After being released from prison, an Irish immigrant named Amsterdam Vallon in mid-19th Century New York City seeks revenge on the anti-immigrant mob boss named Bill the Butcher who murdered his father.
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What really stands out to me is the pacing. Schoonmaker and Scorsese edit in the language of myth-making; a myth for those history will not remember. Moving emotionally, even nostalgically in a sense, through those that with "blood and tribulation" crafted one of the world's capitals. The opening and closing scenes, both on their own and contrasted to each other, are some of the best filmmaking Scorsese has done.
A strange assortment of ideas and style—part Ford, part late Fellini, a scene or two that wouldn't be out of place in Mad Max—all searching for the right tone and not consistently finding it. Blame it on Marty, or Harvey, or Cameron's accent. But when it hits, it hits hard, and in its best moments it's insightful enough about American history to earn the not-at-all-subtle flag imagery it drapes everywhere.
Holy mother of God this film was unfocused... I could tell Scorsese was attempting to make an incredibly ambitious film about America that could have been profound but fuck this was just so uninteresting, overlong and sloppy.That being said the film gets 3 stars for visual flair and one of the best performances I've ever seen from Mr. Day Lewis. But damn it was disappointing!
Visually stunning,with a setting that draws us into 1860s New York.However,it seemed to have lost focus in some parts,at times trying to watch.Making me think it would have made a great miniseries.
The extreme violence was disturbing,not always necessary.Daniel Day Lewis gives a great performance.
Parts of it are incredible - DDL as Bill the Butcher, battle sequences, the explanation of the Five Points. Others are just woefully off the mark - Cameron Diaz being the prime example. A solid 4/5 that had potential to go much higher but never gets there.
Possibly Scorsese's weakest film. It has all the historic sprawl but none of the human interest of a good epic movie. Leonardo DiCaprio just can't carry this movie, and his supposed romance with Cameron Diaz sputters. Lots of big gestures, but there's not a lot going on here.