Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York

Martin Scorsese (2002)

159min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Martin Scorsese brought his fascination with the New York underworld back to its bloody, primal roots with this brutal, occasionally muddled but always riveting dream project that centres on Manhattan gang warfare in the 1860s. It begins with a gruesome street battle between the Nativists (gang members of Anglo-Saxon descent) and the Dead Rabbits (more recently arrived Irish-Americans), during which the latter's leader, Priest Vallon (a brief but striking appearance from Liam Neeson), is slaughtered in front of his young son. Sixteen years later, Priest's son, Amsterdam (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in a disappointingly one-note performance), returns to the Five Points district in New York where the Nativists now rule supreme and insinuates himself with the gang in order to avenge his father. However, his evolving relationship with Nativist boss Bill "the Butcher" Cutting (a searing performance from Daniel Day-Lewis) tempers his anger and provides the young man with a dilemma. If the film never marries its complex political intrigue with the more simplistic personal stories - the surrogate father-son set-up between Amsterdam and Bill or Amsterdam's spiky romance with pickpocket Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz) - the epic sweep is breathtaking, the attention to detail intoxicating and Day-Lewis's turn is unmissable.

Summary

An Irishman in 19th-century New York is taken under the wing of the ruthless gang leader who killed his father 15 years before, and rises up the ranks of power - all the while plotting his revenge. Meanwhile, the tension caused by the enforced drafting of the population into the army to fight in the Civil War explodes into bloodshed and riots. Martin Scorsese's epic historical drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz and Liam Neeson.

Cast & Crew

Amsterdam Vallon Leonardo DiCaprio
William Cutting Daniel Day-Lewis
Jenny Everdeane Cameron Diaz
Priest Vallon Liam Neeson
William Tweed Jim Broadbent
Johnny Sirocco Henry Thomas
Walter McGinn Brendan Gleeson
Jack Mulraney John C Reilly
McGloin Gary Lewis
Director Martin Scorsese
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: EntertainmentGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama