Mean Streets concerns the comings and goings of a group of small time criminals operating in the seedy under belly of New York City.
This is an early project by Martin Scorsese and you can certainly see him learning his craft as the story unfolds; there are some great scenes and you can see the prototype versions of many from his coming classics. But having said that, a lot of the film is rather aimless and lacking in focus, and many of the minor supporting characters are poorly acted caricatures. It seems more concerned with capturing the characters and essence of this side of New York and often wanders off onto tangents which left me rather restless and – dare I say it? – bored. While the ending of the film is very powerful the journey there is rather flawed.
Scorsese aficionados will find Mean Streets an interesting film, but it will disappoint anyone expecting a classic in the same league as the likes of Taxi Driver or Goodfellas.