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Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York (2002)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 202
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 51

Though flawed, the sprawling, messy Gangs of New York is redeemed by impressive production design and Day-Lewis's electrifying performance.


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 14

Though flawed, the sprawling, messy Gangs of New York is redeemed by impressive production design and Day-Lewis's electrifying performance.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 289,996

My Rating

Movie Info

The violent rise of gangland power in New York City at a time of massive political corruption and the city's evolution into a cultural melting pot set the stage for this lavish historical epic, which director Martin Scorsese finally brought to the screen almost 30 years after he first began to plan the project. In 1846, as waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New York neighborhood of Five Points, a number of citizens of British and Dutch heritage who were born in the United States began


Drama, Classics

Steven Zaillian, Jay Cocks, Ken Lonergan

Jul 1, 2003


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (202) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (51) | DVD (46)

It's never less than compelling, driven by an overwhelming, larger than life performance from Day-Lewis and by Scorsese's grandiose historical imagination.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result reverberates on the screen with a deadly force and fury more intense than anything Mr. Scorsese has yet achieved on the meanest and most beloved streets he could imagine or recall.

January 16, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What we're left with has the patness of a history lesson about our roots and the melting pot and what it means to be an American.

January 16, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You have to honor its mad ambition. But sadly, it feels like a dream too long deferred.

January 14, 2003
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scorsese's congested, conflicted, entrancing achievement.

January 13, 2003 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A triumph of pure craft and passionate heart.

January 9, 2003
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scorsese scores some fine political points along the way and demonstrates the mastery of his craft in every scene, but the underlying theme of brutal revenge at any cost loses its way too early on...

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: JWR

Brilliant but devastating. High schoolers and up.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

One of Scorsese's weakest films, a wannabe historical epic that's essentially a formulaic revenge saga; the only reason to see it is Daniel Day-Lewis' compelling performance as Bill the Butcher.

November 23, 2010 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

[A] flawed masterpiece.

February 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The whole may not add up to the sum of its parts, but it's difficult to dismiss the brilliance of those parts.

February 18, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's a story of such relevance to New York, to America and even to the rest of the world, that just had to be told on film with as much impact as a filmmaker can muster. And Martin Scorsese musters much.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The impact is all in the broad strokes of Scorsese's design: the corresponding coming-of-age stories of three confused and violent adolescents: Amsterdam Vallon, New York City, and America. [Blu-Ray]

June 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Why did Scorsese spend three decades thirsting to make this movie? It's nowhere clear on the screen.

February 13, 2008 Full Review Source: | Comments (14)

Gangs becomes a standard revenge opus. And a long one at that.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

It's a story of violence, revenge, racial intolerance and class struggle, and it's a story told extremely well.

November 29, 2006 Full Review Source:

Martin Scorseses dream project finally explodes on the screen after years of planning and another year of delays.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Day-Lewis's sneering, roaring, monstrous performance as the Butcher will remind you of the seemingly superhuman work Robert DeNiro performed in his prime.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

It is unrelentingly gritty and tense.

October 14, 2004 Full Review
Kansas City Kansan

Daniel Day-Lewis' magnetic portrayal of a 19th-century ganglord who butchered his enemies as readily as he carved up a freshly killed hog.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Gangs is Scorsese's impassioned, elegiac portrait of a time when blows were delivered with fists, bats, and blades rather than airplanes, anthrax, or keyboard strokes; it's his look back at a lost world, his urban western.

May 19, 2004 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

It will be a film that, in decades hence, will only grow in stature and importance.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Gangs of New York is a very good film striving desperately to be great.

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Martin Scorsese has landed back onto UK cinema screens with a resoundingly hollow thump.

November 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Future Movies UK

Martin Scorcese delivers an enormous blowout of a film, a biopic of New York in the 1800s... but it's too much bombast and far too loose.

October 7, 2003 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston | Comments (4)
EDGE Boston

Audience Reviews for Gangs of New York

Set in the mid 1800s, during the start of civilisation in New York. There were many gangs established to defend their terrority from new immigrants. When Amsterdam (Leo) was a child, his father the Priest (Liam) was killed by the ruthless butcher (Daniel). He returns to avenge his father's death, by befriending and getting close to the butcher. Cameron isn't her usual glam self but I like that she doesn't always play the typical girlie characters. Very violent and bloody at times. Not for the faint hearted. The first of many masterpieces between Leo and Martin Scorsese.
July 11, 2013
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Need a history lesson? Take Scorsese's.

Full review coming to on 6/6
June 1, 2013

Super Reviewer

The film's OK. Daniel-Day Lewis gives a great performance, and it's thrilling at some points. However, it is overlong and melodramatic with awkward, uneven pacing. It can't help but feel like an overdone History Channel special overwhelmed by period piece cliches.
March 30, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Gangs of New York is a stunning Martin Scorsese epic. This a near perfect film that boasts a powerful cast of actors. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers the strongest of the film. Scorsese crafts another solid film, and this is a near flawless film that has a good blend of drama and action. I was apprehensive about watching this film at first, but I finally gave it a shot after all these years. The film is grand, and epic, filled with great performances. Scorsese directing is immaculate and he creates another memorable film with Gangs of New York. Some people have said the weakest aspect of the film is the casting of Cameron Diaz, though not a great actress, she isn't bad here. In fact, she surprised me a bit. Like I said the best performance of the film belongs to Daniel Day-Lewis. At times his character is kind of ordinary, but then Lewis really lights up and steals the show. The story will keep the viewer interested from beginning to end. Though not as grand as Goodfellas or Casino, Raging Bull or Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York is yet another powerful film from one of cinema's greatest directors. Gangs of New York is a stunning period piece that will definitely appeal to Martin Scorsese fans. This a violent epic set during a time of turmoil during American history, and Martin Scorsese captures that beautifully with this near flawless film.
January 24, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Amsterdam Vallon: Is there anyone in the Five Points who you haven't fucked?!
    – Submitted by James D (49 days ago)
    1. William Cutting a.k.a. Bill the Butcher: You know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (13 months ago)
    1. William Cutting a.k.a. Bill the Butcher: I tried, I tried hard, but I couldn't save this movie from itself.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (15 months ago)
    1. William Cutting a.k.a. Bill the Butcher: You seen his portrait downstairs?
    2. Amsterdam Vallon: Mmmhmmm.
    3. William Cutting a.k.a. Bill the Butcher: Is your mouth all glued up with cunny juice? I asked you a question.
    4. Amsterdam Vallon: I said, I seen it sir.
    – Submitted by Bryan P (18 months ago)
    1. Amsterdam Vallon: In the end, they put candles on the bodies so's their friends, if they had any, could know them in the dark. The city did this free of charge. Shang, Jimmy Spoils, Hell-cat, McGloin, and more. Friend or foe, didn't make no difference now. It was four days and nights before the worst of the mob was finally put down. We never knew how many New Yorkers died that week before the city was finally delivered. My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city. But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again... for the rest of time... it would be like no one even knew we was ever here.
    – Submitted by Adam O (19 months ago)
    1. William "Boss" Tweed: [as an anti-draft riot takes place] Sweet Jesus, war does terrible things to people.
    – Submitted by Adam O (19 months ago)
View all quotes (33)

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