What I really loved about these films wasn't just that they romanticized their subject matter, but that they illustrated the details thereof with loads of expository dialogue...and it isn't stagy for even a second. For me, the analogue of Moe Green and Hyman Roth for Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky was a true masterstroke. Not only are those two criminal luminaries granted better depictions here than in any devoted portrayal, but the way the latter's end plays out is a genuine surprise in conflict with reality, in spite of all foreshadowing. In fact, Lansky himself phoned Strasberg to complement him on his performance.
Of course, there's little more to state about Pacino in this than what you've eloquently submitted. I love how he reinvented himself with excess verbosity in the '80s, but he conveys more with a stare here than most actors can with a few minutes of dialogue. When he does speak - usually softly, though seldom without force - I'm glued to every word.
It's a shame about Coppola. In the '70s, he couldn't do anything that wasn't brilliant - the "Godfather" films, "The Conversation," "Apocalypse Now." Unfortunately, his worst, most expensive flops helped bring an end to New Hollywood and he's been exclusively churning out dreck since the early '80s. I am interested to see "Tetro," but not expecting too much; he's almost as useless as his brain-dead daughter these days.
However, he does narrate a nice audio commentary now and again...!