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Plot: 1863. America was born in the streets. In this movie, we see Amsterdam Vallon returning to the Five Points of America to seek vengeance against the psychotic gangland kingpin Bill the Butcher who murdered his father years ago. With an eager pickpocket by his side and a whole new army, Vallon fights his way to seek vengeance on the Butcher and restore peace in the area. However this is more said than done. Runtime: 167 mins Release Date: 19 Dec 2002
Intense, disturbing and powerful (by janefondafan)
Well, I just got back from seeing "Gangs of New York" at the theater, and I have many positive things to say about this film. It's easily the most powerful film I've seen this year, even topping the excellent "White Oleander". I have never seen a film portray poverty in the 1800's as well as this film did. It also made me feel like I was there, witnessing the poverty and brutality. It's a film that makes us be thankful that times like those have passed, and for us not to forget those who lived and died during those times. It's also a film that's not <more>
afraid to show war in its total uglyness. Martin Scorsese definately got his point across with this film, but he didn't do it alone. The cast were all excellent in their parts, no bad acting here at all. Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz showed they are more than just pretty faces. Daniel Day-Lewis was magnificent as "The Butcher", a character whom you want to both love and hate. Quite simply the best film I've seen all year, and I hope it will get nominated and win many Oscars. Even if it doesn't, it's a true winner in my eyes. Nice to see that Hollywood can actually do something useful with a $100million budget for once. This was playing at the theater the same time as "The Two Towers"... unfortunately, most of the people in the long line-up went to see "TTT"... they sure missed out, since GONY has more to say in the first 10 minutes than LOTR has to say over 3 hours. Although this film is rather long 2 hrs 47 mins , I was so provoked by it that the time flew by. "Gangs of New York".... A film that's not to be missed!!10/10 - Higly reccomended!
A selfish indulgence I can't escape (by ragingbull1980)
Gangs of New York is a flawed picture, but oh what a masterfully entertaining flawed picture. Buoyed by the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher, and quite possibly one of the greatest villains ever to appear on screen, the movie is a wonderfully detailed, semi-fictional account of New York in the 1860's--when the country was a political hotbed and the people were as ruthlessly dug in and divided as... well, today.DiCaprio is good, and maybe great even. But how would we know? The picture belongs to the Butcher--perhaps DiCaprio's ability to allow the villain to shine as <more>
he is and not attempt to steal the spotlight is a credit to the young actor. After all, he's not really the main character--rather, he's the pair of eyes through which we see this complex war-torn, urban society. The main character is Bill Cutting, whose moral, political, and xenophobic complexities mirror the contradictions in all Americans, particularly of that period--though such contradictions have been the subject of American historical fiction for two and a half centuries.Scorsese makes this picture the way it should be made, with caution to the wind and a heart bursting with vivid imagination that can be seen in every nook and cranny of the massive Five Points neighborhood on screen. He indulges in every turn to fill the film with multiple thematic elements, running at once both concurrent and in contradiction to one another. This creates a film that many people are uncomfortable with because let's face it: with all this going on, where's the plot? I think the plot, fragile as it is, only exists to deliver this world and its characters for us to observe, consume, and relish in. I certainly do. For all of its mistakes, it is a film I continue to watch over and over again, with a fascination I reserve perhaps for only three or four other films I have ever seen.I love this movie, God help me.
