Gangs of New YorkDVD - 2003
In 1846, waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New York neighborhood of Five Points. "Billy the Butcher" bands his fellow "Native Americans" into a gang to take on the Irish gang "The Dead Rabbits," organized by Priest Vallon. After an bloody clash Vallon is dead and his son ends up in a brutal reform school. In 1862, that boy returns to seek vengeance against the man that killed his father.
Set in New York City just prior to the Civil War, a man seeks to avenge the death of his father and gets caught in the middle of the powerful and corrupt political machines of Manhattan.
From the critics
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Amsterdam Vallon: If you get all of us together, we ain't got a gang, we've got an army.
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Greatly stylized gangsters story set in old new york. Grand in scale and ambition, Gangs Of New York looks beautiful in an ugly sort of way, but feels a little bloated as the story moves along. The acting is really great for the most part, but not all the characters accents hold up for the whole film. It has some of the camera work that Martin Scorsese is known for, but not all of his regular bag of tricks are used, and although he has done large scenes before with lots of people in them, this time most of the larger fight scenes looked very staged and many of the actors who are supposed to be selling the action just seemed to be going through the motions. Overall this is a really interesting film which takes a look at early New York history in a way never done before, but a long run time and pacing issues keeps this from being one of Scorsese's best.
4 Beards Out Of 5