Gangs of New York 2002

Gangs of New York

Critics Consensus

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

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 211

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 294,320

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Movie Info

Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young Irish immigrant released from prison. He returns to the Five Points seeking revenge against his father's killer, William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), a powerful anti-immigrant gang leader. He knows that revenge can only be attained by infiltrating Cutting's inner circle. Amsterdam's journey becomes a fight for personal survival and to find a place for the Irish people in 1860's New York.

Cast & Crew

Leonardo DiCaprio
Amsterdam Vallon
Daniel Day-Lewis
Bill "The Butcher" Cutting
Cameron Diaz
Jenny Everdeane
Liam Neeson
"Priest" Vallon
Jim Broadbent
William "Boss" Tweed
John C. Reilly
Happy Jack Mulraney
Henry Thomas
Johnny Sirocco
Brendan Gleeson
Walter "Monk" McGinn
Jay Cocks
Writer (Story)
Jay Cocks
Screenwriter
Steven Zaillian
Screenwriter
Michael Ballhaus
Cinematographer
Dante Ferretti
Production Designer
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News & Interviews for Gangs of New York

Critic Reviews for Gangs of New York

All Critics (211) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (155) | Rotten (56)

  • The visuals are strong, while the central narrative is weak (a disastrous combination for a long movie). Worst of all, Gangs of New York achieves far too little while trying much too hard.

    January 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • n the end, you're left feeling that Scorsese has put on a great show. As to what he means by it, I doubt he knows.

    March 7, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Wonderful spectacle, terrific acting and toweringly great film-making.

    January 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top 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

Audience Reviews for Gangs of New York

  • Nov 03, 2019
    From Martin Scorsese comes the gritty period crime drama Gangs of New York. After his father is killed in a gang war Amsterdam Vallon is sent to a reformatory, and when he gets out he returns to his old neighborhood in lower Manhattan to find it being run by his father's killer, a nativist crime lord named Bill the Butcher; who he goes to work for, secretly plotting revenge. Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz lead the cast and give strong performances; especially Day-Lewis, who does a fantastic job at creating a compelling villain. However, the script is a little unfocused; with subplots about the Civil War and Tammany Hall. Still, some interesting themes are explored, and Scorsese does a good job at building tension and suspense. While it has its weaknesses, Gangs of New York is a captivating film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2016
    Disjointed and overlong. Probably Scorsese's weakest film
    Spencer M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2013
    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.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 2013
    Gangs of New York is one of those films that jumbles allot of ideas in it story which can results in a narrative mess. Under Martin Scorsese direction, Gangs of New York is able to handle it's dialogue driven film (nearly three hours long) with a rich eye for detail and powerhouse cast that brings 1800 century New York to life. Gangs of New York revolves around Amsterdam Vallon who returns to New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer. Gangs of New York does shows sign of being a masterpiece, but it is never focuses on telling its story in a straightforward manner. Alongside a revenge story, it also jumbles a romance which goes underdeveloped, the birth and grow of America, racial issues, social class issues, and much more. Because of this Gangs of New York does drag and at times stop for pointless moments. Yet, I never found it boring even if nothing significant was happening to move the story forward. The plot is filled with interesting themes, characters, and exciting events that you become transported in this New York. It's a very complicated film to follow and to absorb every single detail thrown at you is no easy task either. Which results in one of the most satisfying viewing for an epic drama of this scale. It contains romance, a complex narrative, dynamic characters, and so much that it's difficult not be immerse in such a film. This epic wouldn't be complete with an outstanding cast and what a cast this film has. Daniel Day-Lewis is easily the best and gets every single bit about his role perfect. Daniel Day-Lewis gets the Irish accent right with his savage and profane behavioral making what would otherwise be two dimensional character fully three dimensional with his portrayal of it. Leonardo DiCaprio wasn't to bad either. He was very capable of holding his against the very impressive Daniel Day-Lewis. He carried the film well enough that he keeps you invested in what happens next. Though DiCaprio does lack chemistry with Cameron Diaz. I did like the romance aspect of the film as it was a nice distraction from the other aspects, but not once did I buy the romance. It was simply not all convincing. Other actors like Liam Neeson, John Reilly, and Jim Broadbent all make a strong presence in the film even if they're not screen as the leads. Everything from the costumes to set design are rich with detail. Making even the most hideous of sights gorgeous to look at by the well handled cinematography. It brings 1800s century New York to life that it makes you wish you would never want to leave. Gangs of New York brings it 18 century New York to life and with masterful craftsmanship by Martin Scorsese. It's not a masterpiece of any stretch, but it is a very impressive dramatic epic.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer

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