Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
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
Martin Scorsese) first encountered Herbert Asbury's 1928 book about the history of Five Points in 1970. His first call was to his friend Jay Cocks who would eventually collaborate on the screenplay over 30 years later. Scorsese told Cocks to "think of it like a western in outer space". See more »
When the young Amsterdam throws the knife in the hole, it isn't wrapped. When he returns 16 years later, it's wrapped in old clothes. See more »
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.
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