Gangs Of New York 2002

Critics score:
75 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News: A misfire of monstrous proportions, the worst large-scale epic since Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Day-Lewis' larger-than-life Bill is one of the great characters of movies. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: At its best, the movie gives you a taste of the epic Scorsese intended, an epic that, sadly, will forever remain in the filmmaker's imagination. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: The brilliant Martin Scorsese has created a phenomenal work that plunges us deep into Lower Manhattan in the 1860s. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: A magnificent throwback to an almost vanished era of epic filmmaking by great filmmakers in thrall to their own passions, rather than to the studio bookkeepers. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: This is historical filmmaking without the balm of right-thinking ideology, either liberal or conservative. Mr. Scorsese's bravery and integrity in advancing this vision can hardly be underestimated. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Bill the Butcher is a coiled monster with a guttural voice and a sharply thrown knife; Day-Lewis brings him to glittery, intense life. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A fever-sprawl of a movie, a melting-pot panorama, brought to full boil. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Like many operas, this is long, overwrought, sprawling, and more than frequently brilliant. It also hits just enough discordant notes to keep it from greatness. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The streets, shot by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, may be as authentic as they are mean, but it is nearly impossible to care about what happens on them. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: For almost the first two-thirds of Martin Scorsese's 168-minute Gangs of New York, I was entranced. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: As it is, the film is always watchable, occasionally riveting, but ultimately a disappointment. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Scorsese is at the peak of his powers. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: Day-Lewis keeps you awake whenever the story loses steam during the film's 2 hours and 48 minutes. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A muddle splashed with bloody beauty as vivid as any Scorsese has ever given us. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The spasmodic spectacle fails to develop any narrative or visceral momentum -- it has no cumulative effect. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: The story's scope and pageantry are mesmerizing, and Mr. Day-Lewis roars with leonine power. Read more

John Powers, L.A. Weekly: What ultimately gives Gangs of New York its power is less its storytelling than its grand, bracingly radical vision of American history. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Gangs, for all its bloodletting, is the aberrant case of a movie that needed more violence to make its moral point. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: What we're left with has the patness of a history lesson about our roots and the melting pot and what it means to be an American. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: The result reverberates on the screen with a deadly force and fury more intense than anything Mr. Scorsese has yet achieved on the meanest and most beloved streets he could imagine or recall. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Despite some reservations, however, the movie never lost my interest, and I consider it to be worth a trip to a theater to see. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: All of this is a triumph for Scorsese, and yet I do not think this film is in the first rank of his masterpieces. It is very good but not great. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, The world needs more filmmakers with passionate enthusiasms like Martin Scorsese. But it doesn't need Gangs of New York. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: I doubt I'll ever be able to look at a smirking fellow in old daguerreotype, with rolled-up sleeves and a mustache, and not think of Daniel Day-Lewis and all that vitality lost to time. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: It's a magnificent achievement -- holes, tatters, crudities, screw-ups, and all. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: A work of battered brilliance. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Scorsese's congested, conflicted, entrancing achievement. Read more

Time Out: It's never less than compelling, driven by an overwhelming, larger than life performance from Day-Lewis and by Scorsese's grandiose historical imagination. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: For all its lack of breathing room ... it realistically puts you into the Civil War North as much as Gone With the Wind does with the romantically idealized South. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A richly impressive and densely realized work that bracingly opens the eye and mind to untaught aspects of American history. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: A lavish folly that suffers from an odd downscale effect. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Darkly operatic and brilliantly realized. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: It's as if [Scorsese] preferred to concentrate on the production ... rather than on the dramatic issues and, oh yeah, taking up the rear, the human beings who live them. Read more