Once Upon a Time in America - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Upon a Time in America Reviews

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June 28, 2016
Spellbinding and wonderous.
June 28, 2016
One of the best classic gangster movies topped with a great cast ids priceless. In addition an outstanding movie soundtrack by one of the great music composers, Ennio Morricone. Filmed in many locations, but the iconic scene near the Manhattan Bridge remains as a favorite to many and the perfect scene near the Williamsburg Bridge on the brooklyn side, gives a true feel to the script of the struggles to create the lifetime bond of friends. One of the longest movies to watch, however the movie takes no shortcuts to tell the story as it should be told. ..... Sit back with a "Do not Disturb" sign and enjoy.
June 28, 2016
Ranks right up there as one of the greatest gangster films ever. I put it at number 4 all time just behind The Godfather Part II, Goodfellas, and The Godfather.
June 28, 2016
The 2014 Extended Director's Cut is a masterpiece. I was transfixed for the entire, unprecedented running time. Not to be missed.
April 12, 2015
solid acting, somewhat confusing plot
March 19, 2012
The film is just as powerful as ever and goes deeper into a few of the characters with a little over 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage. I think the film is a masterpiece on all levels. The only downside is that the newly added footage isn't the same quality as the rest. Other than that, I highly recommend this gangster classic.
June 28, 2016
I finally watched this NEW Extended Director's cut of Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" which is 4hrs 11mins long, about 21mins longer than the previous version released on home video a long while ago, and almost twice as long as the massacred theatrical cut. It is an excellent gangster film, and some feel Leone's best, can say I agree but it's a good movie. This extended version really helps flesh out the characters, and it didn't drag at all for me. This is absolutely a must see for film lovers.
June 28, 2016
I thought that DeNiro gave a great and strong performance in this movie as did James Woods. I do, though, think that this movie would have benefited strongly if it were shorter. They could have easily taken off an hour and a half to bring the run time down to two and a half hours and I think it would have been a MUCH better movie. The movie was a good movie, but the 4 hour run time made it long, and to be honest, redundant.
June 21, 2016
Sergio Leone's last film (the 4 hour cut) hides behind a mafia movie premise to beautifully show how deep love, friendship and ultimately life can be
May 20, 2016
The best gangster film I have seen. Violent, beautifully shot and incredibly moving. I think this has to be the longest feature length film I have seen at 3 hours and 49 minutes long.
May 7, 2016
Grandiose. J'ai attendu trop longtemps avant de le voir.
October 2, 2013
Once Upon a Time in America (1984) ????
Long, flawed, but brilliant gangster saga detailing Jewish gangster returning to his youth to confront the regrets of his old life. No film has ever captured the complete isolated side of one man and his inner feelings of his friends. Staggering Art-direction, powerhouse performances by De Niro and Woods; several brutally unforgettable scenes. Liabilities: draggy stretches, somewhat perplexing moments, main characters whose motives remain cold throughout the entire film. Even still, Leone, his trusted photographer Tonino Delli Colli, and score composer Ennio Morricone have created an grand film with impeccable vision and two stunning performances. Unlike any other movie ever made; a triumph.
½ March 23, 2016
So, I watched the almost-4-hour version and admit that it was too long and dragged, especially for the final hour. I probably would've enjoyed the 2.5 hour version more... Either way, it's still a solid gangster film, which does well to flash back to the initial forming of the gang/friendship when they're all teenagers (young Max [Jacobs] looks exactly like James Woods!) and Max and Noodles (De Niro/Tiler) set off on their shyster path. This section lays a good foundation and has charm, but meanders often. When they're in their mid-30's, it feels more strained and the film lost me at the rapes. It then turns into a mystery, with 65 year old Noodles trying to piece the last 30 years together. The ending was a big let down for me. Still, a vaunted effort.
½ March 21, 2016
Una de las mejores peliculas del genero mafioso, con actuaciones y escenografia de primera, y una banda sonora genial.
February 21, 2016
I want to start off by saying, that this gangster epic is one of the most overlooked, and underrated (if not THE most) mob movies ever made, and ironically, it's the very best.
Whenever people mention gangster movies they without thinking, undoubtedly brawl out Goodfellas and The Godfather Part 1 & 2, for obvious reasons of course, all 3 are fantastic films and all 3 are very popular, but that doesnt mean Once Upon a Time in America is less good, it's just more underrated, and as i said it's ironically the very best of the sub-genre. Yes, better than the big dogs.
Comparing the 3 (which is close to impossible) Goodfellas is a much more stylized, hollywoodization of a mob's story, and The Godfather Part 1 is so different, it's hard to compare, i personally think it's a better film.
Once Upon a Time in America is much more real, dark, gritty, emotionally driven movie, it paints a perfect picture of what gangsters were like in the '30's and how New York was like for over five decades. It's much more intriguing and complex than Goodfellas and The Godfather, and Once Upon a Time in America is what i wanted from The Godfather Part 2 and never got.

To stop with the comparing, Once Upon a Time in America is a 4 hour gangster epic, and you might think ''well, 4 hours that's way to long for any movie'' for this movie, it isnt. It needs all 4 hours, and you can clearly see that because each and every single scene has a purpose and meaning, there isnt one scene where you think that a scene could've been scrapped.
Because each scene has purpose, and the time line switches continuously you need to be active as a viewer, which is what a 4 hour movie needs. The 4 hours fly by like its a 2 hour movie. It captures accurately growing up in the 30s,40s, & 50s of America. The roots of what made this country unique verses other nations. Diversity here was astronomical then transformed many ethnic backgrounds into pivotal characters impacted this country as well.
As I said, each scene is 100% needed, because when this movie was released in 1984, the theaters thought the movie was way to long and cut it down from its original and intentional length of a whopping 229 minutes to a 144 minutes version, and it became an incoherent mess of a movie, which is the sole reason this movie didnt get nominated for any Oscars, which is a shame.
Nevertheless, Once Upon a Time in America could have Won 11 Oscars, i'm not exaggerating.
It could have won for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for De Niro, Woods and McGovern, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Art- and Set Decoration, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score from Ennio Morricone.

Once Upon a Time in America is the best gangster movie ever made, and the best coming of age story ever put to film.
February 19, 2016
My favourite film of all time, the beautiful, thoughtful and yet gritty and bitter epic is assuredly the most powerful piece in cinematic history. It was born to succeed-the greatest director (Leone), the greatest actor (De Niro), the greatest writer of film scores (Morricone) and an incredible ensemble (both in terms of cast and crew) create perfection. Whilst the length, the rape scenes and panpipes have put people I know off this movie, I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who can appreciate fearless filmmaking which doesn't bog itself down in satisfying every sensitive viewer around. Best film ever, 10/10
June 25, 2013
Here we have a gangster film, second only to The Godfather, that goes beyond the realms of a typical crime epic. It moves beyond crime and explores the violence and greed within people rather than actions. Sergio Leone is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and here we see him in top form. The editing is razor sharp, the performances are near flawless, the cinematography is some of the most beautiful ever committed to film, and the direction is ambitious and bold. I couldn't possibly have loved this film more.
February 16, 2016
When Sergio Leone does a movie he REALLY does it. And here's another proof of his unique talent. His last movie, and first since at least 9 years shows a reached maturity as a director and a human being.
February 14, 2016
Emotional, suprising and bold, Once Upon a Time in America represents one of the best crime dramas ever made, and one of Sergio Leone's finest films.
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