'Gangs of New York', Film Review

Updated: Jan 28

Gangs of New York (2002)

Genre: Crime, Drama Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring; Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz, with Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Stephen Graham, Eddie Marsan and Brendan...

DiCaprio and Dey-Lewis absolutely kill it in this revenge period drama. Shot in Rome, because there are more neighborhoods there that look like the New York of 1863 than there are in New York City - this movie is exactly how it feels to be an angel of revenge.

Dark, focused, and set in a world somehow both familiar and completely removed from our own reality. This was based on a non-fiction book, and like another MobCity review, depends on the fact that we forget history over time. DiCaprio "Amsterdam" plays the son of gang leader murdered by Dey-Lewis' character "Bill the Butcher." When the younger grows up and returns for revenge, he ends up as the confidant and even savior of the feared "Butcher."


Torn between family loyalty and sincere devotion, Amsterdam does what all mobsters know to be right - he sides with family. But the war between them is overshadowed by the riots against conscription in the Civil War. Their fight is lost in the literal haze of canon fire and shrapnel.


In the end, Bill's grave next to that of Amsterdam's father in Brooklyn, overlooks a skyline changing through time. The towers and highways grow. The grass grows. The stones are lost to time. But the grandeur of their dingy lives, our entertainment for a few hours, did have some relevance.


It raised $100m to make the movie right, and cleared $193m globally before it's numbers were put to rest. From one self-grandiose mug to another: this is a movie you won't soon forget.



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