GoodFellas (1990)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

The true story of Henry Hill, a half-Irish, half-Sicilian Brooklyn kid who is adopted by neighbourhood gangsters at an early age and climbs the ranks of a Mafia family under the guidance of Jimmy Conway.

The morality is utterly alienating. So how will Scorsese persuade us to spend almost three hours in the company of these savages? No problem.

Hilary Mantel