Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1668 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Francis Ford Coppola's epic features Marlon Brando in his Oscar-winning role as the patriarch of the Corleone family. Director Coppola paints a chilling portrait of the Sicilian clan's rise and near fall from power in America, masterfully balancing the story between the Corleone's familyFrancis Ford Coppola's epic features Marlon Brando in his Oscar-winning role as the patriarch of the Corleone family. Director Coppola paints a chilling portrait of the Sicilian clan's rise and near fall from power in America, masterfully balancing the story between the Corleone's family life and the ugly crime business in which they are engaged. Based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel and featuring career-making performances by Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall, this searing and brilliant film garnered ten Academy Award nominations, and won three including Best Picture of 1972. [Paramount Pictures] Expand
Watch On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    Overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood. And its deaths, like that of Hotspur in "Henry IV, Part I," continue to shock no matter how often we've watched them coming. [16 Mar 1997, Calendar, p.7]
  2. Brando made Don Vito something we rarely see in movies: a tragicomic villain-hero, a vulnerable hood. The don is so close to a comic character -- the movie itself is so close to comedy -- that Brando's capacity to move us in the role is doubly impressive. At the end, it is the older Godfather's tenderness and sagacity we recall. [21 Mar 1997, Friday, p.A]
  3. Just about as great as a movie's ever gonna be... As for the storytellng, The Godfather is an intricately constructed gem that simultaneously kicks ass.
  4. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    100
    Sharp, entertaining, and convincing--discursive, but with a sense of structure and control that Coppola hasn't achieved since.
  5. 100
    The wedding sequence... is a virtuoso stretch of filmmaking: Coppola brings his large cast onstage so artfully that we are drawn at once into the Godfather's world.
  6. 100
    The picture is a series of mini-climaxes, all building to the devastating, definitive conclusion... It was carefully and painstakingly crafted. Every major character - and more than a few minor ones - is molded into a distinct, complex individual.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    Overlong at about 175 minutes (played without intermission), and occasionally confusing. While never so placid as to be boring, it is never so gripping as be superior screen drama.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 385
  1. JamesE
    Oct 15, 2007
    10
    This is the best movie i have ever seen in my life. People knew that back in the 70's and still today it is unmatched in quality and This is the best movie i have ever seen in my life. People knew that back in the 70's and still today it is unmatched in quality and realism. The length of the movie was perfectly acceptable otherwise we would never get the whole story. Anyone (and i mean anyone) who gives this movie lower than 5 should be watching bio-dome and should be banned from any movie rating sites. Expand
  2. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    Like Babe Ruth is to baseball, like John Steinbeck is to writing, their is no doubt about it, The Godfather is the greatest film of all time.Like Babe Ruth is to baseball, like John Steinbeck is to writing, their is no doubt about it, The Godfather is the greatest film of all time. Never before have we seen performances so stellar, by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and everyone else! The Godfather has little life lessons everywhere. Along with an engaging plot, that just completes the most critically acclaimed film of all time. The Godfather is Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece. Expand
  3. SedrickW
    Oct 14, 2009
    10
    What the hell is wrong with kids these days! The Godfather is the daddy of all movies. The Godfather is hands down to greatest movie ever What the hell is wrong with kids these days! The Godfather is the daddy of all movies. The Godfather is hands down to greatest movie ever seen on a TV anywhere in the world ever. That was misspelled horribly I am sorry. But The Godfather is amazing so up yours kids! Expand
  4. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    I'm not a writer or a critic so I can't really tell you why this movie is perfect... but I know it is because of how I feel every time I seeI'm not a writer or a critic so I can't really tell you why this movie is perfect... but I know it is because of how I feel every time I see it. I'm moved. Expand
  5. Apr 24, 2015
    10
    Rarely can it be said that a film has defined a genre, but never is that more true than in the case of The Godfather. Since the release of theRarely can it be said that a film has defined a genre, but never is that more true than in the case of The Godfather. Since the release of the 1972 epic (which garnered ten Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture), all "gangster movies" have been judged by the standards of this one (unfair as the comparison may be). If a film is about Jewish mobsters, it's a "Jewish Godfather"; if it's about the Chinese underworld, it's an "Oriental Godfather"; if it takes place in contemporary times, it's a "modern day Godfather."

