The Godfather, Part II Reviews

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Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2012
Thirty-seven years after this came out, it is still one of the most thrilling movies out there. Al Pacino and Diane Keaton have to be the most unlikely couple ever cooked up by Hollywood, but their chemistry is real. The story lines never seem implausable and they succeed in making criminals sympathetic. The scenes shot in Italy are so beautiful you can lick them. The flashback scene at Vito's birthday party when Michael announces he joined the Marines--after his father and lawyer-brother pulled strings to keep him out--is a brilliantly executed study in character. It is a real salute to Cappollo to say that when Michael Coreleone is alone at the end of the movie, you absolutely feel for him.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
The sequel to Coppola's classic mafia crime story both continues the events around Michael Corleone and takes us back to his father's life story. Michael, wonderfully portrayed by Al Pacino, seems to get more ruthless, unsympathetic and paranoid while ruling his empire with an iron fist. He still has to fight the competition, deal with betrayal from his own ranks and deal with his broken marriage at the same time. That's interesting most of the time, but sometimes could have used some serious trimming. The film easily could have lost 30-45 more minutes to be much more leaner and to the point. Instead it is celebrating its own slowness a little too much. The flashbacks portraying Vito's story, now played by Robert DeNiro, do not exactly explain the man's thoughts and motivations. We get glimpses at his life every five years or so, but the decision to become the next Godfather remains somewhat in the dark. A well acted and filmed sequel, but it does not top the original film and is honestly a tad overrated, if judged by today's viewing habits.
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2012
One of the best sequels of all time, the depth of this one exceeds it's predecessor. DeNiro and Pacino are amazing.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2012
Terrific film, the best sequel ever! And in some moments, The Godfather, Part II is even better that the first one. Fresh.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2012
This is just as, if not more interesting than the first. The depiction of Vito's rise and Michael's fall is nice. Like the first, however, the story is a dull chess match: the strategy is impressive, but it is still a boring game. It is also sad that Brando is not present and Caan only makes a brief appearance.
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2007
The second Godfather is packed with great scenes, and particularly shines when flashing back to Vito Corleone's youth in Sicily, where de Niro slowly brings the origin story to life directly from Puzo's pages.

But to the masses of people who cite this film as one of the few where the sequel was better than the original, I have to disagree. The narrative is a little loopy from the start - too little explanation with the whole Pentangeli vs. the Rosato brothers bit - and leaves the rest of the film as an over-long head-scratcher. The moments are great, but as a cohesive story (or, as it is, two cohesive stories), it just doesn't work as well as it could. The original was much grittier and much more exciting, where as this one dragged on, and instead of finding the excitement, I spent most of the movie waiting.

