The Godfather (1972)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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 … More

Rating: R (N/A)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 9, 2001
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


as Don Vito Corleone

as Michael Corleone

as Sonny Corleone

as Tom Hagen

as McCluskey

as Jack Woltz

as Barzini

as Kay Adams

as Sollozzo

as Tessio

as Connie Rizzi

as Carlo Rizzi

as Fredo Corleone

as Baby (uncredited)

as Cuneo

as Willy Cicci (uncredi...

as Johnny Fontane

as Mama Corleone

as Luca Brasi

as Moe Greene

as Bruno Tattaglia

as Nazorine

as Theresa Hagen

as Phillip Tattaglia

as Lucy Mancini

as Sandra Corleone

as Mrs. Clemenza

as Fabrizio

as Don Tommasino

as Vitelli

as Paulie Gatto

as Piano Player (uncred...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Godfather

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (20)

Brando is the strong magnet that will draw fans to The Godfather. But behind-the-scenes creativity is of equal value to this film of towering proportions.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

I don't see how any gifted actor could have done less than Brando does here. His resident power, his sheer innate force, has rarely seemed weaker.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
The New Republic
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 26, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Brando's triumph and fascination is less that of an actor of parts than of a star galaxy of myths.

Full Review… | September 24, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

Traces the arc of this doomed idealism with a beauty that is still fresh.

Full Review… | February 23, 2011
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola & Mario Puzo bring the famed-mafia novel to life. The Godfather is an excellent portrayal of power, betrayal and family. Beautifully written and stunningly executed, the film is a landmark motion picture with stunning performances (Brando, Pacino, Caan) that is still held up to this day as a timeless classic. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

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.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer



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.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The Godfather Quotes

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