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Generally favorable reviews- based on 279 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 279

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  1. Aug 22, 2010
    Awesome film, daniel day lewis is incredible, the story on how the world changes around them is epic and well told. The way the film is directed and told is masterful, as well as the brilliant acting on show, the film shows the bigger picture around them and the message it conveys is extremely well done. A fantastic film
  2. Sep 20, 2010
    the greatest thing about gangs is the way the "old way" of corruption ruling the lands slowly collides with the new way of order and reform as the movie slowly winds to a head as it goes on. Against that backdrop is the struggle of young Vallon trying to carry out a vendetta against what he first perceived as a villain in Bill the Butcher, but as time winds on his bad deeds seem to have reason/meaning behind them and he seems almost honorable in his actions. They both grip to their old ways in the face of the changing landscape, physical and political... the dawning of a new world and as Bills eye closed for the final time as if the curtain finally closed on the ways of the old. This movie is a true cinematic masterpiece and my favorite of all time. Expand
  3. Nov 27, 2011
    Daneil Day Lewis is amazing in this film and is pretty much the only reason worth watching it for. It can be a little dull at times but most of the time its good and entertaining.
  4. Jun 16, 2012
    The movie isn't perfect, but the production design was amazing, and Daniel Day-Lewis really makes the movie with his performance. All in all, I'd say the movie is definitely worth watching.
  5. 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
  6. May 22, 2012
    Gangs of New York is a vibrant, epic classic. The performances are incredible and the period detailing is unbelievably sumptuous. History lessons have never been so entertaining! Seriously though, Gangs of New York is a movie I never tire of no matter how many times I see it. It's a fantastically directed glimpse into the dark heart of the Union's past. If I were to compile a list of my favorite top 20 films, this one would probably be on it. Expand
  7. 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
  8. Sep 7, 2011
    people saying its "boring" and "bad acting" your'e obviously retarded its a great film the acting the music and everything fits perfectly, the cast is great, especially day-lewis who makes the film with his role as the 'Butcher'
  9. Jun 8, 2011
    Gangs of New York is a pre Civil War film based in, of course, New York. Now, looking at the title of this film, most would think this was a present day gang film in New York with mafias and what not. But it's nothing like that. These gangs are the type of gangs which scrimmaged for food in the city and rely on others to get what they need to survive in the perilous city. The story revolves around a man named Amsterdam, whose father was part of a gang called the Dead Rabbits. His father was killed by a gang leader named William Cutting, otherwise known as "Bill the Butcher", who now owns and runs New York. It has been 16 years since Amsterdam's death, and sure enough, Bill still runs the town. The rest follows Amsterdam's life in New York, and his attempts to avenge his father.... Gangs of New York was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning none. But to many it was no surprise, for it was extremely close for making the cut for the Razzie's. But I could accept the fact that the film was nominated for Best Picture, for it truly deserved that kind of recognition. The acting within Gangs of New York was more than ordinary. A cast you wouldn't expect to see in a film like this (Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz) all played their very best parts. Leonardo did his average acting, but a little more better than usual. I loved Diaz, for I've never seen her in such a dramatic historic film before, and it was entertaining to see how she coped with it. Then Daniel Day-Lewis also did an exciting performance, although I believe he should've been nominated and won Best-Supporting Actor, instead of being nominated for Best Lead Actor. But the cast I liked best were the supporting actors crew. Meaning, the small cameo or occasional performances by actors, was the best part of all the acting. They added emotional or suspenseful impact to the film, and always made it better. Then, I enjoyed the cinematography. It was also nominated for an Oscar, and it was well nominated. I enjoyed some of the screen shots and single shots. Then I enjoyed the Direction. Of course, who couldn't like Martin Scorsese? He never seems to disappoint the audience, with films ranging from the Godfellas to The Departed, he is one true audience pleaser. But then, here comes the cons of the film. One thing was the opening sequence. It was a very pathetic battle scene, made in the worst way possible. It seemed fake on many levels, and thank god the film got better as it went on. Then the other dissapointing asspect was that it's running lenght was very lengthy, and could've been shortened some. Then the last part was that it was historically inaccurate. Otherwise, it was great. The best part of the film though was the fact that two great problems in New York was going on at the same time. One with the gangs, and another with the populace and the government. It was a great idea to base the story on. And as I end this review, I have to say one thing; Scorsese might be the oldest director out there, but I don't think he or his films will ever die. Expand
  10. Jul 4, 2011
    this is a great movie. i want to watch it again. it was great. the storyline was good. the acting was terrific. Daniel day Lewis gave a great performance. if you didn't like this movie then you don't appreciate history or good quality of work. fantastic movie. perfect score.
