Goodfellas is undoubtedly one of the very best and most accomplished mob movies ever made, its status as a classic in film history being both well earned and inarguable. Despite its intimate point of view, the film has an epic quality to it. The excellent dialogue contains plenty of quotable gems, and the great attention to detail that is evident throughout the picture gives the proceedings a strong period feel.
Through his masterful direction, Martin Scorsese tells an intriguing story that gradually draws the viewer into the movie without them realizing it until they are deeply involved, just like the main character is drawn into the world of organized crime. The director also gets the best out of his first-rate ensemble cast: Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro are terrific (they play Henry Hill and Jimmy Conway, respectively), Joe Pesci is particularly memorable in the role of Tommy DeVito, and Lorraine Bracco delivers a solid performance as Karen Hill.
The long tracking shot of Henry and Karen entering a nightclub is arguably the most noteworthy scene in Goodfellas, at least from a technical perspective. There is a kind of morbid beauty to the scene in which one of the central characters is lying dead on a checkered floor with blood flowing from a gunshot wound to his head.
Based on the non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi; he also co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese.