User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 69
  2. Negative: 15 out of 69
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  1. AtleF
    Dec 7, 2009
    9
    A fascinating movie giving us the whole picture of the terrible conditions in Gomorra.
  2. Jeffjef
    Mar 25, 2009
    5
    Completely overrated. how can so many film critics get this completely wrong. the only strong point is that it has good cinematography. you know where the plot is going and don't feel a connection to anyone because of the way the story is told.
  3. John
    Mar 7, 2009
    10
    Masterpiece!
  4. VeganApe
    Jan 25, 2010
    3
    Convincing cinema verite but wandering, indulgent...at times random-feeling succession of non-sequiturs.
  5. caporegime
    Jun 10, 2009
    1
    Movie murdered the gomorrah and also the mafia. If you already know how the mafia works, then you don't have to see this movie because it only contains how they operate.
  6. DavidS
    Jun 5, 2009
    2
    I started to read the book and then decided to watch the movie On Demand. What a mistake! If you don't read the book first, you will have no clue what is going on. The only thing that saved the rating from being a zero was the acting.
  7. desmondP.
    Mar 1, 2009
    6
    Vastly overrated. Other than the two young hoodlums it is difficult to tell who is who, what they are doing and why.
  8. ColinT.Black
    Mar 28, 2009
    7
    Completely got what the movie was going for, I was sold on the documentary style, and didn't fight it nor did I miss the typical genre-conventions, but films like City of God and TV shows like The Wire have done it better. With that being said the film is definitely one of a kind, but while definitely succeeding in being a voyeuristic and informational tour, another reviewer stated Completely got what the movie was going for, I was sold on the documentary style, and didn't fight it nor did I miss the typical genre-conventions, but films like City of God and TV shows like The Wire have done it better. With that being said the film is definitely one of a kind, but while definitely succeeding in being a voyeuristic and informational tour, another reviewer stated "it is difficult to tell who is who, what they are doing and why." Couldn't agree more. And I did feel like the less is more ethos is somewhat of a cop-out, so the film could look mumbled & fumbled all in the name of cinematic style and POV not quite a more truthful telling... the Director may not of been competent enough to interweave a truly-realistic yet truly-compelling narrative. Expand
  9. BrandonG
    Dec 4, 2009
    8
    Really interesting look into modern underworld operations. Strong character study about four people and the various ways theirs lives change because of the mob. Well acted, well shot. A little long. Violent, realistic. A little bit of exploring will help make the story crystal clear. I, for example, didn't know that the mob in Italy had started to run the landfills, which was a plot Really interesting look into modern underworld operations. Strong character study about four people and the various ways theirs lives change because of the mob. Well acted, well shot. A little long. Violent, realistic. A little bit of exploring will help make the story crystal clear. I, for example, didn't know that the mob in Italy had started to run the landfills, which was a plot point. Really liked it. Expand
  10. JayH
    Aug 3, 2009
    6
    Gritty, brutal and very realistically told through the stylish direction of Matteo Garrone. Not a pleasant film, it can be disturbing at times. It's a fine film, but it didn't "wow" me. Good acting. It seemed longer than it's 135 minute length.
  11. Becquer
    Feb 13, 2009
    9
    An uncompromising look at reality (one reminiscent of Fernando Meirelles' 2002 beauty "City of God"), "Gomorra" is a stunningly real look at the Comorra crime ring in Naples by way of a masterfully woven series of plot lines that tangle and twist, but are never tied.
  12. JayW
    Feb 13, 2009
    6
    Excessively long, tedious account about a bunch of hopeless narcissists with guns. It would have made for a wonderful 90-minute documentary. Forget the hype, but see it for the insights into that other mob and for some memorable performances.
  13. MichaelNewmarket
    Dec 30, 2009
    9
    Brutal; bleak; superb.
  14. JoshB
    Feb 16, 2009
    5
    Overrated. Somewhat engaging, but not much of a payoff for investing your time. Also it's pretty confusing.
  15. iainf
    May 21, 2009
    9
    It reminded me alot of the film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, which I'm sure any frequent metacritic user should be familiar with. And believe me, that is a huge compliment. Gommorah gripped me with an unrelenting display of the human side of gang warfare. Although I was a little disapointed by the ending, and it may not be the most memorable film out there, I thought this was a It reminded me alot of the film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, which I'm sure any frequent metacritic user should be familiar with. And believe me, that is a huge compliment. Gommorah gripped me with an unrelenting display of the human side of gang warfare. Although I was a little disapointed by the ending, and it may not be the most memorable film out there, I thought this was a brilliant film. A sign of hope for more to come out of Italian cinema. Expand
  16. BillE.Budd
    Feb 27, 2009
    8
    Saw it @ Busan Film Festival. Liked the style. Grim, visceral, unrelenting. A strong statement.
  17. roberti.
    Mar 28, 2009
    8
    An unblinking look into the abyss, where clan loyalty has become outright war, drawing in children, youth, the respectable middle-aged. Who can escape the pull of the mob, when the mob rules? Excellent and unsentimental verismo.
  18. nickw
    Mar 29, 2009
    7
    Anyone who lives anywhere (especially in america) has to take a look at how clean their day to day living is; the only thing that keeps us safe is our ignorance.
  19. Jul 17, 2011
    8
    A very bleak and slow moving drama of how peoples everyday lives are affected by where they live. I would compare it to "Traffic" in how it jumps between different unrelated stories and lives of characters who like it or not are serving the "Cammora". The movie also reminds me of "City Of God" in the style of the movie and the way its shot. I did enjoy it but it didn't live up toA very bleak and slow moving drama of how peoples everyday lives are affected by where they live. I would compare it to "Traffic" in how it jumps between different unrelated stories and lives of characters who like it or not are serving the "Cammora". The movie also reminds me of "City Of God" in the style of the movie and the way its shot. I did enjoy it but it didn't live up to expectation for me. The acting is brilliant as a lot of non professional locals. If you liked the other movies I've mentioned then see this for sure but just don't expect Goodfellas or Scarface. Expand
  20. Feb 24, 2012
    8
    A grim and uncompromising look at the human cost of the Italian criminal underworld. It is undeniably well directed and well acted. The multiple plots give scope to the story even if it does meanders occasionally.
  21. Aug 11, 2011
    9
    A gritty and very visual journey through the layers of filth, violence and strict codes of family values and honor that govern the southern parts of Italy. Beautifully shot and well acted, it is a true example of the best that modern European cinema can offer.
  22. Jul 22, 2013
    9
    No matter how many mafia films you have seen, you have never seen anything like "Gomorrah." It is a desolate film--devoid of hope, and explores a brutally violent way of life without heroes, just victims. “Gomorrah” portrays an Italy so far removed from our picture post card images of a beautiful, crumbling grandeur that it’s shocking and startling. This is a modern day Italy of chronicNo matter how many mafia films you have seen, you have never seen anything like "Gomorrah." It is a desolate film--devoid of hope, and explores a brutally violent way of life without heroes, just victims. “Gomorrah” portrays an Italy so far removed from our picture post card images of a beautiful, crumbling grandeur that it’s shocking and startling. This is a modern day Italy of chronic unemployment, decaying infrastructure, and social stagnation. Director Matteo Garrone's unflinching portrait of a very real hell on earth won the Grand Prix at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. This isn't some art house picture looking to score style points by subverting the gangster paradigm. “Gomorrah” takes on a hard-hitting documentary feel, providing a horrific glimpse of everyday life on the lawless streets of Napoli.

