Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic 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. A magnificent throwback to an almost vanished era of epic filmmaking by great filmmakers in thrall to their own passions, rather than to the studio bookkeepers.
  3. Everything is vast and hugely ambitious in Martin Scorsese's magisterial, scrambled historical epic.
  4. 90
    A grand achievement in history and anthropology, supporting its ambition and scope with a sumptuous re-creation of the period and an immediacy that allows a forgotten past to barrel into the present.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    It's a magnificent achievement—holes, tatters, crudities, screw-ups, and all.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    This daring, perhaps confusing declaration of irrelevance suggests that the epic is a form a director like Scorsese must subvert even as he invokes it. But it doesn't erase the sordid splendor of Scorsese's congested, conflicted, entrancing achievement.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Bears all the earmarks of a magnum opus for Martin Scorsese: Fascinating and fresh material about his beloved New York City, an epic reach, an equally epic gestation period, a dynamic criminal element, combustible socio-political-religious elements, outstanding actors and sophisticated allusions to cinema history that inform and enrich the experience.
  9. Scorsese creates a film so resonant that it is both a work of great art and an anthropological document.
  10. 88
    Rips up the postcards of American history and reassembles them into a violent, blood-soaked story of our bare-knuckled past.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    If Martin Scorsese's staggeringly ambitious one-of-a-kind finally has too many flaws to be great, it has as much greatness in it as any movie this year.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Scorsese and his team of Grade A talents are working on an operatic scale here, and like many operas, this is long, overwrought, sprawling, and more than frequently brilliant. It also hits just enough discordant notes to keep it from greatness.
  13. Each major character is complex, none more so than Bill. He's almost Shakespearean in scope.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 129
  2. Negative: 22 out of 129
  1. Aug 17, 2014
    A spectacular film, basically historically accurate, "Gangs of New York" is an epic accomplishment. Its recreation of New York is impressive, even with its stunning violence sequences. A must-watch, despite its shallow plot. Full Review »
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    And here we go again with this little s h i t of Daniel Day **** Lewis. LEAVE THE CINEMA BUSINESS. YOU'RE USELESS MAN.
    Oh and Martin
    Scorsese, can you do , for only one time, a little bit good movie? PLEASE Full Review »
  3. Jun 5, 2014
    Gangs of New York is extremely ambitious and Scorsese tries to cover a lot, but in doing so, he really covers none of it. A lot of things were touched on, but none of it ever felt satisfying. In spite of that, the film was far too long. Thus, a lot of things could have been cut since they did not have a major impact on anything and then the film could have focused in on more important aspects of the film in better depth. Finally, the film is a little violent for my taste, though shortening it would undoubtedly satisfy the issue. Ultimately, the scope Scorsese attempts to go for is the film's true undoing, as everything else is great. The sets and costume design are marvelous. The foundation laid by the film for the rivalry between the "natives" and the Irish, plus the desire for revenge is great. The corruption aspect was very welll done as well. Then the final shot of New York over time and the final words by DiCaprio are beautiful and perfect for the moment. In terms of acting, Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal. Cameron Diaz was also fine, I have no idea why she gets so much hate for this role, as I had no issues with her. She was not phenomenal by any means, but she was fine. I love DiCaprio, but he was certainly spotty in parts, though he was fine for the most part. However, there was far too much fluff added onto the main plot that really comes off as extra. I wanted to love this one, but I simply cannot. Full Review »