User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 299 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 299
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  1. JeremyS.
    Jan 6, 2003
    6
    Gangs is guilty of two cardinal sins. First, it gives us a villain far more charismatic and interesting than the hero. Day-Lewis's performance blows DiCaprio's out of the water and all the good dialogue is given to him as well. The other problem is its excessive length. This is the sort of movie that, unlike, say, The Two Towers, makes you deeply aware of its length because Gangs is guilty of two cardinal sins. First, it gives us a villain far more charismatic and interesting than the hero. Day-Lewis's performance blows DiCaprio's out of the water and all the good dialogue is given to him as well. The other problem is its excessive length. This is the sort of movie that, unlike, say, The Two Towers, makes you deeply aware of its length because there's so much exposition and too many characters. Overall it's barely worth seeing because of Day-Lewis and the superb sets and costumes. Expand
  2. RyanB.
    Jan 7, 2003
    6
    The whole premise of this movie I think is sabotaged by the own historical riots and mobs in the streets of New York. While I was somewhat enjoying the movie until the part after Dicaprio recovers from his incident, this film lost everything it begins to build up for this riot and spends way to much time doing so, neglecting most of the characters and constanly switching around to The whole premise of this movie I think is sabotaged by the own historical riots and mobs in the streets of New York. While I was somewhat enjoying the movie until the part after Dicaprio recovers from his incident, this film lost everything it begins to build up for this riot and spends way to much time doing so, neglecting most of the characters and constanly switching around to different actors. I lost pretty much all interest in the characters. It becomes some observation of bloody mobs getting killed by the army. Can I ask why even get us interested in the whole vengeance plot if it is going to shift to some kind of history lesson. I guess this movie is worth seeing once, but I ultimately felt let down by it. The acting was not half bad though. All in all I guess you can say one thing about it, it shows how violence solves nothing. Expand
  3. TommyL.
    Jul 18, 2003
    6
    It was good, not great, for the most part. Then the end just ruined it. It's worth a look I guess...but be prepared to be disappointed.
  4. BobH.
    Mar 12, 2003
    6
    Disappointing. That was the word that kept popping into my head when I was watching this movie. The acting was excellent (congratulations to Daniel Day-Lewis especially) and there was some nice cinematography but some costumes and scenes were waaaaaay over the top. The lines were very corny and there was nothing really compelling about it.
  5. PatC.
    Jan 7, 2004
    6
    Here we go again, a movie memorializing the worst of the worst. Scorsese is so proficient in not relying on Formula - why did he do so here? Sorry, I'm not buying it. The scene at the end implying New York arose from these troublemakers is touching, but it's the people who avoid struggling that grease the infrastructure. Anyway, nice recreation of the period. Whatever the Here we go again, a movie memorializing the worst of the worst. Scorsese is so proficient in not relying on Formula - why did he do so here? Sorry, I'm not buying it. The scene at the end implying New York arose from these troublemakers is touching, but it's the people who avoid struggling that grease the infrastructure. Anyway, nice recreation of the period. Whatever the attraction is for Cameron Diaz, casting her as a slut was a guaranteed disruption of the story line. As for Daniel Day Lewis, I wish they'd just give him an Oscar and get it over with. Expand
  6. Matt
    Jul 12, 2003
    6
    I was disappointed in this movie. The first battle sequence was not what i thought it would of been. wasn't as realistic as i though it was and the ending was too quick. it almost seems that the outcome of the story was due to a outside force. i didn't like that part they should of had a huge knife fight instead of the army comming in and kicking everyones ass's then theI was disappointed in this movie. The first battle sequence was not what i thought it would of been. wasn't as realistic as i though it was and the ending was too quick. it almost seems that the outcome of the story was due to a outside force. i didn't like that part they should of had a huge knife fight instead of the army comming in and kicking everyones ass's then the good guy killing the 3/4 dead bad guy. Expand
  7. B.Carey
    Sep 27, 2003
    6
    Interesting visually, but Scorsese loses the story line.
  8. Jan 5, 2012
    6
    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.
  9. Jun 5, 2014
    6
    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 importantGangs 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
  10. Nov 12, 2013
    6
    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.