It's still superior to a great many films, but the change in tone is remarkable. To borrow a title of a David Adams Richards sequel, this a movie "for those who hunt the wounded down," and lacks the accessibility and appeal of its predecessor.
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2011
The Godfather Part 2 is considered the greatest sequel that has ever been made and also considered the greatest film ever made by many people, and I can honestly this movie is totally worthy of those two statements. The plot continues the story of the Corleone family and the new Godfather Michael as he struggles to uphold the family business, but we also get a look in the past of the Corleone family as we see the childhood of Vito Corleone and his rise to power. The plot is an genius, masterful, and basically perfect sequel to the first and some may even consider it better than the first film, I really loved them about the same and consider them both to be two of the best mob films of all time, and a film like this that has a story so well constructed is just so great and its one of those movies that you just know that it will be great by the title of the film, and then you discover it is better than you thought it would be, and that was what happened with me in this film. The entire cast of this movie deserves Oscars, I am serious i could not think of many casts that could surpass this one, even without Marlon Brando this turned out to be a character driven story and the performances of those characters are incredible. Al Pacino was the perfect choice for these films the moment we saw him in the first film, and I think this will be one of the main films he will be remembered for when he dies. Robert DeNiro deserved the Oscar, he played the role so perfectly and with so much intensity and I just think that DeNiro is one of the greatest actors of all time, he is so great. The production of the film is also worth mentioning, I mean for such a old film I could not believe how well they did it, it sets the mood so well and perfectly as well. The Godfather Part 2 is the greatest sequel of all time I think, it may not be my favorite sequel, but I know deep down that The Godfather Part 2 will always have a great place in my heart because of how perfect it is in so many ways.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2011
As I have said in all of the 100 reviews I have written up to this point, if there is one thing I despise it would have to be sequels. Now, for those that are new, the reason why is simple: sequels next to never live up to their potential and end up destroying the story that the original had created. Well, this film does not destroy nor surpasses The Godfather. Instead, it is more like a continuation of an already great tale, giving us the back story on Vito (played by a then unknown RObert De Niro) and the destruction of Michael (played by already Academy Award winner Al Pacino) in a rather original way to tell both stories: show through out the film both sides as they happen at once. Now, as most people know, I love the beloved original film and I was a little worried about my taste with this film. I already knew that it won a slew of Academy Awards (including the award for best film; a first for a sequel) and people have had the audacity to say that this is the better film in Francis Ford Coppola's epic Crime saga. My opinion after watching this film is that, if I had to guess where it would rank among the three films, I would have to say that it would be almost tied to the original. The main reason is this: The original had a feel of being welcomed into this world. Through the opening shots of Vito Corleone talking to his friend on the day of his daughter's wedding, we are welcomed with cold arms into their world. With this film however, you are just thrown in without any mercy. You are shown the blunt world where everyone is guilty of something and no one is innocent (except the children Marianna Hill as Deanna Corleone) and you are left cold and isolated as you look into the past and present of the Corleone crime family. But what really makes this film stand out would have to be how much all of the characters have changed from the previous film. For Michael, he goes from being a bright young man to a ruthless, heartless, cold bastard that destroys everything in his way to his sister Connie who has become something of a complete tramp and a neglectful mother. Due to how these characters change, you get the feeling that this film would be better due to their development. But, as I have said, it is mostly due to the feel of this film that makes the original a tad bit better. But, ignoring that aspect, this film is a perfect follow up to the original classic. Now for the details. With directing, Coppola shows us that he is no where near tired yet as he directs this entire masterpiece. Now, the thing that caught me off guard with this film would have to be the slew of emotions I felt while watching this film. If there is one thing that Coppola can do is make his audience feel for the characters. He allows them to build up, grow, and when two particular scenes near the end begin, you can not help but feel like you are about to burst into tears due to how desperate one character is, and the actions and heartache another one shows us. Coppola is a master behind a camera, and this film might be his directorial masterpiece (next to The Godfather and Apocalypse Now). With acting, oh wow. Where do I begin with this one. Might as well start with the men of this film. Okay, first person to mention is Al Pacino in his award winning role as Michael Corelone. After already winning an Academy Award for that role when he was in the original, I am still impressed at how he was able to move the character through out this story. He made the character barbaric, evil, and just plain unlikable, but his acting made him likable as well. Just, Pacino breathed life into this character and allowed him to take control in so many ways it was unreal. After this film was made, he won another Academy Award for this film and I must say: it was well earned. Next is Robert De Niro portraying Vito Corleone. As most people know about this film, it goes back and forth between Michael's life and Vito's life and for Vito, we have a then unknown actor filling in the shoes of Marlon Brando. Now, that alone is difficult as hell to do, considering how great Brando was and how iconic he made the character. Now, my reaction to this performance was that I am impressed with the bravery alone that De Niro had for this performance. He portrayed the younger Vito with such power and authority that he would of made Brando proud. He was just that good. Now, De Niro would go on the receive the Academy Award for Best Supporting actor, and for this film he deserves it. If you are a fan of De Niro's work, then this is a good place to start for learning about his career. Now you have Robert Duvall as the ever loyal Tom Hagen. Personally, I like how he was able to keep cool during some rather intense scenes that deal with Michael's decent into pure hell. Duvall gives it his all in this film and he was wonderful. Now we must get down to the three women who took over this film. The first would have to be Diane Keaton as Amy Corleone. When we last saw her, we saw the look of shame and disgust that was on her face when she realized how much Michael has lied to her. In this film, she wants out. How badly does she want to get out? So bad that she does the unthinkable in one scene and makes it out to be something different that is all part of her plan. Now, Keaton had to play a complete different character in this film and seeing her new way of handling this character, I will admit that it was shocking and reveling in terms of her pure talent to act. She is an incredible actress and she is wonderful. Next would have to be Marianna Hill as Deanna Corleone. In the first film, Marianna had very little screen time as she was not that important to the story. Here, she plays a much larger role and has one of the most somber scenes in this film. She makes the character out to be more then a sweet old lady, she makes the character out to be an intelligent, thoughtful, and wise person who helps Michael when he is left with a terrible thought that nearly destroys him. Lastly Talia Shire as Connie. Like most females in the first film, here she shines as a totally different character. What makes her worthy is how she makes herself out to be this tramp that just does not care about her family, hates her brother, and abandons her children. Connie transformed in one of the worst ways possible, but we love Shire for making the character so damn wonderful to watch. Next up is the script. One thing that needs to be stressed is that this film's script was only half written from the original novel by Mario Puzo. The other half was written by him and Coppola, but it was mostly original. Personally, I did not think that the story needed to be continued, but having the original creator there to do the work, the script became a clever, emotionally charged epic that is bound to catch a few people off guard. Fantastic work here. Lastly the score. Getting Nina Rota back again, the score is longer, has more music cues, and is just fun to listen to. The best tracks appear during the flashback scenes in the film while the msot dramatic happen in the present day parts. But, what I like about it is just how creative it gets with the music and how it moves from the beginning to the end. The entire time, we are eclipsed with the wonders of it's notes that the music becomes a comfort in so many scenes. Then again, the score did win the award for best original score, so that should say something. Overall, this is an emotional film that is worthy of it's original and works well as a stand alone in some respects.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2011
So good, that the one guy who gave this "rotten" on this site seriously needs to get whacked. One of the best thing's to ever have been FILMED. Period.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2011
Grade: A+ (100%)