  11. Jan 12, 2014
    Again incredible movie by martin scorsese. I really like the setting, which I dont see many times. Also gotta love DiCaprio and Day Lewis their roles and the story keeps you watching, I can only recommend it.
  12. Aug 27, 2011
    It's good enough for a historical drama, especially given the absolutely brilliant performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, but Gangs of New York sprawls over its dull story with themes that it never dives into, and a plot that doesn't hit with the same power as Scorsese's previous films.
  13. Jan 5, 2012
    Daniel Day Lewis really carried this film imo and made it worth the watch. DiCaprio and Diaz sucked and didnt fit in at all. The rest of the cast was good. It was interesting at first but it feels a bit too drawn out and it loses interest. It was a decent film but no where near as good as it could have been.
  14. 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
  15. Sep 2, 2012
    Gangs of New York has very nice set pieces and an all star cast that overall puts on a very nice performance. I only wished it all could have came together to make a decent film.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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. Expand
  20. Mar 16, 2014
    A bunch of good actors, decent story, interesting time period for a criminal gang movie. Great direction. A bit long (as all of Scorsese), but still totally worth watching.
  21. Nov 7, 2012
    Gangs of New York is haunting and acted to perfection. Daniel Day-Lewis, especially, is very good here as Bill the Butcher.
  22. Jan 7, 2014
    Gangue de Nova York um bom filme porém não o melhor do grande Martin Scorsese que detém em seu currículo filmes melhores mais uma bela produção.
  23. Nov 9, 2012
    Bill the Butcher is the only bright spot in this movie. But what a bright spot he is!
  24. Nov 12, 2013
    Martin Scorsese is a director of astonishing power and Gangs of New York is a movie of astonishing imagination, ambition, and scope. The first fifteen minutes are as dazzling as any images ever put on screen. The rest of the movie veers from brilliant to flawed, but it is unfailingly arresting, provocative, and powerful. The struggle between good and evil is represented at every level, from the internal struggles within Amsterdam to the massive battles between the immigrants and the natives. Scorsese also puts the combat in Five Points within the context of the riots in New York after the Union began conscripting soldiers. His reach is over-ambitious at times, but he has a sure hand with the narrative and fills each frame with splendid images. After the terrible fighting is over, Scorsese shows us how the city was delivered, in both senses of the word. Superfluous voice-overs and flashbacks are very annoying, Thomas' character is poorly conceived, and Cameron Diaz, though game, is badly miscast. DiCaprio just manages to stay on top of his role, but Day-Lewis gives a career-topping performance of such ferocity that the character almost bursts out of the screen. In the end, a bit slow but great in a sense. Expand
  25. Mar 16, 2013
    Gangs of New York is terrific. Its mix of history, crime, love, and revenge come together to create one of Scorsese's best films. Some would say Gangs of New York drags, but for those who love great storytelling you won't be disappointed.
  26. 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
  27. Sep 15, 2013
    Gangs of New York had my eyes glued to the screen as an amazing, stunning, historical piece to Martin Scorcese's filmography, until the final third of the movie where it fell a little flat. The plot twists and smooth storytelling Scorcese is famous for just went into thin air. I don't want to spoil the movie, but after a major scene between Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie gets a little banal and dried up until one of the very last dramatic scenes. The pace and the throbbing heart that kept this movie alive just suddenly fails to keep going. The story slows down, and not much happens for a while. Now, don't get me wrong; this "final third" isn't the worst part of a movie I've ever seen. It's just that compared to the rest of the movie, this part lags and is a touch dry.

    Other than that, this is a great movie with a talented cast and a great director. The story isn't all that complicated, but Scorcese's great filmmaking talents pull it off and make it interesting. It is for all I can see historically accurate, and it really has the feel of the violence and desperation of that time period. This is officially the second best role of Daniel Day-Lewis, in my opinion. (The first being Lincoln, of course
  28. Nov 12, 2013
    Gangs of New York just isn't spectacular.
    With extremely unlikeable characters along with a slow dreary scenery. Gangs of New York impresses but is plagued with an overly long plot that doesn't entertain the way it should.
  29. 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
  30. 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.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. The movie turns choppy in the final third, but it is a monumental achievement nonetheless.
  2. Lacks one thing -- an epic grandeur.
  3. 75
    There is greatness in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York: titanic acting, violent poetry, moviemaking on a grand scale, a real air of daring. And there is flab in it as well, and confusion.