Gangs of New York Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 263 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in New York City between 1840 and 1863, this is the story of a young man named Amsterdam (DiCaprio) who seeks vengeance against Bill "The Butcher" Poole (Day-Lewis), the man who killed his father as a result of warfare between the powerful Manhattan gangs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    Gangs of New York is something better than perfect: It's thrillingly alive.
  2. Scorsese creates a film so resonant that it is both a work of great art and an anthropological document.
  3. 90
    This is historical filmmaking without the balm of right-thinking ideology, either liberal or conservative. Gangs of New York is nearly a great movie. I suspect that, over time, it will make up the distance.
  4. Lacks one thing -- an epic grandeur.
  5. Stunning, and it has the added bonus of being about an era that is virtually new to movies. As a dramatic achievement, however, it is not quite so amazing.
  6. 60
    "Gunsmoke" meets "Planet of the Apes" in Martin Scorsese's overlarge, overcooked epic of 19th century Manhattan. You should see it anyway.
  7. Scorsese and his team have created a heavy-footed golem of a motion picture, hard to ignore as it throws its weight around but fatally lacking in anything resembling soul.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 126
  2. Negative: 21 out of 126
  1. Mar 16, 2014
    This is one outrageously well acted and violent Scorsese flick (like usual). It really shows gangs back in the mid 1800s in comparison to gangs that we've seen in other Scorsese films. The movie is just an old fashioned revenge film, but done with more style. In terms of the great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Camren Diaz, John C. Reilly, etc, Daniel-Day Lewis really stands out and gives a tremendous oscar nominated performace. This performance of Lewis' is for sure in my top 3 performances from him. He was absolutely incredible and the best thing about this movie. Overall, it's an old fashioned revenge film, with Scorsese's take on old fashioned gangs and will be remembered as one of my favorite Scorsese films. I give it an A+! Expand
  2. Jan 4, 2011
    Daniel Day-Lewis offers up some of the best acting you'll ever see. This man's performance is amazing; I couldn't believe it when I found out he's not even American! If you happen to be a fan of quality movies and acting and have just not got around to this film- you will really appreciate this. Cameron Diaz and DiCaprio along with the rest of the cast also do a fantastic job. The story builds over the duration of the movie and you may feel lost for the 1st hour, but pay attention and it all comes together at the end. Expand
  3. Apr 22, 2012
    My ancestors were in one of the gangs portrayed in this film, I am really proud to see this come to life. I never knew this film existed til just recently. Expand
  4. Jul 4, 2012
    Loved this movie, although moves a bit slow in the beginning to set up the characters. But past that it takes and keeps your attention thanks to Leo and Daniel Day Lewis. This is a bit of a period piece. Expand
  5. Dec 9, 2013
    In terms of ranking Gangs of New York as a 'great movie', it does not achieve that. I do not believe, in watching it, that it ever intended to be a purportedly great film. It is very good, as a historical drama film, however. Scorsese does not fail at capturing the idea of The Five Points, the gang warfare, or perhaps most importantly, the political corruption that ran rampant. For all of its faults, it is made up for by representing itself, in a historical term, relatively well. The key selling point to make Gangs of New York a better than film than it might have otherwise been is the ineffable performance of Daniel Day-Lewis. In a career defined by great performances, only his performance as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood rivals his riveting spin on Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting. Adrien Brody in The Pianist won the Academy Award for Best Actor this year, and I do not fault the Academy for selecting him entirely, but I do believe that Day-Lewis was robbed of his most deserving award here. He defines the villain that you love, even though their morals may be flawed. You lose sight of the fact that you are watching an actor during the film, as I see Day-Lewis become Bill The Butcher. The scene in which he sits in the brothel bedroom, discussing Priest Vallon with Amsterdam, is one of the greatly acted scenes in cinematic history, although much of the movie could be attributed with that title. If you are a fan of historical dramas and of great acting performances, I believe that Gangs of New York would pique your interest, and suggest it for you. Expand
  6. Dec 31, 2011
    Far from Scorsese's greatest films, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Goodfellas, Gangs of New York is still a well made film especially in terms of its historical accuracy. In addition to fantastic performances by Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo DeCaprio, the opening sequence as the gangs go into battle and the final sequence as time passes over New York are by far two of the most splendidly done in all of Scorsese's career. Expand
  7. Jan 3, 2014
    Daniel Day Lewis is awesome in Gangs of NY. He really does deliver a sublime performance and crafts a character out of Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He's sarcastic and funny, brutal and sincere. Just brilliant dimension and pitch. Leo Dicaprio on the other hand bombs. He's too pretty with his choir boy voice trying to act tough. And act tough he tries the same angry, concentrated look on his face through the whole movie, spouting overly-dramatized narration at times. He's the character we're supposed to be rooting for? He's the good guy? Killl him, Bill! Kill him! I shouted in my brain the entire second half of the movie. And sorry Cameron Diaz. You did not make the leap to fill a serious dramatic role. How appropriate you end up with Leo. A couple of blonde Californians playing 1850's Irish immigrants. You're both too thin-skinned to be believable in my eyes. Scorsese must be in love with the access to high-profilers these days. It's the only explanation. Expand

See all 126 User Reviews