In 1972, Best Picture winner "The Godfather" was shown to the public. It was considered a masterpiece and the story was amazing. Along with a great cast, the movie never seemed too long for its 3 hour run time.

In 1974, the sequel was revealed . . .

The Godfather Part II is known as the greatest sequel made in film making history. 200 minute (3 hours and 20 minutes) run time and a dark story filled the movie theaters. We all knew when the famous score from the first movie came on, we were in for a treat . . . and it was amazing.

The Godfather Part II switches between present time with Michael Corleone (Al Pacino in a riveting performance) taking control of the gambling in the country and young Vito Corleone's (Robert DeNiro, spot on) climb to power in New York's Lower East Side. But first Michael:

Michael Corleone has moved to Nevada where he begins to take over all the gambling in the country. As his son's, Anthony, communion party he is confronted by a Senator where Michael is insulted and forced to buy the gambling license for $250,000. But Michael keeps his cool and respectfully says, "Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally." - right there we realize that Michael means business and prepare for a lot of it. That night, his bedroom is sprayed over with bullets as Michael crawls over to the other side of the bed to protect Kay (Diane Keaton) and her baby. This is where we find out that this movie is going to be one hell of a ride. Michael believes it could be Frank Pentangeli, a loud mouth who feels mistreated by Michael, or Hyman Roth, a sick but powerful man who controls the gambling in Miami.

But this is only half of the story . . .

The other half follows young Vito as he suffers through the murders of his father, brother Paolo and mother by the Don in Corleone. We watch him secretly taken to a boat to travel to the United States through Elis Island. There we watch him grow from a worker at a local Italian Deli to a powerful man in New York City. How he gets there is the most important part. While he is a business man in most of the scenes he isn't scared to get his hands dirty sometimes. In the end, he returns to Italy for one that "chore" to finish up.

These two stories (while the movie mainly follows Michael's empire) juxtapose each other. On one side, the movie shows Vito climb to power as a business man and helpful to his neighborhood, but on the other, the movie shows Michael's descent into Hell so-to-speak. Unlike his father, who even says, "We are not murderers", Michael isn't afraid to wipe people out during his time as "Don" of his empire. As Michael says to Tom, "Tom, you know you surprise me. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone." This is one of many quotes that Michael shouts out in the movie. The movie shines in the shadows of Michael's dark mind. After you have seen the movie, you have no idea which things Michael said were actually true. The truth is very hard to find in this film and that is one of its many fantastic characteristics.

The film also comes with its fair share of shocks. Without spitting anything out, this movie will shock you in at least three scenes - all of which are memorable. One scene in particular with Kay and Michael is full of anger and shock that many will feel uncomfortable watching based on it's dialogue. The dialogue in this film is tremendous - probably better than the first film. You have the famous quote, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" in the movie but many others, one of which I have written in the paragraph above. Others are just brilliantly made. Each sentence of dialogue supports or creates the dark scenes within this film.

The cast in the movie is outstanding yet again. Al Pacino is excellent as Michael Corleone. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1974 and didn't win. (NOTE: If there is one performance that Al Pacino should have won for, it has to be this film. He is amazing!). Diane Keaton is great as Michael's pregnant wife, Robert Duvall as Tom Harper is outstanding as usual, and Robert DeNiro as Vito Corleone is tremendous as he won Best Supporting Actor for this role.

