Reviews

  • Jan 15, 2022

    Amazing movie from start to finish. A crime drama comparable to The Godfather. Loved everything about it.

    Amazing movie from start to finish. A crime drama comparable to The Godfather. Loved everything about it.

  • Dec 30, 2021

    pretty awful, by modern standards... or even old ones (i.e. The Godfather)

    pretty awful, by modern standards... or even old ones (i.e. The Godfather)

  • Nov 06, 2021

    Undoubtedly one of the greatest gangster films ever made it also dissects male failure, ageing, death and other themes in Leone's work but with much greater seriousness and impact than most. A directorial masterclass in story telling and construction with great work by so many including Woods, De Niro, McGovern and Williams amongst others. Beautiful score by Morricone and great sets and artwork. The unusual elements include the gangsters being Jewish and also the humorous treatment in places of some of themes such as the role of chance in life in the baby swopping scene. Moments of violence though are intense and explicit as usual. And so many great lines too. In the end we feel that Leone has taken genre cinema about as far as it can go with the sense of theatre and symbolism which dare I say it is almost Shakespearean as the circle is completed at the end and there is a deliberate reference to the theatre of the medium. Probably the nearest to great art that genre cinema can achieve leaving a deep sense of sadness and unusually for this director more of a sense of how can the male move forward rather than celebrate his dysfunction as in the spaghetti westerns (some of which were directorial tour de forces too despite the obvious severe limitations).

    Undoubtedly one of the greatest gangster films ever made it also dissects male failure, ageing, death and other themes in Leone's work but with much greater seriousness and impact than most. A directorial masterclass in story telling and construction with great work by so many including Woods, De Niro, McGovern and Williams amongst others. Beautiful score by Morricone and great sets and artwork. The unusual elements include the gangsters being Jewish and also the humorous treatment in places of some of themes such as the role of chance in life in the baby swopping scene. Moments of violence though are intense and explicit as usual. And so many great lines too. In the end we feel that Leone has taken genre cinema about as far as it can go with the sense of theatre and symbolism which dare I say it is almost Shakespearean as the circle is completed at the end and there is a deliberate reference to the theatre of the medium. Probably the nearest to great art that genre cinema can achieve leaving a deep sense of sadness and unusually for this director more of a sense of how can the male move forward rather than celebrate his dysfunction as in the spaghetti westerns (some of which were directorial tour de forces too despite the obvious severe limitations).

  • Oct 31, 2021

    This is a classic in the mafia genre with a lot of unique attributes. What I love the most was its use of symbolism which tells you a lot when you are thinking of it after you watched. Actors are great, casting is really great and story is awesome. A nonlinear narrative approach relying on back and forth between past and present clearly enriches the experience of the audience.

    This is a classic in the mafia genre with a lot of unique attributes. What I love the most was its use of symbolism which tells you a lot when you are thinking of it after you watched. Actors are great, casting is really great and story is awesome. A nonlinear narrative approach relying on back and forth between past and present clearly enriches the experience of the audience.

  • Oct 30, 2021

    There's something about Sergio Leone's style I can't explain that always captivates me.

    There's something about Sergio Leone's style I can't explain that always captivates me.

  • Sep 28, 2021

    "Once Upon a Time in America," tells a gangster story at such a grand and massive scale, it is hard not to admire the scope and ambition of the film. This is a movie that requires some patience from the viewer, but those who make it to the end are in for something unique and memorable. The movie spans decades so the nearly four-hour runtime does almost feel justified here. That being said, it is nearly impossible for the entirety of such a long movie to be interesting, and there were definitely sections I enjoyed more than others. Nonetheless, the performances are uniformly great and the movie feels very authentic in the era it aims to portray. It's truly a movie that is an epic journey through the lives of the main characters and feels like it holds its own among the gangster movie classics.

    "Once Upon a Time in America," tells a gangster story at such a grand and massive scale, it is hard not to admire the scope and ambition of the film. This is a movie that requires some patience from the viewer, but those who make it to the end are in for something unique and memorable. The movie spans decades so the nearly four-hour runtime does almost feel justified here. That being said, it is nearly impossible for the entirety of such a long movie to be interesting, and there were definitely sections I enjoyed more than others. Nonetheless, the performances are uniformly great and the movie feels very authentic in the era it aims to portray. It's truly a movie that is an epic journey through the lives of the main characters and feels like it holds its own among the gangster movie classics.

  • Sep 15, 2021

    i remember thinking this would just be another grab at the Godfather-type-movie gravy train, so i skipped it back when. first watch today. 3H 49M. took a 30 minute break just before half way into it, then watched through the end. another reminder why DeNiro got so famous. makes it seem so easy. personally i liked this over The Irishman, which i've watched 3 times already.

    i remember thinking this would just be another grab at the Godfather-type-movie gravy train, so i skipped it back when. first watch today. 3H 49M. took a 30 minute break just before half way into it, then watched through the end. another reminder why DeNiro got so famous. makes it seem so easy. personally i liked this over The Irishman, which i've watched 3 times already.

  • Sep 13, 2021

    A personal favorite. Love the atmosphere and the soundtrack. The story is done well too. Might not be interesting for some people, but I was very intrigued by it.

    A personal favorite. Love the atmosphere and the soundtrack. The story is done well too. Might not be interesting for some people, but I was very intrigued by it.

  • Sep 05, 2021

    Sweeping, 50 years of events, melancholy, packed,.. lots of different words to describe Leone' epic gangster film. But long is the one word that stands out the most. Nearly four hours long? If a film is that long it better have a damn good reason to be. I'm glad I saw it. I liked it in general. But it's just not a Scorsese picture.

    Sweeping, 50 years of events, melancholy, packed,.. lots of different words to describe Leone' epic gangster film. But long is the one word that stands out the most. Nearly four hours long? If a film is that long it better have a damn good reason to be. I'm glad I saw it. I liked it in general. But it's just not a Scorsese picture.

  • Sep 05, 2021

    Pretentious poseur crap that goes on and on, Leone can make fun spaghetti westerns that's his limit, this is plain junk. Will never be mistaken for Coppola.

    Pretentious poseur crap that goes on and on, Leone can make fun spaghetti westerns that's his limit, this is plain junk. Will never be mistaken for Coppola.