  11. Chetnik
    Jan 9, 2003
    5
    I think the song at the end by U2 sums up this film. It was like Scorsese was trying to appeal to the young hip audience. Cast a pretty boy. A hot girl from a recent hip comedy. Have a really popular POP rock band do a song at the end. Have some hardcore rock music as the score when the battle takes place. Have some weird choppy editing. And you got yourself a Scorsese Music Video. Some I think the song at the end by U2 sums up this film. It was like Scorsese was trying to appeal to the young hip audience. Cast a pretty boy. A hot girl from a recent hip comedy. Have a really popular POP rock band do a song at the end. Have some hardcore rock music as the score when the battle takes place. Have some weird choppy editing. And you got yourself a Scorsese Music Video. Some complain about the violence. Thats not the problem. The problem is a guy who doesn't understand that doing a film that takes place over 100 years ago should not be hip and slick. He was trying too hard to make money from the young audience. Ask yourself if The Godfather would be a better film if Michael was played by Warren Beatty. Or if the score had a really modern song by someone like Elton John. Imagine how pathetic that would be!!!!!!! Expand
  12. RayM.
    Aug 5, 2003
    5
    The movie had a good story that was drawn on WAY too long and given an ending that doesn't satisfy. Day-Lewis's acting as the butcher was very good. If they could just capture the atmosphere that was in the opening scene with Liam Neeson, this would have been awesome.
  13. Eon
    Oct 27, 2006
    5
    As much as I like Scorcese, this movie is boring and pointless.
  14. MikeM.
    Jan 13, 2003
    5
    Daniel Day-Lewis does play his role wonderfully but that alone can not save this movie. Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio do a fine job as well. The storytelling leaves more to be desired, especially towards the end and there is little character development beyond the main characters. I agree with Ryan B. that the story lost focus after Amsterdam's betrayal. Gangs of New York left Daniel Day-Lewis does play his role wonderfully but that alone can not save this movie. Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio do a fine job as well. The storytelling leaves more to be desired, especially towards the end and there is little character development beyond the main characters. I agree with Ryan B. that the story lost focus after Amsterdam's betrayal. Gangs of New York left me with a certain uneasy taste in my mouth with the very slanted view it portrayed on the Civil War. After the buildup of a great revenge story this film fell apart but not by fault of the actors, I can question the writers, director and post production team. Expand
  15. JoshuaW.
    Dec 24, 2002
    5
    For the first 15 minutes I could not for the life of me stop smiling, I thought the movie was brilliant. And then, it got bad. Scorcese couldn't figure out if he wanted it to be an epic, love story, historical piece, or a stylized version of any of the above. There were a lot of mistakes in the movie with regard to actions being cut together out of order and several shots randomly For the first 15 minutes I could not for the life of me stop smiling, I thought the movie was brilliant. And then, it got bad. Scorcese couldn't figure out if he wanted it to be an epic, love story, historical piece, or a stylized version of any of the above. There were a lot of mistakes in the movie with regard to actions being cut together out of order and several shots randomly throughout the movie with bad exposures cut inbetween shots with good ones. I think the acting was excellant all around but it was Daniel Day-Lewis, who I am glad is being nominated for awards as the leading actor, because he was brilliant. I hope he wins another academy award for this one because he deserves it. I've never seen Day-Lewis give a bad performance but this one is still well above even his usual high standards of acting. Expand
  16. Aug 27, 2011
    5
    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.
  17. Sep 2, 2012
    5
    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.
  18. Nov 9, 2012
    5
    Bill the Butcher is the only bright spot in this movie. But what a bright spot he is!
  19. DamianP.
    Jan 6, 2003
    4
    There were several things to like about this movie (the accents were pretty good, and I'd know) but it was still murder on my ass to sit and watch it! The ending was an absolute mess and detracts from what is already a mediocre movie. If you still want to see it, wait for the video.
  20. ChrisP.
    Jul 30, 2003
    4
    Wow, what a bad movie. When my wife asked me what I thought I was left with only one word to describe it: Stupid Bad script. Bad acting. Bad special effects. Bad. Mad Max meets PT Barnum.
