review for Hoffa on AllMovie

Hoffa (1992)
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine review

Danny DeVito tries hard to give his biopic Hoffa an epic scope, yet he just misses the mark. Starring Jack Nicholson as Jimmy Hoffa, the film traces the life, career and mysterious disappearance of the labor leader. Hoffa follows the rise of the controversial figure through his early work during the Great Depression as founder of the Teamsters Union, his later tenure as president of the Teamsters, his public fights with the Kennedys, and through the baffling mystery of his demise. The film may leave the question of what happened to Hoffa hanging, yet it dramatizes many of his most public battles --including his late '60s imprisonment and Presidential pardon by Richard Nixon--quite effectively. However, the film is brought down by a slightly convoluted narration by Bobby Ciaro (Danny DeVito), a composite character who is allegedly Hoffa's aid, and the fact that David Mamet's screenplay doesn't detail Hoffa's public life; fortunately, Nicholson's stunning performance brings depth to the movie.