Ever seen a film that captured all you loved and hated about not only America for those of of you who are American ,but the world,as well? A film that made you so angry,but yet left you in tears due to its compelling story,characters,and visuals?For me,Gangs of New York is that film.I LOVE this movie! From its heartbreaking opening,to its truly melancholy ending,this film leaves with so many mixed emotions that just further support the emotional weight of this film.If by the final scene,you don't either feel a positive or negative emotion to what you saw and the effects it had on not only <more>
the characters,but America in general,then I question your humanity.Now,I am not a patriotic person.I find,as a country,America is very hypocritical,and it makes me sick,but I still care for my fellow man,and that is becoming more and more rare as time goes on.People just look out for themselves more often nowadays,and you just want to scream at them for their self-centered behavior.Gangs of New York is set in 1863,when gangs ran the streets of New York,and the government couldn't or would not,whatever you prefer gain control of the city that would one day be one of the greatest cities of the world.The story deals with the character of Amsterdam Vallon Leonardo DiCaprico ,who,when he was young,lost his father Liam Neeson to gang leader Bill the Butcher Daniel Day-Lewis .Amsterdam is put in a reform school,but when he grows up,he plots to avenge his father's murder by getting close to Bill and killing him.In joining Bill's gang,however,Amsterdam gets to know the man personally.Now,Bill is someone Amsterdam,and we as a viewing audience, should hate without question.But he is the interesting thing:Bill isn't unlikable.Even in all that he has done,and will do and he does plenty,as this is an almost 3-hour film ,Amsterdam finds he actually is starting to respect the man,especially when it concerns Amsterdam's father,who Bill considers as "the only person he ever killed worth remembering."Sadly,nothing good will come out of this.Bill soon discovers who Amsterdam really is,and he won't take kindly to someone in his gang who has it out for him. And so,Amsterdam and Bill,by the film's climax,will find themselves on opposing sides in what will shape the future of "their great city".Gangs is a wonderful film,filled with terrific performances,amazing visuals,great direction,a solid screenplay,filled with depth and themes,and,overall,a powerful message:"in the end,how significant are the quarrels of man's past? For in the end,time will fade even legend."Please see this. You will be shocked and amazed.It reminds me of how I see this country every day,and reminds me of how thankful I am for the people in my life that make life worth having.
Spoilers herein.Scorsese is competent enough at what he does, But since `Taxi Driver,' that hasn't been worth watching until now.The world of film is rife with gangs battling for the soul of the viewer. One of those gangs is led by the `old' Scorsese -- it rallies under the banner of character-driven storytelling. He finds a story with characters of excess, and peoples them with actors of excess. The story spins not from the people or situation, but from the excess itself. This is not native to cinema, it is an immigrant trend, imported into the world of film. All the devices of <more>
cinema are subservient to the characters. The camera literally is attached to the usually men. that's the old Scorsese gang. Spielberg runs a similar gang.Opposed are a collection of gangs that build films first from cinematic vision, then enfold story and characters -- the different visions and enfolding techniques differentiate these gangs, but they all hate the interlopers from literature who do illustrated books. These gangs are native to film, and include dePalma, Tarkovsky, Welles, Kurosawa, Kubrick. But with this film our man Martin enters the world of cinema first before doing anything else and effects a conversion. It is his first film since `Taxi Driver' to assign the camera to the situation instead of the character. In this film, the star is the tone and feel of the place, and the forces surrounding that place: the characters are third in the hierarchy. It is a masterful and welcome switch of allegiance.Oh, we have a story, the ordinary insipid stuff about a girl and bruised suitors, about political power, about revenge. And we have at least one actor who knows how to control and channel excess now that Deniro is retired from real acting . It is what everyone will talk about, but none of that really matters. What matters is Scorsese's new eye.This camera understands the situation while creating it. In the past, his camera has been attached to the man. Here, it is attached to the space instead: most spectacularly the caves under the brewery and in the five points intersection. The eye creates the situation first -- cinematically -- in which the characters move. The fights here, both at the beginning and end, really make the `Lord of The Rings' work seems ordinary if large. That's because longtime editor Schoonmaker has had a similar epiphany and assembles the shots around a scene and not a face. She got her start with `Finnegans Wake' IMDB has it incorrectly listed with an apostrophe and here she returns to those roots.Scorsese is no longer the leader of a gang, but a member of the ones that matter, situated.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
