Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 61 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A young man grows up with his loyalties torn between his father and the mob boss who runs the streets.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. On the whole, A Bronx Tale is an impressive work and it's easy to see why De Niro connected with Palminteri's story.
  7. Despite some sentimentality and occasional directorial missteps, this is a respectable piece of work--evocative, very funny in spots, and obviously keenly felt. With Francis Capra, Taral Hicks, and Katherine Narducci.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

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 baught this on dvd and i have not seen a better movie than this in my opionion Expand
  2. 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, 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.
  3. Oct 13, 2013
    If you`re looking for the typical Mob movie this isn`t what you`re looking for.A Bronx Tale has mob activities, but it`s much more than that. I`t teaches you how it was to live as an Italian in the 60`s.The decisions you have to make whether good or bad. Expand
  4. 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 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!!! Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2013
    For a long time, A Bronx Tale had distribution problems, was out of print, and was widely unavailable. For those reasons, I hadn't seen it since I was a kid. Watching it again years later, not only did I realize just how good a movie it is, but I also found that I took a lot more out of it. While being widely considered as one of the best mafia movies of all time, A Bronx Tale actually has a deeper meaning, which is not to waste the talent you have in the time you are given. I was also surprised to learn that this story is in fact the true story of Chazz Palminteri's childhood, with Chazz being a nickname for Calogero. For those of you who don't know the story, it's about the son of a bus driver, who grows up in the Bronx, right down the block from a mafia hangout. While this boy learns different things from his real family and his mafia family, who are always at odds, they actually both want the same things for this kid. A Bronx Tale isn't just another gangster movie, there is some of that, but it's really an inspirational coming of age tale that I found to be very eye opening. The cast is of course fantastic, featuring Robert De Niro, who directs and stars in the film, along with Palminteri, who wrote the film. The true irony of A Bronx Tale is surrounded by the true story of Lillo Brancato, the boy who plays Calogero. As I said the story is about discovering right from wrong and not wasting your talent, something Brancato did when he was convicted of an armed robbery, which led to the death of an off-duty police officer. There are many sides to that, but I felt it necessary to mention how ironic it is that the message of the film is actually lost on one it's stars. In closing, A Bronx Tale really is a lost gem, that lives up to all the hype, and I hope that now that's streaming on Netflix, a whole new generation will be exposed to the message it puts out there for them to hear. Expand
  6. Apr 10, 2014
    Pelicula del gran Robert, en la cual cuenta la historia de como un joven debe de elegir que camino escoger, el del dinero facil o del trabajo honesto como su padre, una historia simpatica, divertida y a la vez con un mensaje. Una pelicula sobre la mafia que cualquier cinefilo no deberia de perdersela. Expand
  7. Dec 10, 2012
    It's always great to see these actors in action, the story is the same you see in most Italian-American movies, how a good boy/man gets involved with the mob. Nothing fresh, there are no spectacular performances here. But it's a good weekend movie. Average Expand

See all 10 User Reviews


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