Metascore
72

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. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Scorsese creates a film so resonant that it is both a work of great art and an anthropological document.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    It's a magnificent achievement—holes, tatters, crudities, screw-ups, and all.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    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.
  11. 88
    Rips up the postcards of American history and reassembles them into a violent, blood-soaked story of our bare-knuckled past.
  12. Each major character is complex, none more so than Bill. He's almost Shakespearean in scope.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    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.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 130
  2. Negative: 22 out of 130
  1. KevinM
    Feb 22, 2008
    3
    Just about everything that can go wrong with a film goes wrong here. No unifying theme or idea, poor writing and characterization with Just about everything that can go wrong with a film goes wrong here. No unifying theme or idea, poor writing and characterization with equally poor acting, terrible use of music (who the hell chose that song to play during the opening fight?), and a trite use of the twin towers at the very end. Never at any point in this movie are we offered a single reason to care about it or any of the characters and it seems never once did they ask "why are we even making this film?" It's a purposeless and overrated flop from a very good director. Full Review »
  2. Joseph
    Feb 27, 2007
    10
    Excellent movie. Amazing acting. Original and chaotically beautiful. Gritty and intriguing. You should give this movie a chance unless the Excellent movie. Amazing acting. Original and chaotically beautiful. Gritty and intriguing. You should give this movie a chance unless the only action you enjoy is the standard "action flick." Full Review »
  3. ConorS.
    Jun 26, 2007
    9
    This is one of Scorsese's finest accomplishments. Though Leo fails to really step it up and deliver, he does fine and hands the This is one of Scorsese's finest accomplishments. Though Leo fails to really step it up and deliver, he does fine and hands the spotlight to the far superior (in this film) Daniel Day Lewis, who is fascinating to watch and at the same time chilling. Though he plays the villain, I found myself rooting for him after the first half of the film. Full Review »