Superb fictional but historically-valid account of gang warfare that shaped New York city in the 19th century. (by TxMike)
Feb 2010 edit: I saw it again presently and it still is a fascinating movie. A must-see.'Gangs of New York' is a long movie at 2 hours and 45 minutes, but it never did feel 'long', it never got boring. As the historical featurette on the DVD shows, the time, place, characters and events are predominantly real, New York in the period between about 1840 and 1865 was the dirtiest and most dangerous place in the USA, perhaps in the whole world. The five points area, near what is now Little Italy and Chinatown, drew immigrants, primarily Irish, and freshly-released convicts. Police <more>
were there mainly to keep the wealthy from getting mugged by the poor. Rival volunteer firefighter groups would often fight each other and loot the burning buildings. There really was a 'Boss Tweed' and a 'Bill the Butcher.' Young female pickpockets thrived. There were a whole host of rival gangs, and being part of a gang was essential for survival. The riots protesting the draft really did result in almost destroying New York.So, what we have in this movie is a very closely historical look and feel of that era, interwoven with a fictional story. The clear star of the movie is Daniel Day-Lewis as 'Bill the Butcher'. He creates an unforgettable character that is eloquent, sometimes funny, always terrifying, and often deadly to his opponents. Leonardo DiCaprio is very strong as the young man 'Amsterdam' whose father Liam Neeson had been killed years earlier in the gang brawl that opens the movie. Cameron Diaz plays Jenny who has connections to both Bill and Amsterdam. The picture and sound on the DVD are first-rate, with either a Dolby 5.1 or a DTS 5.1 sound track selectable. The movie is long, so the only extra I watched was the historical one, and it is a treasure. I like this movie and rate it highly. Anyone who wants to learn more about the 'hidden' history of New York should see this movie.The remaining comments contain SPOILERS and are for my future recollection. Do not read further. If you want more details, go read the critic Ebert's excellent review.Bill was the vicious leader of the 'Nativist' gang that wanted to keep out the foreign immigrants, especially the Irish who they considered even lower than the black former slaves. The rival gang featured here were the 'Dead Rabbits'. As the DVD extra explains, the real Irish name was different, but sounded much like 'dead rabbit', and actually had a meaning close to 'large and dangerous brute'. In the opening fight Bill kills 'Priest', Amsterdam's father, the fight ends as the Nativists prevail. Amsterdam is sent to an orphanage to grow up, then we see him 16 years later being released, he goes back to Five Points. Being a quiet but assertive and competent type, Amsterdam soon gets into the good graces of Bill. Voice-over, 'It is strange being under the wing of a dragon. It is warmer than you think.' But eventually Bill learns who Amsterdam really is, and is prepared when he deflects a knife thrown by Amsterdam, subdues him, spares his life but brands him on the right cheek with a glowing hot knife blade. Jenny the pickpocket and Amsterdam were on the way to falling in love, she helps nurse him back to health, he assumes leadership of the Dead Rabbits, he challenges Bill to a brawl, which takes place right when the militia begin to fire upon that section of town using cannons on ships in the harbor, to break up the military draft protest riots. Bill gets mortally wounded, Amsterdam finishes him off. His revenge taken.
Gangs of New York gets a lot of bad and harsh critics but I like this one a lot. It is for certain no movie with super deep story and it may not be historical accurate I can't judge that because lack of knowledge but it is imo an epic movie with a fine cast Daniel Day-Lewis, Liam Neeson, John C. Reily, DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and some more and on top a perfect cinematography and big production.Again Martin Scorsese got me enchanted with this one like with some of his later works: Shutter Island, The Departed, Hugo . Gangs of New York is maybe not one of his top works but beats easy <more>
99% of all movies released in the categories drama and crime.Love, hate, revenge, crime, the fight for survival in a dark world - a movie the word epic is forged for.
