Mr. David Harris
18 November 2011
Cultural Review: Gangs of New York
In his review, Roger Ebert gave the film Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese, a three and a half star rating out of four and made both positive and negative comments of the movie. Although he gave it a favorable review he also said it was “very good but not great”(Ebert). The problem with Ebert’s review is that he does not review the details of the movie, such as the acting or the set or soundtrack, but critiques the movie only as a whole after a long summary of the film. Gangs of New York was a great movie with a couple of fantastic performances by both Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio, and Roger Ebert’s review did not do it justice.
The main problem that I have with Ebert’s review is that he ends with an entire paragraph that compares Gangs of New York with Scorsese’s ...view middle of the document...
Day-Lewis plays Bill perfectly, and his personality is so unique in the film. He is sinister and wicked but also witty and humorous, and he is crazy but smart enough to make others believe he is the voice of reason. Dicaprio’s character, Amsterdam, is also written and played very well. Ebert was right to say that he is “not the most colorful person on the canvas” and that because he is slightly dull he magnifies the eccentricity of the other characters.
The one main problem with the film is Jenny, played by Cameron Diaz, who is the independent tough woman and love interest of Amsterdam. It is mostly Cameron Diaz that I had a problem with because she was not convincing as that type of character. When I watched the movie I believed it, but when Diaz was on screen I was watching her act. The other problem is that she is just too attractive. One of the great things about the movie was its authenticity, but Cameron Diaz is just too sexy to be living in the slums of New York in the 1840s. She is also just not the best actress, and with such a great cast surrounding her it was very noticeable.
As far as Scorsese movies go I do believe that Gangs of New York is one of the greatest. Ebert did not think it was in the top ranks of his masterpieces, but in my opinion it is a lot better of a movie than some of his others such as Casino or The Departed. It surprises me that Gangs of New York does not get brought up more often in conversations about people’s favorite movies or that Bill the Butcher does not get brought up as one of the greatest villains in film. The movie did not do anything new or spectacular cinematically or change anything about how movies are made, but it is certainly a great story that is told very well with fantastic characters that is entertaining from start to finish.
"Gangs Of New York :: Rogerebert.com :: Reviews." Rogerebert.com :: Movie Reviews, Essays and the Movie Answer Man from Film Critic Roger Ebert. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. <http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20021220/REVIEWS/212200304/1023>.