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The Godfather 1972

Critics score:
99 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Brando made Don Vito something we rarely see in movies: a tragicomic villain-hero, a vulnerable hood. Read more

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: To permit us a glimpse at The Mob, with all of its ethnic insularity, is like giving a chronic gambler a chance to wander above the false mirrors that overlook every casino. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The Godfather is overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood. Read more

Andrew Sarris, Village Voice: Brando's triumph and fascination is less that of an actor of parts than of a star galaxy of myths. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Read more

Vincent Canby, New York Times: Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment. Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: The ultimate family film. Read more

F.X. Feeney, L.A. Weekly: Traces the arc of this doomed idealism with a beauty that is still fresh. Read more

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: I don't see how any gifted actor could have done less than Brando does here. His resident power, his sheer innate force, has rarely seemed weaker. Read more

Wanda Hale, New York Daily News: Brando is the strong magnet that will draw fans to The Godfather. But behind-the-scenes creativity is of equal value to this film of towering proportions. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: We come to The Godfather like Kay Adams -- outsiders uncertain in our expectations - but it doesn't take long for us to be captivated by this intricate, violent world. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The story by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola is a brilliant conjuring act, inviting us to consider the Mafia entirely on its own terms. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: In scene after scene ... Coppola crafted an enduring, undisputed masterpiece. Read more

Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine: In its blending of new depth with an old genre, it becomes that rarity, a mass entertainment that is also great movie art. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: An everyday story of Mafia folk, incorporating a severed horse's head in the bed and a number of heartwarming family occasions, as well as pointers on how not to behave in your local trattoria. Read more

A.D. Murphy, Variety: The biggest achievement here is the establishment of mood and time. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: There are volumes that could be written -- and have been -- about the movie's uniformly powerful performances; its precedent-setting editing by William Reynolds and Peter Zinner; Nino Rota's haunting score; and Dean Tavoularis's evocative set design. Read more