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Gangs of New York (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  20 December 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 293,482 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 1,153 user | 230 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.



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Nominated for 10 Oscars. Another 42 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Reverend Raleigh (as Alec Mccowen)
Jimmy Spoils (as Larry Gilliard Jr.)


Having seen his father killed in a major gang fight in New York, young Amsterdam Vallon is spirited away for his own safety. Some years later, he returns to the scene of his father's death, the notorious Five Points district in New York. It's 1863 and lower Manhattan is run by gangs, the most powerful of which is the Natives, headed by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He believes that America should belong to native-born Americans and opposes the waves of immigrants, mostly Irish, entering the city. It's also the time of the Civil War and forced conscription leads to the worst riots in US history. Amid the violence and corruption, young Vallon tries to establish himself in the area and also seek revenge over his father's death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


America Was Born In The Streets.


Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense strong violence, sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

20 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pandillas de Nueva York  »

Box Office


$97,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,049,746 (Japan) (20 December 2002)


$77,679,638 (USA) (11 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one scene Boss Tweed is describing to a few men the city's need for a grand new courthouse before being interrupted. This is a reference to the infamous old New York County Courthouse, now known as the Tweed Courthouse, where Tweed and Tammany Hall had stolen millions from the city that was earmarked for the construction of the building, which became the most expensive civic building of the 19th century because of Tammany's theft of funds. See more »


The hammer dulcimer (string instrument old man is playing) shown just before the fight scene between Amsterdam and McGloin, is of a modern design. Instruments from the time would have been much more cumbersome in design as they would have been homemade, or built by carpenters used to working with furniture. See more »


Amsterdam Vallon: Is there anyone in the five points you *haven't* fucked?
Jenny: Yes! *You!*
See more »

Crazy Credits

Noises from the modern day New York streets play over the second half of the closing credits. See more »


References Marnie (1964) See more »


The White Cockade
Performed by Franco D'Aniello, Marco Libanori and Angelo Giuliani
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Great Movie, Worth The Wait
27 December 2002 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

For about three months now, I have (on an almost daily basis) passed a movie theatre not far from my home. On the side of this movie theatre is a huge poster advertising the movie "Gangs of New York". Meanwhile, all I heard about on television was the buzz about the upcoming "Gangs of New York". So, when this highly publicized movie finally opened, I went and saw it.

I went to the theatre, I bought my ticket, I found a seat in a very crowded theatre and I sat. For three hours I sat in that dark theatre and I watched what was one of the most amazing movies I have ever had privilege to see.

It is hard to even begin to explain why this movie was amazing, but it was. The way it was shot is brilliant. The cinematography is spectacular. The story is completely enthralling.

Although the movie was just shy of three hours long, it was not at all boring to watch. The story was captivating and although I knew how it was going to end (because, after all, it is a movie based on a true-ish story), it was incredible to watch how it got that end.

Above all, the movie was beautiful to watch. I have to admit to those who have not yet seen it that "Gangs" is quite violent. However, the violence was well shot and it was fairly necessary to the story.

All of the actors put in extremely good performances. Leonardo DiCaprio really proved that he's not just a pretty face and that he does actually have a great deal of talent (which can also be seen in his other movie of the season, "Catch Me If You Can"). Cameron Diaz' performace also proves that she can do much more than the standard romantic comedy. Also, after hearing reports of Daniel Day Lewis' REALLY getting into his character, I admit that it was completely worth it. His character (William Cutting/Bill the Butcher) is so complex and although you know you hate him, you can't decide why (for there are so many reasons).

In conclusion, if you have not seen this movie yet, go. Go now. See it. This is one of the epic movies of our time. I heard that Scorcese has been conceptualizing this movie for over twenty years; I could tell. The story this movie tells is one that I had never heard and the way in which it was told makes it seem very important for us to know. The message that is conveyed, although not an entirely wholesome one, is an important one to learn and, if considered, is very relevant to our time. However, my only message to you is this: see this movie.

76 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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