Once Upon a Time in America Reviews

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Steve Macfarlane
Slant Magazine
November 21, 2012
Here was a filmmaker who specialized in pure, blistering images, and this operatic earthiness just doesn't play as well as the horrifying, salacious stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
September 12, 2008
A disappointment of considerable proportions.
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com
September 18, 2003
I'm as big a fan of misogyny as the next guy, but how did this hateful and often tasteless Godfather ripoff become a classic?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
A lazily haullucinatory epic that means to encapsulate approximately 50 years of American social history into a single film.
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
While Leone's vision still has a magnificent sweep, the film finally subsides to an emotional core that is sombre, even elegiac, and which centres on a man who is bent and broken by time, and finally left with nothing but an impotent sadness.
Jeff Beck
Examiner.com
September 29, 2014
While Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" is not quite the masterpiece that some make it out to be due to its excess, there are still plenty of things to recommend about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ralph Novak
People Magazine
April 22, 2014
The film, photographed by Tonino Delli Colli, is striking to look at, especially its New York street scenes, which were shot in Manhattan, Montreal and a back lot near Rome. The acting is stunning.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 29, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
There are times when we don't understand exactly what is happening, but never a time when we don't feel confidence in the film's narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
November 12, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Adrian Turner
Radio Times
April 22, 2014
Just gasp at the scale, at the immaculate period reconstruction and at that incredible opening with its endlessly ringing phone.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com
July 27, 2002
| Original Score: 5/5
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
May 4, 2005
Haunting, thematically complex.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
September 13, 2011
Handsomely mounted beyond a shadow of a doubt, but as the final statement in Leone's career, it mostly makes me think of how fantastic his Westerns were.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
June 4, 2006
Pure cinematic bliss.
| Original Score: 5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 22, 2006
Hugely complex, achingly sad and splendidly gorgeous.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
December 27, 2007
Spaghetti western master Sergio Leone turns his eye toward an American gangster epic spanning 50 years with surprisingly positive results.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
February 17, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Erik Childress
eFilmCritic.com
January 1, 2000
At its restored 229-minute cut, Leone in his directorial swan song proves in its first half-hour how he's the master of cinematic hypnosis.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
March 14, 2004
A obviedade da meia hora final compromete o impacto do filme - que, ainda assim, impressiona por sua escala épica, por suas elegantes transições de tempo e ótimas atuações.
| Original Score: 4/5
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