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

Once Upon a Time in America Reviews

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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.
May 2, 2016
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.
March 20, 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
February 17, 2016
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.
February 8, 2016
Only the uncut version.
½ February 8, 2016
Enjoyed the cinema as poetic image approach
February 1, 2016
It may be a long film, but that does not distract it from being a masterpiece in cinematography.
By the way, Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Country, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, are all long films, but are still magnificent films.

When the script, storyline and sublime music, composed by Ennio Morricone, are magnificent, its difficult to criticise the film.
January 30, 2016
Gives a meaning to longevity.
½ January 30, 2016
Sergio Leone's finest piece of art ..Ennio Morricone's score and Tonino Delli's frames made this movie Poetic and Artistic..This movie is a real gem.
January 29, 2016
The film definitely takes its time in making an epic movie. The first 30 minutes of the film play out with very little dialogue, Sergio Leone was not in a hurry making this movie. There are tons of shots that do a sort of slow zoom on Robert Deniro, which gets kind of old quick. I admire the thoughtfulness of this film and even though the length of the film pulls it down a bit, it ultimately plays out as a movie that really does a great job of making us care very much for the characters and amazing stories they create along the way.
January 24, 2016
My #2 movie of all time!
January 8, 2016
wow this is one epic ride
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