"Gangs of New York" takes us back to a time when America was a young country and New York was divided. Those who felt they were "native" Americans did not want immigrants to enter their great country, spawning hatred between groups all over the city where many of them landed. In the story we see how much of the town is run by one man, with William Cutting "Bill the Butcher," played marvelously by Daniel Day-Lewis being the most feared and well-respected man of the "five Points."Leonardo DiCaprio plays Amsterdam Vallon, who as a boy watched Bill the <more>
Butcher kill his father in one of the Points' great battles. Now a grown man, he returns to the Points to find Bill pretty much running the show. He gets on Bill's good side and eventually becomes his number one man, all the while still plotting for his father's revenge.While there is a lot of gratuitous violence and gore, the film does an excellent job portraying life as it was in New York. You can be sucked in to the time of the movie, and even though the setting is much before our time you don't need a textbook to understand how things were run and what life was like.I've never been a big DiCaprio fan, but his effort here along with his performance from "Catch Me If You Can" have made my opinion start to waver a little. He is good as Amsterdam, and believable in his actions and expressions. Daniel Day-Lewis is simply phenomenal as Bill the Butcher and really should have won the Best Actor Oscar. Overall, I feel this was the best film of 2002 and really was robbed at the Academy Awards.8 out of 10.
Daniel Day-Lewis: Spectacular Performance (by ccthemovieman-1)
Daniel Day-Lewis elevates this film from just "good" to "very good" or even "excellent." He is absolutely riveting, one of the most interesting "villains" I have ever seen on film. I am sorry Day-Lewis didn't win the Academy Award for his performance. He was just outstanding to watch. His facial expressions alone cracked me up!Day-Lewis played "Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting" he is one nasty dude. However, there are no real "good guys" in this story. The supposed hero, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a revenge-seeking man <more>
with a ton of flaws himself. The rest of the characters are either thieves, gang members, corrupt politicians or corrupt policeman. Ah yes, another family-oriented film from that kindly director Martin Scorcese.What Scorcese lacks in family values, he comes close to making up for in style. This is another fascinating visual film with great sets, costumes, color and camera-work. Other typical Scorcese touches are in here: Catholic-bashing and brutal language. I question whether the f-word was used back in the days this film takes place. All in all, a tough film that could be too unpleasant to watch but for Lewis' outstanding performance and the spectacular visuals.
For about three months now, I have on an almost daily basis passed a movie theatre not far from my home. On the side of this movie theatre is a huge poster advertising the movie "Gangs of New York". Meanwhile, all I heard about on television was the buzz about the upcoming "Gangs of New York". So, when this highly publicized movie finally opened, I went and saw it.I went to the theatre, I bought my ticket, I found a seat in a very crowded theatre and I sat. For three hours I sat in that dark theatre and I watched what was one of the most amazing movies I have ever had <more>
privilege to see.It is hard to even begin to explain why this movie was amazing, but it was. The way it was shot is brilliant. The cinematography is spectacular. The story is completely enthralling.Although the movie was just shy of three hours long, it was not at all boring to watch. The story was captivating and although I knew how it was going to end because, after all, it is a movie based on a true-ish story , it was incredible to watch how it got that end.Above all, the movie was beautiful to watch. I have to admit to those who have not yet seen it that "Gangs" is quite violent. However, the violence was well shot and it was fairly necessary to the story.All of the actors put in extremely good performances. Leonardo DiCaprio really proved that he's not just a pretty face and that he does actually have a great deal of talent which can also be seen in his other movie of the season, "Catch Me If You Can" . Cameron Diaz' performace also proves that she can do much more than the standard romantic comedy. Also, after hearing reports of Daniel Day Lewis' REALLY getting into his character, I admit that it was completely worth it. His character William Cutting/Bill the Butcher is so complex and although you know you hate him, you can't decide why for there are so many reasons .In conclusion, if you have not seen this movie yet, go. Go now. See it. This is one of the epic movies of our time. I heard that Scorcese has been conceptualizing this movie for over twenty years; I could tell. The story this movie tells is one that I had never heard and the way in which it was told makes it seem very important for us to know. The message that is conveyed, although not an entirely wholesome one, is an important one to learn and, if considered, is very relevant to our time. However, my only message to you is this: see this movie.