The Godfather

Critics 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.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 99

98%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 733,922

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Movie Info

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the don's youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.

Cast & Crew

Marlon Brando
Don Vito Corleone
Al Pacino
Michael Corleone
James Caan
Santino "Sonny" Corleone
Sterling Hayden
Police Captain McCluskey
John Marley
Jack Woltz
Richard Conte
Don Emilio Barzini
Diane Keaton
Kay Adams Corleone
Al Lettieri
Sollozzo "The Turk"
Mario Puzo
Writer (Novel)
Gray Frederickson
Associate Producer
Nino Rota
Original Music
Gordon Willis
Cinematographer
Marc Laub
Film Editor
Barbara Marks
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Godfather

Critic Reviews for The Godfather

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Godfather

  • Apr 01, 2016
    I was roughly twenty years away from even being conceived when The Godfather came out. Growing up as a film nut, I often heard of The Godfather as possessing a sort of mythic status which few films made after 1955 possess. I first watched it back close to ten years ago as a 12 year old, never fully getting the story with the film falling into the "great film that I didn't appreciate" category until a month or so back when I got the Coppola restoration Blu-Ray and realized as an adult how fantastic of a film it truly was. The Godfather works so well because it isn't a film that kisses it's own ass on a variety of sub-levels. Francis Ford Coppola went out of his way not to make the film one that glorifies the Mafia in anyway, but still realized what a magnificent project it was. It begins in celebration and ends as the first part of the trilogy in bitter-sweet victory and tragedy for the Corleones with Michael having slowly morphed into a totally different character by the end and the Corleone family itself having endured tragedy after tragedy. Depending on if you're selective to certain genres of movies -- particularly crime and heist thrillers -- the 1970s were either a fantastic time with the New Hollywood group of directors, or a pitiful time where the Anti-Hero was all the rage. I've always tried to keep a foot in both camps for the most part, but if a film like this doesn't make you at least sit there as the credits role, musing in thought like Indiana Jones after being given a clue by a recently-killed shaman or anti-Nazi spy the first time you watch it, then I'm not sure you really know how to appreciate films and movies as art and not just entertainment. There's so many ways this film just works so well; the first is that Coppola always had a way of making the cinematography and direction style look both extravagant, but also bleak at the same time, partially through sun-faded cinematography (I'm just guessing) and also partially through the way the film itself was shot. As well as the fact that Coppola spared nothing when it came to deploying talented screen stars of the day to cast The Godfather, leading Marlon Brando to find international success once more with his portrayal of Vito Corleone, Al Pacino as the reluctant, but eventual successor to his father Vito, Michael Corleone, Diane Keaton as Kay Adams, Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, and of course, a pre-Rocky Talia Shire as Connie Corleone. These cast members in particular stand out in their performances and convey a sort of detached emotion which makes the film so great (if you need clarification on this, the scene where Vito overlooks his own son's body in the morgue is a prime example). Although it is by far the best instalment in the Godfather trilogy, the film itself does suffer from a few key points which I've never been able to reason out why they were included. Specifically the whole sequence involving Johnny Fontaine and the Woltz horse fiasco which has no real involvement in the over-arcing storyline. However with how spectacular of a film it is overall, I'm not going to sit here and bitch about it any further.
    Kal X. A Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2016
    From it's stellar opening wedding scene to it's bittersweet conclusion, The Godfather is a groundbreaking and brilliantly made film that deals with themes of power, corruption and family with subtly and finesse. Easily one of the greatest movies ever made.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2016
    One of the best films of all time, an absolute masterpiece. The Godfather is arguably the best gangster drama as well as setting the standard for cinema.
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2015
    Spectacular. Every time I see it, it gets better. From its flawless direction, to its exceptional score, to its (near-)flawless script, I have no doubt "The Godfather" is one of the best movies ever made.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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