Say what you want about the first film whether it is a classic or its a masterpiece but let this be certain: The Godfather Part II might be better. In my opinion, not only is it the greatest sequel ever made, but it is even better than Part I. The violence is intenser, the story is darker, the performances are more riveting than Part I, and the run time is longer. The Godfather Part II is Best Picture of 1974 and once again it is well deserved.

This is Michael Corleone's descent into Hell throughout the movie. He becomes a monster and if you look back at how Michael actually got to this point, you will be amazed on how he has changed. The movie ends with Michael thinking back to when he told his family that he enlisted in the Marines and how upset they were. It begins with Michael in his father's chair but not following his father's footsteps. If you watch this movie for the first time I want you to picture the first time you meet Michael in Part I - then press play. At the end, you should see a drastic change as if Michael is two people.

If there is anything that Michael will try to teach you as you watch this amazing film it is this, "There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2010
Perfect! Brilliant! Even better than the first!
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2011
An absolute wonder.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2010
Part two of the grand trilogy of Cinema, this powerful second act depicts the rising of Michael Corleone over the other mafia families in New York, and how he becomes an implacable monstruous force. A wonderful film, even though the inserts of Vito Corleone's early days feel a bit intrusive, as they lack symmetry with the main story.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
This completely changes my own defenition of perfection.
It makes me realize that other movies I rated 5 stars would only deserve 3 stars if once compared to this total masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
A sequel that seemingly impossibly matches the first film in terms of story-telling ability, incredible acting, and a story that is completely enamoring. In this film, Coppola is able to demonstrate his skill in detailing the background story on how the Corleones came to be, with a young Robert De Niro portraying the godfather this time around. In addition to going back and forth between present and past, the story becomes extremely involving once the relationship between Pacino and Cazale's characters takes a turn for the worse. The ending is especially haunting, if not ideal for the tone of the overall story. Once again, Coppolla strikes gold.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2006
Not nearly as great as the first but still one of the tops of its genre.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
I didn't think it was possible, but I may have liked this one more.... whhaaat?? But no joke, the parallel journeys of Vito and Michael were fabulous and when I'm usually impartial to Robert De Niro, I think him (basically) impersonating Marlon Brando was just excellent. LOVED all the period scenes even though it got a little confusing in Michael's story. I literally had the thought 'there are just too many old men right now', how true. But regardless, fabulous.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2010
The Godfather Part II is a terrific example of a sequel that lives up to the original. Sequels as good or better than the original films are very rare, and uncommon. But The Godfather Part II succeeds where many sequels have failed. Being better than the original and building on an already strong story established in the first film. With this sequel, Coppola focuses on the rise of Vito Coreleone in the criminal underworld. Or as he's known at the beginning of the film, Vito Andolini. Vito Corleone is portrayed this time around by Robert De Niro, who elevates the role to a whole new level of excellence. Two great actors have portrayed the character, and both Brando and De Niro have delivered in their performances as Don Corleone. A terrific film from Francis Coppola, The Godfather much like the novel is faithfully adapted to screen, many elements of the novel are inserted on screen such as the rise of Michael Corleone as the new Don of the Corleone family. A sequel that delivers everything you'd expect, with some of the most memorable scenes ever put on film, The Godfather Part II is one of the greatest sequels ever filmed. Coppola does a masterful job wit this sequel. He delivers a film thats more epic, more poignant and more melancholic than the first. A unique crime film, this is probably one of the best ever filmed, with a strong cast and strong story, who can disagree? If you haven't seen this epic crime film, do yourself a favor and rent it, you will be blown away by the second part of the Corleone saga.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
I'm still undecided as to whether or not this film is better than the first. It's a pretty damn tough decision. The first one is under three hours and pretty straight forward, whereas this one is far longer, more ambitious, and all kinds of complex. No matter which one is "better" though, one thing is clear: this is one of the most briliant films ever made
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2006
The first one is an untouchable masterpiece. This sequel/prequel is still very good, but definitely not flawless as its predecessor. Camera work and cinematography are splendid. The cast is once again at the top of their game, especially Al Pacino. Robert De Niro, Lee Strasberg and John Cazale.

Visually stunning and emotionally involving. Dark, moody and full of surprises. Only flaw is its astonishingly long 200-minute running time, which may cause the viewer's interest to wander at times.
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