  21. HatetheAcademy
    Feb 12, 2003
    4
    Hated it - - but I have to admire Day-Lewis' brillant portrait of The Butcher and the set design. I do, however, have serious qualms with the script (where to start???), all the other actors (people that think Leo and Diaz were appropriate for their roles need a lobotomy - or 12), the overly orchestrated violence (blood squirting into people's eyes - please), and the ending was Hated it - - but I have to admire Day-Lewis' brillant portrait of The Butcher and the set design. I do, however, have serious qualms with the script (where to start???), all the other actors (people that think Leo and Diaz were appropriate for their roles need a lobotomy - or 12), the overly orchestrated violence (blood squirting into people's eyes - please), and the ending was just too much to handle. I laughed hysterically. And so did a lot of other people. All in all, the fact that this got more nominations than The Hours is a crime. Make that a felony. Peter Travers, you are one sick and pathetic soul rating this the best film of the year. Poor, poor man. Expand
  22. Brian
    Jul 22, 2003
    4
    It could have been more authentic. they didn't give too much of the actual history. they make all americans look like an enemy. It was almost evil.
  23. MarkS.
    Dec 23, 2002
    4
    Despite being a spectacle for the eyes the film lacks much in terms of plot and characterization -- especially for how long it is.
  24. DanG.
    Feb 13, 2003
    4
    Didn't enjoy this film. Overlong, depressingly formulaic, poorly acted (save of course Mr Day-Lewis and Mr Gleeson) and generally emotionless. The 'Oirish' accents were laughable - esp. Di Caprio's on the ending monologue, which without exception, made every person in the cinema chuckle. Can't remember the U2 song well enough to comment. All in all a bit of a Didn't enjoy this film. Overlong, depressingly formulaic, poorly acted (save of course Mr Day-Lewis and Mr Gleeson) and generally emotionless. The 'Oirish' accents were laughable - esp. Di Caprio's on the ending monologue, which without exception, made every person in the cinema chuckle. Can't remember the U2 song well enough to comment. All in all a bit of a rotter. Nice hats though... Expand
  25. JonA.
    Feb 24, 2003
    4
    I thought Daniel Day Lewis was great, but other than that this film was entirely disappointing. The most laughable part of the movie was the totally unrealistic nature of the sets. They spent an incredible amount of time and energy trying to make this an "authentic" look at old NY, but instead it felt like Disneyland to me. I cannot believe this is up for Best Picture.
  26. AdrianB.
    May 20, 2003
    4
    Scenically spectacular, but a confused and tendentious plot. My studies of this period in New York make me feel it does not ring true. Five Points was a fairly small area. The orange characters look like Italians, not New Yorkers.
  27. DevinN.
    Jul 29, 2003
    4
    Booring, long, cliched, not violent enough, a let down for a scorsese fan.
  28. TrevorH.
    Aug 12, 2008
    4
    A pretty bad movie from a pretty good director. the only reason it has a four is because Daniel day lewis' performance is fantastic but the movie lacks any sort of purpose. some better editing could have cut out half this movie and at least then it wouldn't have been such a build up to nothing. "the blood stays on the blade"? lame. and what was the deal with that opening music? A pretty bad movie from a pretty good director. the only reason it has a four is because Daniel day lewis' performance is fantastic but the movie lacks any sort of purpose. some better editing could have cut out half this movie and at least then it wouldn't have been such a build up to nothing. "the blood stays on the blade"? lame. and what was the deal with that opening music? absolutely terrible. Expand
  29. AndyS.
    Dec 22, 2002
    4
    Gangs has the size but not the clarity of a great epic. It also has two of our best living actors (Day Lewis and Brendan Gleeson) whose characters might have driven a far more compelling story than the one centered on the in-over-his-head DiCaprio. While Scorcese moves a camera as well as anyone since Fellini, here's hoping he remembers to bring a script next time.
  30. PhillipR.
    Dec 31, 2002
    4
    A bloated, glossy misfire. It is spending 2 and 3/4 hours with a bunch of loathsome, mendacious, self-absorbed, brutes. There is not one character in the entire film that you care a whit for, except, perhaps Liam Neeson's Priest. And, as one of the people I saw this with said, "That's only because we didn't get to know him better." Scorsese's superb craftsmanship A bloated, glossy misfire. It is spending 2 and 3/4 hours with a bunch of loathsome, mendacious, self-absorbed, brutes. There is not one character in the entire film that you care a whit for, except, perhaps Liam Neeson's Priest. And, as one of the people I saw this with said, "That's only because we didn't get to know him better." Scorsese's superb craftsmanship distracts one from the stories vacuous center. It had the potential for greatness, but ultimately misses. This is Scorsese's "Duel in the Sun" (a favorite film of his) rather than his "Gone with the Wind." Wait and rent it. Expand
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. 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.