Robert De Niro has defended his new crime drama The Irishman over allegations it is based on an inaccurate story.

Martin Scorsese's new film is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, which features an interview with former mob boss Frank Sheeran. Sheeran, known as The Irishman, claims to have murdered labour union chief Jimmy Hoffa, who vanished without a trace in 1975 and was declared dead in 1982.

However, a few critics, including Hoffa expert Dan Moldea, do not believe Sheeran, which has prompted De Niro, who plays him, to defend the accuracy of the events depicted.

"Investigator Dan (Moldea) is a well-respected writer. I met him in (Washington) D.C. for a writers' thing where they get together every year. He said that we were getting conned. I wasn't getting conned," he told The Daily Beast.

The actor added that while he welcomes differences of opinion regarding the narrative presented in the film, audiences should accept there were cinematic liberties taken.

"I have no problem with people disagreeing. As Marty says, we're not saying we're telling the actual story, we're telling our story. I believed it.

"I know one thing - I know all the stuff that Frank said, the descriptions of the places he was at, the way he talked, that's all real," the 76-year-old commented of the book. "The way he describes what happened to Hoffa is a very plausible thing to me. I'd love to hear what actually happened to him. But this made a lot of sense to me."

The Irishman is now playing in select cinemas before arriving on Netflix on 27 November.