Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Watch On
  1. 100
    A Bronx Tale is a very funny movie sometimes, and very touching at other times. It is filled with life and colorful characters and great lines of dialogue, and De Niro, in his debut as a director, finds the right notes as he moves from laughter to anger to tears. What's important about the film is that it's about values.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    A Bronx Tale is a joy, a film that comes unerringly from someone's heart and experience, and not from a power lunch of agents with clients to be packaged. [1 Oct 1993, p. 49]
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A "GoodFellas" with heart, A Bronx Tale represents a wonderfully vivid snapshot of a colorful place and time, as well as a very satisfying directorial debut by Robert De Niro. Overflowing with behavioral riches and the flavor of a deep-dyed New York Italian neighborhood, the film also trades intelligently in pertinent moral and social issues that raise it above the level of nostalgia or the mere memoir.
  4. 88
    De Niro successfully varies the tone, keeping it light and playful at times, dark and somber at others. A Bronx Tale is his triumph, and a testimony that all those years of watching the best in the business have borne fruit. If what is yet to come has any of the promise shown by this debut, we may be witnessing the birth of yet another directing talent.
  5. 88
    He lacks Scorsese's raw inventiveness, but there's no denying De Niro's skill in keeping this pungent street epic brimming over with action and laughs without sacrificing intimacy. He is a supreme director of actors.
  6. 88
    Instead of ladling on the Scorsese sauce, Robert De Niro's Bronx accent is on semisweet nostalgia. He presents a domestic drama spiced with humor about a boy torn between his working-stiff dad (De Niro in fine regular-fella mode) and Chazz Palminteri's easy-money ways. De Niro doesn't let arty camera angles sub for good storytelling. And he draws memorable performances from two amazing young, new actors. [01 Oct 1993, p. 8D]
  7. Reviewed by: Christopher Harris
    Yet this surprisingly lyrical movie more than satisfies overall. De Niro, who has a rare eye for detail and nuance, shows himself at ease with action, comedy and romance. He also has a fine touch with actors. [1 Oct 1993, p. C5]
  8. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Surprisingly sentimental by turns, this emerges not as just another gangster initiation movie, but as a story of father and son love with enough guts to hold those anticipating the former, while also touching the heart.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    The central conflict, the struggle for Calogero's soul, is stated with a fable's starkness. But the tone of the film is musing, reflective, gently insinuating.
  10. On the whole, A Bronx Tale is an impressive work and it's easy to see why De Niro connected with Palminteri's story.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    A Bronx Tale tries to cover too much ground; racial conflict, family drama, first love, the lure of the gangster life, and the joys and tribulation of coming of age in a kinder, gentler New York are all crammed into the slight story. It all feels too familiar to sustain the viewer's interest, but Palminteri's and De Niro's equally compelling performances help give it life.
  12. Set in the 1960s, Robert De Niro's directorial debut is a work of vitality and flair. [22 Oct 1993, p.58]
  13. A Bronx Tale offers a warm, vibrant and sometimes troubling portrait of the community it describes. Almost everyone within that community sounds a little bit like Robert De Niro except Mr. De Niro himself.
  14. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    The story is riddled with absurd coincidences and improbabilities. It doesn't have an original bone in its body. And no one's going to leave this film thinking De Niro should stay behind the camera. But none of these problems stops the movie from being enjoyable. If Bronx Tale feels too familiar, it's at least the familiarity of good Italian movies.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Nov 21, 2010
    the best movie ive ever seen u should go rent it or do something to get this movie because it was just absolutely amazing and ij ust baughtthe best movie ive ever seen u should go rent it or do something to get this movie because it was just absolutely amazing and ij ust baught this on dvd and i have not seen a better movie than this in my opionion Full Review »
  2. Oct 30, 2010
    A great film based on the true story of one of Chazz P. It started out as a one man play, then DeNiro saw it and optioned it and got it made.A great film based on the true story of one of Chazz P. It started out as a one man play, then DeNiro saw it and optioned it and got it made. A wonderful story on a boy and his Bronx neighborhood and all the colorful characters , both good and bad. This kid is eye view of the criminals and the lure of easy money and power is alluring and seductive. The cast is wonderful and colorful, ala Godfather, shot beautifully and with humor and a peek into innocence and a world of reality of a neighborhoods dirty secret. A must see!!! Full Review »
  3. Jan 25, 2013
    A Bronx Tale successfully brings out every emotion your system can handle. From anger, to joy, to laughter, to happiness, to sympathy, toA Bronx Tale successfully brings out every emotion your system can handle. From anger, to joy, to laughter, to happiness, to sympathy, to empathy, to tears, and to, finally, satisfaction as the final scene fades into credits. This is De Niro's directorial debut and he handles the challenge exquisitely. Complimented by Chazz Palminteri's slick and fearless writing that documents the struggles, the gangs, and the racism of the Bronx streets with no sugarcoating and no easy ways out.

