‘Lansky’ Review: A Mobster Burnishes His Legacy

The best aspect of “Lansky” is Harvey Keitel’s portrayal of Meyer Lansky. In 1981, he consented to share his story with a writer who was near death from lung cancer in order to enhance the public’s perception of his line of work.


‘Lansky’ Review: A Mobster Burnishes His Legacy

The way Keitel depicts Lansky makes it difficult to determine whether he is warm-hearted or cold-blooded.

‘Lansky’ Review: A Mobster Burnishes His Legacy

In Miami, where he resides, he places an order for tongue sandwiches and specifies the rules for the author, a man by the name of David Stone (Sam Worthington). He cannot make use of a digital recorder.

Unless he is specifically told otherwise, every information is private. In light of this, Lansky warns Stone that “there will be consequences” if he violates the conditions of their contract.

The relationship between the writer and his subject is the main premise of Eytan Rockaway’s movie. Consequently, it is astonishing to see that the mobster has a younger self in “Lansky,” starring John Magaro (“First Cow”) in flashback scenes.

According to the obituary that was written about him in 1983, he is known as the “reputed financial genius of the underground,” with his fingers suspected of being involved in bootlegging, gambling in Cuba, and other rackets.

Some of the gangster stereotypes are amusing, especially given how much the movie emphasises Lansky’s Jewish roots.

He hands some money to an Israeli emissary and says, “If you need any guns or ammo, just let me know.” Never again should a killing montage be set to “Hava Nagila,” as Rockaway does in another scene.

Keitel is not Present in the 1981 Scenes, and they are as Worthless.

The FBI is searching for any stray money. Kelly herself plays the role of Minka Kelly, a guest at Stone’s motel who has a secret objective. We measure ourselves through the eyes of the ones we love, Stone thinks in the epilogue, reflecting on what he learnt from Lansky.

This is a strange excursion into sentimentality. Like “Bugsy” (1991), “Lansky” closes with surrealistically upbeat on-screen text praising the advantages of the gambling industry to the economy.

‘Lansky’ Rating

R-rated movie Lansky. It’s not personal; it’s business. 59 minutes of watching. Currently showing in theatres, the movie is also available for rent or purchase on Google Play, FandangoNow, and a number of other streaming platforms and pay TV providers.