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The Godfather (1972)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 9.2/10
Reviews Counted: 81
Fresh: 81 | Rotten: 0

One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.

100

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 0

One of Hollywood's greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.

audience

98

liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 721,483

My Rating

Movie Info

Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael, respectively. It is the late 1940s in New York and Corleone is, in the parlance of organized crime, a "godfather" or "don," the head of a Mafia family. Michael, a free thinker who defied his father by

R,

Drama

Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola

Oct 9, 2001

Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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May 20, 2014:
In Memoriam: Gordon Willis
Pioneering cinematographer Gordon Willis (right) passed away on Sunday at the age of 82. Cinema's...
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Gordon Willis: 1931-2014
The influential cinematographer, whose credits include "The Godfather" and "Annie Hall," has passed...

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All Critics (81) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (0) | DVD (35)

The Godfather is overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood.

February 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To permit us a glimpse at The Mob, with all of its ethnic insularity, is like giving a chronic gambler a chance to wander above the false mirrors that overlook every casino.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Brando's triumph and fascination is less that of an actor of parts than of a star galaxy of myths.

September 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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Traces the arc of this doomed idealism with a beauty that is still fresh.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Brando made Don Vito something we rarely see in movies: a tragicomic villain-hero, a vulnerable hood.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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In its blending of new depth with an old genre, it becomes that rarity, a mass entertainment that is also great movie art.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
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This elegiac organised-crime saga from the young Francis Ford Coppola is one of the all-time high watermarks of American cinema, rich with subtle acting and blessed with stunning cinematography from Gordon Willis.

February 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

That lasting popularity isn't a fluke; the "Godfather" films stand the test of time because these aren't just movies, they're cultural touchstones.

February 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

It's hard to find a moment in the film that isn't great. The Godfather lives up to the term masterpiece.

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

A defining film in the history of cinema, The Godfather introduced a legendary filmmaker and several acting greats in the telling of an Italian American dynasty undone by the tragic circumstances of their criminal exploits.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

This compeling movie of mafia and family life is superb in every department, writing, acting, directing, a highlight of Coppola's career as well as of New American Cinema.

February 27, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Terrific performances and the perfect brooding atmosphere make it a truly outstanding work.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

The Godfather films remain so powerful, so ubiquitous, because in the Corleones we see the American Dream -- and in turn, ourselves.

February 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

The classic tale of a Mafia family. Not for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (5)
Common Sense Media

With all due respect to this 1972 classic, Vizzini was right: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

April 21, 2010 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

A measured, deathly serious epic.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comments (2)
Guardian

The greatest gangster film ever made.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Don't miss an opportunity to see a classic such as this on the big screen.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Record [UK]
Daily Record [UK]

Like a favored method of Mafia influence, "The Godfather" is an offer no audience can refuse.

May 3, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Comment (1)
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for The Godfather

UPDATED REVIEW OF THE TRILOGY:

As far as great trilogies go, it's a close second to Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy.

Stay tuned at themoviefreakblog.com for the full review.
September 1, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

