Movie Review – Lansky (2021)


Lansky, 2021.

Written and directed by Eytan Rockaway.
Starring Harvey Keitel, John Magaro, Minka Kelly, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Worthington, Robert Walker Branchaud, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Shane McRae, David Cade, Jackie Cruz, David James Elliott, Jay Giannone, Alon Aboutboul, Wass Stevens, James Moses Black, Danny A.Abeckaser, James Devoti, Dodge Prince, Vincent Minutella, Claudio Bellante, Ron Fallica, Emily Marie Palmer, John Dixon, John Branch, Dylan Flashner and Nathan Harris.



When Fed groups last investigated aging Meyer Lansky, suspecting he had stolen millions of dollars for more than half a century, the retired gangster spun a dizzying story, revealing the untold truth about his life as Murder Inc.’s infamous boss. and the National Crime Syndicate.


There is one specific statement from the summary listed Lansky; dizzy. This is one of those unfortunate cases where the budget cannot support the journey through many decades and the mafia pandemic, even though ambition is somewhat and pleasant. The life of a particular gangster can be stored when booked for three and a half hours or even two and a half hours. Author and director Eytan Rockaway (this marks a feature of his sophomore story, thinking alongside Robert Rockaway) tries this well-known event by organized crime leader Meyer Lansky in less than two hours while telling the stories of another couple.

The first involves journalist David Stone (Sam Worthington), who often interviews the elderly Meyer Lansky (Harvey Keitel, a trusted veteran presence who, however, does his best to make the journey down the memory lane compelling while combining the similarities between a career criminal and David). collapsing relationship side and currently having difficulty caring for his family financially. Painfully for cliché reasons, he also enters into a relationship with an interested Maureen (played by Minka Kelly). On top of all this, FBI agent Frank Rivers (David James Elliott) is convinced that Meyer Lansky has secretly hidden $ 300,000,000 somewhere and is launching another investigation that will effectively lead to spying on David, who is not allowed to publish any findings until Lansky’s death. .

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And so Lansky begins a series of stories that go far back into his teens, often executed on backstage chains. As Meyer Lansky grows up, he is played by John Magaro. With each passage of time and leap, mostly lacking context (historical or dramatic), it’s hard not to feel bad for an otherwise talented performer who performs every song on a Wikipedia page. Nor is it a joke, as one of the first things on the page is about his first meeting with his longtime friend, hot-headed Ben Siegel (David Cade). Lansky was about math and probability, while Ben was a physically impressive muscle.

From there, back to Lansky meeting his final wife (to get an idea of ​​how fast this movie flies, they’re married with kids inside the next setback, which also revealed that Lansky was born with a stroke, which naturally frustrated him and he saw as a sign vulnerability and weakness), participation in gangster Lucky Luciano, storm Nazi meetings (Lansky was Polish-Jewish), the establishment of a national criminal syndicate, and finally the building of an empire through gambling casinos in Cuba.

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Simply put, it’s too much for one movie, and none of them will ever be interesting. Even the collapse of the Lansky relationship (which includes rage and aggression) seems somehow lifeless, as if the only thing anyone cares about is moving from place to place in history without the slightest understanding of what purpose one of that story serves or how to make these characters feel like real-life colleagues or at least interesting characters. The thing is, the (historical spoiler alert) money doesn’t exist and that it was exaggerated and that Lansky and David are both failures for their families. Admittedly, the interview side of the story is sometimes fascinating, if only to see Lansky’s aftermath, remorse and myth dispelled.

There is no way that all these three plot chains can coexist within a two-hour film. Still hesitant to call Lansky a mess because there are times when it is well shot, professionally acted upon and evokes gangster theater fun. It also happens to be a pointless film designed to capture every significant moment in Lansky’s life without any real momentum or confusing context.

Flickering myth rating – Movie: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also a Flickering Myth review editor. Check here For new reviews, follow mine Twitter or Letterboxdor send an email to [email protected]

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