“The Irishman” (Netflix)
By Catholic News Service
The disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa, who vanished without a trace in 1975, has never been solved. But that doesn’t deter director Martin Scorsese from solving the mystery in this epic historical drama, based on the life of union official and erstwhile gangster Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro).
Crime boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) initiates Sheeran into the seedy mob underworld, and introduces him to the charismatic Hoffa (Al Pacino). More of a detailed character study than a relentless shoot-’em-up (the body count is still high, but the camera does not linger long on the victims), the film is problematic for viewers of faith in its presentation of three very bad men devoid of conscience and possessing zero remorse for their evil actions, as well as a theologically incorrect, confusing episode with a Catholic priest (Jonathan Morris) on the nature of forgiveness and absolution.
Themes requiring mature discernment, occasional bloody violence, implied adultery, pervasive profane and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.