Lansky: The New Movie About The Legendary Mobster

Lansky: The New Movie About The Legendary Mobster

Lansky is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film that tells the story of Meyer Lansky, one of the most influential figures in the history of organized crime. Lansky was a key member of the Jewish mob that rose to power in the early 20th century, along with his associates Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano. He was also involved in the creation of the National Crime Syndicate and the Commission, the governing bodies of the American underworld.

The film, directed by Eytan Rockaway and written by his father Robert Rockaway, is based on interviews that Lansky gave to a journalist in the 1980s, when he was living in Miami as a retired and wanted man. The film stars Harvey Keitel as the older Lansky, John Magaro as the younger Lansky, Sam Worthington as the journalist David Stone, and AnnaSophia Robb as Stone’s girlfriend. The film also features David Cade as Bugsy Siegel, Minka Kelly as Lansky’s wife Anne, and David James Elliott as FBI agent William G. Hundley.

Lansky explores the life and legacy of the notorious gangster, from his humble beginnings as a Polish immigrant to his rise to power as a mastermind of gambling, money laundering, and international finance. The film also depicts Lansky’s involvement in various historical events, such as the Cuban Revolution, the Israeli War of Independence, and the Kennedy assassination. The film also examines Lansky’s personal relationships, his code of honor, and his struggle to evade justice.

Lansky is a captivating and thrilling movie that offers a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in American history. The film showcases the superb performance of Keitel, who portrays Lansky with charisma and complexity. The film also features an impressive supporting cast and a rich production design that recreates the different eras and locations of Lansky’s life. Lansky is a must-see movie for fans of crime dramas and biographies.

Lansky has received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Keitel’s performance but criticized the film’s storytelling and clichés. The film currently holds a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 45 reviews. The critics’ consensus reads: “Harvey Keitel delivers a reliably powerful performance as the title character, but Lansky lets him down with flawed storytelling and an overload of clichés.” The film also has an 85% audience score on the same website, based on more than 250 ratings.

Some of the positive reviews highlighted Keitel’s portrayal of Lansky as the film’s main strength. Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times wrote: “The best thing in ‘Lansky’ is Harvey Keitel’s turn as the gangster Meyer Lansky. Eager to change the popular perception of his career, and dying of lung cancer, he agrees to tell his story to a writer in 1981. The way Keitel plays Lansky makes it difficult to distinguish cordiality from coldbloodedness.” Joe Leydon of Variety also praised Keitel’s performance, saying: “Keitel infuses his performance here with more than enough lion-in-winter gravitas to dominate every moment he is on screen, and quite a few when he isn’t.”

However, some of the negative reviews pointed out the film’s lack of originality and depth. Glenn Kenny of gave the film two stars out of four, and wrote: “Hits all the major bullet points in the gangster’s life but ignores almost all the connective tissue that would make this outline of intriguing anecdotes really come alive.” William Bibbiani of TheWrap also criticized the film’s narrative, saying: “The gangland clichés can be cringe-worthy at times, particularly when the film emphasizes Lansky’s Jewish background.”

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