    If The Godfather was only about gun-toting Mafia types, it would never have garnered as many accolades. The characteristic that sets this film apart from so many of its predecessors and successors is its ability to weave the often-disparate layers of story into a cohesive whole. Any of the individual issues explored by The Godfather are strong enough to form the foundation of a movie. Here, however, bolstered by so many complimentary themes, each is given added resonance. The picture is a series of mini-climaxes, all building to the devastating, definitive conclusion.

    Rarely does a film tell as many diverse-yet-interconnected stories. Strong performances, solid directing, and a tightly-plotted script all contribute to The Godfather's success. This motion picture was not slapped together to satiate the appetite of the masses; it was carefully and painstakingly crafted. Every major character - and more than a few minor ones - is molded into a distinct, complex individual. Stereotypes did not influence Coppola's film, although certain ones were formed as a result of it.

    Despite the likes of Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, ...And Justice for All, and Scent of a Woman on his resume, Pacino is best remembered for the role he created in The Godfather (and subsequently reprised in two sequels). While this is not his most demonstrative performance - indeed, he is exceptionally restrained - the quality of the script makes Michael Corleone notable.

    Don Vito is a most complicated gangster. In his own words, he is not a killer, and he never mixes business with personal matters. He puts family first ("A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man") and despises displays of weakness. He understands the burden of power, and his wordless sympathy for Michael when he is forced to assume the "throne", is one of The Godfather's most revealing moments (about both father and son).

    Family responsibility. A father's legacy. The need to earn respect. The corrupting influence of power. These are some of the ingredients combined in Francis Ford Coppola's cinematic blender. They are themes which have intrigued the greatest authors of every medium through the centuries.

    Although the issues presented in The Godfather are universal in scope, the characters and setting are decidedly ethnic. Even to this day, there is an odd romanticism associated with New York's Italian crime families. The word "Mafia" conjures up images of the sinister and mysterious - scenes of the sort where Luca Brasi meets his fate. Francis Ford Coppola has tapped into this fascination and woven it as yet another element of the many that make his motion picture a compelling experience.

    We come to The Godfather like Kay Adams - outsiders uncertain in our expectations - but it doesn't take long for us to be captivated by this intricate, violent world. The film can be viewed on many levels, with equal satisfaction awaiting those who just want a good story, and those who demand much more. The Godfather is long, yes - but it is one-hundred seventy minutes well-spent. When the closing credits roll, only a portion of the story has been told. Yet that last haunting image (Kay's shock of recognition), coupled with Nino Rota's mournful score, leaves a crater-like impression that The Godfather Part II only deepens.
    Expand
  6. Dec 3, 2014
    9
    it might be a long movie but you dont want it to end. The best gangster film of all time no doubt marlon brando improvisation made thisit might be a long movie but you dont want it to end. The best gangster film of all time no doubt marlon brando improvisation made this move,and the movie is joined with 2 other amazing films which makes it the best triolgy. Al pacino as per usual at his best its a young al pacino that you see another rang of his brilliant acting skills Expand
  7. SeanM.
    Nov 12, 2003
    0
    Excuse me, how did this movie get a 100, the metacritic calculation failed to factor in the last entry which would inevitably knock down the Excuse me, how did this movie get a 100, the metacritic calculation failed to factor in the last entry which would inevitably knock down the score to a 99. I personally have never seen the movie but I am just pointing out the fact that the critism of the movie is very bias towards it being perfect and classic. [Ed: Sean, take a look at the scoring explained page re: normalization.] Expand

See all 385 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Metacritic's Best and Worst Movies Based on Novels

    Metacritic's Best and Worst Movies Based on Novels Image
    Published: December 15, 2009
    While The Lovely Bones is receiving a cool reception from critics, some novels have made a more successful transition from page to screen. Metacritic's film editor selects ten of the best-reviewed adaptations in our database ... and ten of the worst.