I loved it at the first & also after the second time. This is a wonderful & spectacular movie about greed, corruption & crime. A lot of violence is involved and it is interesting to see that even the mob has a certain code of honor. The cast, the camera, the direction, the whole setup & the attention to details is marvelous. The long runtime doesn't bother me. I wonder about the lack of appreciation. Masterpiece.
Great film. Very ambitious, tries to pull a lot off. Just about pulls it off but there are a couple of moments towards the end where you fear it won't. There is one point at the end where it is too loose with history, with an incident that didn't happen, and as a (fake) historian I unfortunately cannot endorse that part.
Whatever social and historical commentary can be extracted from the turbulent New York 'pre-history' gets wasted through Scorsese fanaticism of violence and bloodbath. Day-Lewis' quirky villain is well-casted and generates both restrained laughs and fear, yet the film is really a vehicle for celebrity cinema with Diaz's casting as the major cacophony in what is generally a profane world that perpetuates the NY myth.
Politically, "Gangs" is a powder keg; its scenes of working class rebellion turned against the immigrant population prove the more things change the more they stay the same. Scorsese gets powerful mileage out of these later scenes of mob brutality, but a lot of what comes before is marred by clumsy melodrama if not outright pantomime silliness. Bad accents, miscast actors & questionable directorial choices abound.
Daniel-Day Lewis' tour de force performance illustrates America being "born in the streets" better than anything in the script. And not because it's poorly written, for it is a likeable ironical take on US history, grandiosely staged with (seemingly) encyclopedic detailing. But for its lack of more subversive characterizations and confrontations on a level which are not just aesthetically appealing.
You can practically see the smile of Scorsese behind the camera in the presentation of his dream project-- an epic gangland film with a fascination of period detail and setting. The problem is all this exposition and atmosphere leaves little room for the same attention to characterization, as the romance and internalizing is awfully broad. Best by far for its setting, but could've also used more social-analysis.
I really don't know what to make of this film. You can tell that much effort and care were put into the making of the historical setting. And Daniel Day-Lewis' turn as a Gilded Age gangster is down right Shakespearean. However many of the other performances leave much to be desired, and the story has been done much better before
Genius editing, lacklustre & uninvolving story. The romance should've been left out. The revenge motive was far too weak to carry such an epic: it wasn't explored, & to me, for whom revenge IRL is tiresome, it didn't feel justified. Day-Lewis's character was more interesting than Leonardo's yet we learned little about him beyond broad-strokes portraits of him as a xenophobic patriot. Brilliant but scattershot.