch off from there.