Romanzo Criminale (18) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Based on the novel by Giancarlo de Cataldo (who also co-wrote the script) this gangster epic aims for the personal reach and bravura violence of GoodFellas, with an added political dimension. Three street hoodlums (Kim Rossi Stuart, Pierfrancesco Favino, Claudio Santamaria), friends since childhood, muscle into the lucrative drugs-trafficking of 1970s Rome. Their rise to power is set against the backdrop of a convulsive period of transition in Italian history: the murder of Aldo Moro, the bombing of Bologna train station, the Mafia maxi-trials of the early 1980s.

Director Michele Placido does a good job of juggling storylines around a central core, and it's an absorbing account of a society at war.