    Adapted from its stage play counterpart, A Bronx Tale focuses on the famous area in New York where little nine year old Calogero (played by Francis Capra during his tender years) is growing up on the unapologetic streets with his bus driver father Lorenzo (De Niro) and his nervous mother. Lorenzo frequently warns Calogero that "the saddest thing in life is a wasted talent," hoping that his son will take the path of untold success later in life.

    One day, while sitting idly on his stoop with his buddies, Calogero witnesses a murder. The murder was made by the area mafia boss Sonny (Palminteri). Him and his crew are respected, at the same time feared for their unpredictable actions and their checkered history. When called back to the scene by detectives looking for the murderer, young Calogero lies and refuses to confess. His father is subtly proud, but warns his son that he has just done a good thing for a bad person. The good news is their family won't be on the hit list. The bad news is their family is now on the suspicious list.

    Eight years later, Calogero, now played by Lillo Brancato Jr., is nicknamed "C" by Sonny and has become his main-man. His second son as well as his partner in crime. His father is somewhat oblivious to what his son has been up to recently, but he believes he can take care of himself, while still nudging him in the right direction.

    Sonny's philosophy is greatly different from Lorenzo's. It's "nobody really cares." When the chips are down, who's there to care? Nobody. You're a worthless human. The brutally honest, shameless half of the glass. Sonny's philosophy sticks with Calogero, but he also keeps his father's in mind. Do the two connect? Maybe in some ambiguous, unorthodox way, but it just seems they are two contradicting ways of life. Here's a film that also shows us that if we're lucky, we get two different outlooks on life from two very different people. A man who works in a town and a man who owns it.

    De Niro was in a very rough position when it came time to grab a hold of the camera for this film. He could either take the easy way out and make a Goodfellas-style mobster flick or mimic his stellar character's lifestyle in Raging Bull. But he doesn't. He most likely was the go-to guy for help with the script and offered Palminteri advice, but in no way is this another mafia film. It's a unique kind of mafia film. It shows the long-lasting and life changing effects it has on a youth growing up on the wrong side of the streets.

    This greatly reminds me of a phenomenal film from the eighties that tackles the same sort of subject. The film was John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood, setting its sights on three troubled youths growing up in the hood and getting caught in the mix of crime, drugs, and racism. The film was Singleton's directorial debut as well, featured stellar performances from every actor in it, a genius script, and some fantastic honesty about the life of the hood. A Bronx Tale does the same, but centers its story around the mafia. Not glorifying the violence, not acting pretentious over other classics of the same genre, but taking a cliche and turning it into a gritty reality.

    What is important to learn from A Bronx Tale is that it's a movie with values. It believes that beliefs and values should be the first thing someone should consider when in a serious situation. Sometimes we don't think about the consequences and dive right into what we think will satisfy ourselves and turn out the way we want in no time. It too forms the question; is it better to be universally loved or feared? I'd rather be a little bit of both with a strong blend of respect.

    Starring: Lillo Brancato, Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Robert De Niro, Taral Hicks, Francis Capra, Kathrine Narducci, Clem Caserta, and Joe Pesci. Directed by: Robert De Niro.
    Full Review »