Raging Bull

When writing about Scorsese, you're deprived of the use of the words 'masterpiece' or 'piece de resistance', simply because his films are so consistently excellent. Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino, Mean Streets etc. However, if you force someone into a judgement, Raging Bull pips even these crackers as Scorsese's best work, and easily wins accolade for best film of the 1980's.

De Niro (using 'Method' to extreme lengths) famously bulked down and then up for this renowned biopic of Jake LaMotta, a boxer whose fire and passion in the ring is reflected in his violence outside it. Jake boxes his way to the top only to become caught up in self-destruction and succeeds only in bringing himself down.

Our Bobby got all the plaudits and an Oscar, and fully deserved are they, but ignore at your peril the other masterful contributions. Pesci has never been better as his misunderstood brother and Moriarty as the long-suffering wife. Then of course, there's Marty Scorsese, exploring his own concerns through boxing matches shot as if they were grand opera in glorious monochrome, alongside family drama that is as unsettling as it is utterly compelling. You cannot get away from this being a classic, it is undeniable in every frame, and while occasionally it is impossible to watch, it is equally impossible to look away. A latter day classic.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Biography, Drama, Sport


Paul Schrader


Martin Scorsese


Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto


129 minutes








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