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The Traitor(Il traditore)

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Italy, France, Germany · 2019
Rated R · 2h 31m
Director Marco Bellocchio
Starring Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Cândido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Fausto Russo Alesi
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

The story of Tommaso Buscetta, a mob boss who tried to leave the mafia for Brazil in the 1980's. Upon his return to Italy, he is forced to either become an informant or spend the rest of his life in jail. His testimony would play a major role in the imprisonment of dozens of mobsters.

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What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

There’s just no real perspective on Buscetta, which separates this brisk but uninvolving history lesson from the truly great mob movies. I was a little bored with it, too, honestly.


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Bellocchio’s approach to the story is at once coolly objective — the movie is part biopic, part courtroom procedural — and almost feverishly intense. He has a historian’s analytical detachment, a novelist’s compassion for his characters and a citizen’s outrage at the cruelty and corruption that have festered in his country for so long.


The Playlist by Bradley Warren

A handsome production and ambitious in scale, the impact of The Traitor is muted by the familiarity of its well-worn tropes.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Once The Traitor earns its title, the movie is overwhelmed by legal intrigue and mafia infighting, and flattened into a repetitive and somewhat impenetrable courtroom drama.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

It’s at its best when showing how gangsters undermine their lofty notions of nobility with displays of narcissism.


Variety by Jay Weissberg

It’s clearly made by a master filmmaker questioning the nature of repentance, and as such is far from superficial; and yet while it never loses our attention, it also doesn’t deliver much of a punch.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

The screenplay — written by Bellocchio in collaboration with several others — has no particular point of view regarding Buscetta, seeming content merely to take us step by step through his two decades as an informant.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The film has the authoritative air of official history: sometimes brash, sometimes stolid, sometimes with flashes of inspiration and sometimes with long stretches of courtroom dialogue.


Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

The film digs into the minutiae, giving off an unmistakable air of expertise, but the screenplay ends up being a collection of footnotes and intriguing digressions without necessarily feeling like an authoritative handling of this sprawling material.

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