Robert De Niro is my favorite actor, and as usual he does a good job. Unfortunately it's the writing that falls short.
The movie jumps around in time, but much of it is set in the 1950s, and the high quality filming shows few, if any, anachronisms as far as the cars, settings, clothing or designs. Showing De Niro at different ages also didn't bother me much, except he looked like a very stiff 60 year old. The sets may say 1952, but the script writing screams 2019. It's a shame because with the money spent they could have made a great film with an accurate portrayal of life and people at the time. Instead they show PC revisionist history of the worst kind, and miss a tremendous opportunity to make an accurate historical piece.
The scene that totally lost me was one in which Dinero learns that his daughter was shoved by a grocer. She is sulking when he arrives home, and when he asks his wife what is wrong with the kid she tells him the guy shoved her. His daughter doesn't say much, but does nod her head when asked if it's true. She doesn't have a scratch on her.
In the next scene, Dinero returns to the market with his daughter by the hand, and beats the grocer to a pulp. He kicks him in the face and gives his hand a crush injury. . He severely injures and humiliates the man , kicking him into the street , beating the man like an animal without asking a single question..
The movie is set at a time when the power dynamic between adults and kids was completely different. In the 1950s De Niro would have more likely whipped his daughter for annoying the adult if he heard about it,
Let me tell you what life was REALLY like in that era for kids:
In the early 1960s when I was 6 years old, I was allowed to walk alone to the "liquor store" on the corner to buy candy. When in the store, I saw a girl my age telling her cowboy grandfather she wanted candy for the kids back home, and he insisted "no, they get ice cream, they will throw candy all over the yard". She was crying when they left the store.
When I went out front a few minutes later, she was screaming her head off , and her cowboy grandfather had whipped her with a belt , which was still doubled in his hand. I knew what that was like, nearly all kids of that era did, including, probably especially, the kids of mob guys. I felt bad, embarassed for her, for me, I even paradoxically felt guilt.
THIS was he REAL 50s, THE "GREATEST GENERATION". Scorsese is old enough to know it, he should show it to us, least we forget it. To see portrayal of his "hit man" as a 2019 Dad is absurd , instead of what most "Dads" were like at that time. It's revisionist history of the worst type. Younger people have no idea, and many adults don't remember, or more accurately chose not to. Other anachronisms include the daughter refusing to thank her dad's friend for a money gift, and willful disobediance didn't occur much back then. Also, grown men didn't wear pajamas, in the 1960s I only saw that on TV.
I heard a crimes division guy in a documentary complain that Hollywood's portrayal of these mob guys as caring family men is ridiculous. They were sociopathic killers and generally made bad husbands and fathers. To show anybody , especially a mob guy , vigilante splat a man without knowing what happened in that era is bad history and bad for society. If we don't remember our history, we will repeat something worse.