The son of a Mafia boss returns from the war and following an attempt on his father's life becomes more and more embroiled in the shadowy world of organised crime. Francis Ford Coppola's classic gangster saga is the story of a criminal dynasty headed by Marlon Brando in one of his most iconic roles. Coppola's direction is deceptively simple in that he uses no gimmicks or stylistic tricks; he merely allows the story to unfold and lets the superb cast do their thing. Brando's mumbling family and loyalty obsessed don has since become part of popular culture folklore (along with the classic score) and all other accompanying performances are top notch, from James Caan's hot headed Santino to Robert Duval's purely business orientated adviser. But this film is really the story of Michael's transition from honest war hero to shadowy underworld figure, played by Al Pacino in his finest role. The pivotal scene in which his newborn godson is baptised while Michael himself, the newborn "Godfather", is baptised in blood is an all time great. This is the birth of the modern gangster film and with the possible exception of Goodfellas, it is still to be surpassed.
August 6, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Outstanding in every possible manner, the feature that would be first in the cinema dictionary to be classed underneath masterpiece. There are certain films that are adored by almost everyone, films that have the honor of being called flawless, films named misunderstood cult classics, but then there's Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather". Arguably one of the greatest achievements in American filmmaking. A powerfully acted, grippingly written, utterly overwhelming gem crafted with such skill that it is categorically and unconditionally flawless. I cannot cast enough praise for this film. Aside from merely delivering what we expect when we wish for a big screen experience. Including that of good performances, great scriptwriting and artful direction this delivers so much more. At the time of it's release no person expected it to be as good as it was. But The Godfather gave us all of the above and in addition to that defined a genre. It was the birthplace and remains to this day the high water mark for gangster drama/crime noir filmmaking. It's highly open to debate what the message of the saga is. I see at it as a truthful insight into how the gangster genre is endlessly and carelessly glamourised. That there is actually a lot of pain and heartbreak in the criminal underworld. I also think the film is a lecture on what can be personal as opposed to that what is actual business in the line of organised crime. But also a tale of love, hatred, truth and death. In addition to that, as a companion piece to my favourites, a better cast has never been assembled on screen before. Marlon Brando's most engrossing performance is undeniably showstopping. Al Pacino who plays the role of one of his sons constructs the character inside out. Changes him from a vastly respectable man, to an even more reputable godfather. The way I view it is simple. If a film can grip you so much that you actually manage to sympathise for a universally feared mafia crime lord what your having the pleasure of viewing must be really something and then some. The Godfather is just that, it delivers in every single department. It is quite easily one of the best films that ever graced motion pictures.
November 29, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

"The Godfather" is highly regarded as the greatest American movie of all-time. No other movie has garnered such praise as this movie has. Undoubtedly, everything has been meticulously put together to create an entertaining, captivating, and phenomenal masterpiece.

BUT (and I put a huge but), I do not believe it is the greatest movie of all time.

WHAT?!?!
Here come the FLAMERS! TAKE COVER!
Yes, I said it. "The Godfather" is not the greatest movie of all time.

I agree that "The Godfather" is crafted beautifully at an epic scale, but the pacing is much to be desired for and this is merely a Hollywood blockbuster, believe it or not -- albeit, one of the greatest Hollywood blockbusters. Everything, down to the script, narrative, cinematography, camerawork, direction, editing, and acting are all exquisitely done in an immaculate fashion, but that's what "The Godfather" merely is: a Hollywood blockbuster. I can't stress this enough. There are plenty of other movies, older and newer, that though genre wise may be different, exceed "The Godfather" emotionally, symbolically, and personally. In no way am I trying to stand out among a crowd of "The Godfather" lovers, nor am I trying to think that I'm smarter than everyone.

Such high talks about such a film comes deserved for sure, but perhaps it may have been a bit over exaggerated in my opinion. Please, don't get me wrong: "The Godfather" is an impeccable masterpiece. Masterpiece, it is. Greatest movie of all time, it isn't. With that out of the way, I recommend all filmgoers, young, old, the film noob, the average joe, or the long-time film enthusiast to sulk themselves into this film -- just ignore what everyone says about this movie and watch it as it is.
November 28, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

    1. Don Vito Corleone: Revenge is a dish best served cold.
    – Submitted by Matthew B (2 months ago)
    1. Don Vito Corleone: A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.
    – Submitted by Lars P (13 months ago)
    1. Don Vito Corleone: Revenge is a dish best served cold
    – Submitted by Ankita S (14 months ago)
    1. Don Vito Corleone: You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you? Or my boy to me?
    – Submitted by The Most Interesting T (14 months ago)
    1. Michael Corleone: Well, when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to a personal services contract with this big-band leader. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. But the band leader wouldn't let him. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. So my father went to see this bandleader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.
    2. Kay Adams: How did he do that?
    3. Michael Corleone: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
    4. Kay Adams: What was that?
    5. Michael Corleone: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. Thats a true story.
    – Submitted by Sam B (15 months ago)
    1. Don Vito Corleone: I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.
    – Submitted by Dutch E (17 months ago)
View all quotes (109)

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