    Gomorrah is the name of a Biblical city synonymous with shameless sinners. The title of the Italian film "Gomorrah,” is a chilling descriptor and play on words referring to the "Camorra"- a notorious, violent, organized crime syndicate that controls the city of Naples and surrounding countryside. Garrone introduces us to the typical daily life inside this criminal state—and a little known criminal organization to the Western world. The film is based on Roberto Saviano's 2006 best selling novel "Gomorrah," who personally documented his dangerous first-person journey, and to this very day lives under police protection.

    "Gomorrah" opens with a standard-issue mob hit and then, without ever pausing to explain, proceeds to map out the web of relations by which the Camorra ensnares its subjects and how it operates. Powerful crime bosses and crooked police officers are off-screen. Instead, we are introduced to the residents of Scampia--a notorious Neapolitan suburb that is a vast, disastrous structure of public housing. An ominous warren of concrete, steel piping, and oppressive apartment blocks, a setting every bit as menacing as Rio de Janeiro’s ‘Favela’ in “City of God” (2001). Crime and poverty are rampant, drugs are sold and consumed openly in the streets, and is widely recognized as the world's largest open-air drug market.

    Director Matteo Garrone splinters the narrative, and then traces it along different commercial channels an industrial waste disposal service, an illegal garment manufacturer, a construction company, and the relentless drug wars that play out in the streets. Poison is the lifeblood of what Saviano simply refers to as "The System"-crack cocaine, chemical waste, tainted money, and creeping corruption. The movie maintains an authentic feel of "street level occupation," and contains no musical score, which only adds to the desolate story line and landscape. Unlike so many of its ancestors, from "Scarface" (1983) to "Goodfellas" (1990), fast money, accumulating wealth, and achieving status is the driving motivation behind the criminal activity. "Gomorrah" is not a sensationalistic film, far from glamorous, and there is never any sense of riches to be had.

    It's a frightening and chilling experience to watch the reprehensible, ruthless violence perpetuate in the slums of Napoli’s. We reach a point in the film when the criminal activity and bloodshed is no longer startling; and it simply becomes the immediacy and sudden violent disruption of every day life. Nothing sweet or serene in this movie stays that way for long. There is no Hollywood gloss, or international stars involved in telling this story. Just a hollow point shot of gritty realism that a bulletproof vest can’t even stop.
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Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    80
    A sombre, slow, but well-paced study of organised crime in urban Naples that leaves a very grim taste in the mouth.
  2. 80
    The five interwoven narratives in this visceral but disciplined and beautifully acted movie show to devastating effect how ordinary men and women -- and especially vulnerable boys desperate for masculine role models -- get caught up in the seductive violence and are ruthlessly destroyed by the network's hardened henchmen.
  3. 100
    The fingerprints of the Camorra are everywhere, this film wants us to know, and its grip is lethal.