The Godfather

Metascore
100

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

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1681 Ratings

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  • 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
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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 386
  1. MorkusY.
    Nov 27, 2007
    10
    The acting was so incredible in this movie it wouldn't matter what the plot or story was.
  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. jamesjames
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    People who rate this less than a 9 clearly haven't the first idea about filmmaking, and probably think Micheal bay is the worlds People who rate this less than a 9 clearly haven't the first idea about filmmaking, and probably think Micheal bay is the worlds greatest director , go watch transformers and for all you who says its shit (the godfather) not everybody can just switch there brain off and watch a movie that has only 1 purpose and that's line already rich studio dickheads pockets with more money, the likes of saw transformers all that eye candy retard shit has nothing to do with the art and craft of filmaking ,nothing to do with an artists vision but instead its just a cash cow ,if you don't like the likes of transformers and that shit than your a slave,art is about an artists vision,an what he or she wants to show you and wants to say,not what they think you wanna c,u idiots probably think prison break and 24 are better than the wire and the sopranos. Expand
  4. Dec 15, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Godfather is simply the god of films, it was a privilege to watch the Oscar winning performance of Marlon Brando, who conquered the role Vito Corleone. The film was a different class and is filled with incredible plots that is delivered in a fantastic mafia way. I recommend it to everyone even if they aren't into the gangster style films, it was no doubt the greatest film ever made. Each character resonates with you and the brilliant anti-hero role of Michael Corleone was a true gift to watch, which Al Pacino does not get enough credit for and was a genius replacement for Vito his father who's character was very difficult to equal.
    The scene in the restaurant between Michael, Sollozzo and McCluskey was magnificent and couldn't have been done any better, the suspense was outstanding from the bit Michael came back with the gun to the part he left the table with bullets in both men.
    When talking about leading you into movies, the Godfather pulled you in straight away the acting from Brando was intriguingly flawless. The first scene straight away brought the character Vito Corleone to life! We were never sure what Vito would say or what Michael would do, or how Sonny would react, which made me fall in love with the movie. And of course a big hand to the director Francis Ford Coppola, who brought us a film of pure gold that bestows the control of power from one generation to the other and character development of Michael was something special, when his father was shot the change took you by storm and when Sonny died he looked past justice and finished what his father had started, it was displayed with no fault what so ever and t all in all could not have been any better. The film take's you down the road of the powerful family crime dynasty and will blow your mind.
    The Godfather, is an offer you can't refuse.
    Expand
  5. Apr 29, 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.

    Next to Humphrey Bogart's Rick from Casablanca, Oscar winner Marlon Brando's Don Vito may be the most imitated character in screen history. The line "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" has attained legendary status, as has the entire performance. With his raspy voice, deliberate movements, and penetrating stare, Brando has created a personae that will be recalled for as long as motion pictures exist.

    The Godfather had three Best Supporting Actor nominees, all well-deserved. The first was Pacino (who probably should have been nominated alongside Brando in the Best Actor category). The other two were James Caan and Robert Duvall. In a way, it's surprising that Duvall wasn't passed over. His presence in The Godfather isn't flashy or attention-arresting. Like his character of Tom Hagen, he is steady, reliable, and stays in the background. Not so for Caan's Sonny, whose demonstrative and volatile personality can't be overlooked.

    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.
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  6. May 16, 2015
    9
    Very good film, resonating and thematically legendary. It is a little slow for my taste, but even though it's very long Godfather isVery good film, resonating and thematically legendary. It is a little slow for my taste, but even though it's very long Godfather is dramatically near perfect. 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 386 User Reviews

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