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Gangs of New York (2002)

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


Martin Scorsese


Jay Cocks (story), Jay Cocks (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
797 ( 324)
Nominated for 10 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 124 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Amsterdam Vallon
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting
Cameron Diaz ... Jenny Everdeane
Jim Broadbent ... William 'Boss' Tweed
John C. Reilly ... Happy Jack Mulraney
Henry Thomas ... Johnny Sirocco
Liam Neeson ... 'Priest' Vallon
Brendan Gleeson ... Walter 'Monk' McGinn
Gary Lewis ... McGloin
Stephen Graham ... Shang
Eddie Marsan ... Killoran
Alec McCowen ... Reverend Raleigh (as Alec Mccowen)
David Hemmings ... Mr. Schermerhorn
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... Jimmy Spoils (as Larry Gilliard Jr.)
Cara Seymour ... Hell-Cat Maggie


In the god-forsaken district of early-1860's Lower Manhattan known as the Five Points, the vicious Nativist, Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, is the supreme overlord of an area riddled with crime, prostitution, theft and murder, as the American Civil War still rages on. Sixteen whole years after the brutal murder of his father from Bill's blood-stained hands, an orphaned Irish-American, Amsterdam Vallon, returns to this melting pot of corruption to avenge his untimely death; however, a lot has changed since then. Who can remember the once innocent boy and now a young man bent on revenge, who works his way up to the hierarchy of Five Points? Will Amsterdam ever taste the dangerous but sweet fruit of retribution? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


America Was Born In The Streets.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site


USA | Italy


English | Irish | Chinese | Latin

Release Date:

20 December 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pandillas de Nueva York See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,496,870, 22 December 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$193,772,504, 28 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the making of The Age of Innocence (1993), Martin Scorsese handed his art director Dante Ferretti five books of notes on production design. See more »


When Amsterdam is placed on the table at the pagoda, Bill the Butcher lowers his arm after tossing the cleaver in to the air. In the next shot, he lowers his arm again. See more »


Amsterdam Vallon: It's a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragon. It's warmer than you'd think.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from the altered studio logos, there are no opening credits and title, except for the beginning of the movie saying "Miramax Films Presents". The rest of the credits and the title are at the end of the movie. The title of the film is made up of pieces of type that would have been used in the 19th Century to print newsletters, posters, and flyers like the ones seen throughout the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Scorsese's original cut of the film was 216 minutes (3 hours & 36 minutes) long. See more »


Featured in Side by Side (2012) See more »


Unconstant Lover
Performed by Maura O'Connell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not That Bad but It's Not A Classic Scorsese Picture
7 January 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

" What did you think of Gangs Of New York ? " I asked my father who is also a big Scorsese fan .

" I thought it was a load of " ££$%^^$"£* £$% " he replied " The actors looked like they were all going to burst out singing "

I could see where he was coming from although I didn't disagree with him 100 % . GANGS OF NEW YORK had some really extreme opinions from its audience ,a point reflected in the comments thrown at it on this site .I didn't think it was as bad as my dad made out but like I said I could seewhere he was coming from

My major problem with the movie is the screenplay . the opening shot sees Bill " The Butcher " Cutting kill Priest Vallon in front of his son who runs away swearing revenge for his dead father . From that point onwards we know that the story will end years later with a confrontation between the two protagonists so there's no more dramatic twists for the story to take . Actually this in itself isn't too bad but what spoils the story is the way it's held up with the character interaction between Amsterdamn and Jenny Everdeane . Scorsese doesn't do romantic interlude very well and this movie proves it . In amongst this diversion there's something of a plot hole since Bill takes the young Amsterdamn under his wing even though he knows who he is . If you bumped off someones father in a street fight would you adopt their kids ? I didn't think so

This could have been an absolutely brilliant script and it is very good in places where we see how the gangs are structured , their ethnic mix and their political affiliations - Some are protestant with members who were born in America , some are catholic with many members born in Ireland , all are anglophobe and they all hate each other . We also see one of the most cynical episodes in American history where immigrants getting off ships at New York are immediately conscripted into the Union army unless they pay 300 dollars which eventually leads to the draft riots . When the movie concentrates on these parts of the plot it's a great film but becomes heavily bogged down by the character subplots

If Scorsese had directed this 20 years ago with a fraction of the budget he had here this could have been his masterwork but he seems to have overawed by riches . Everything is just a bit too grandiose and operatic to be entirely convincing . Charles Dickens had visited the five points and is recorded as saying it was the worst place on Earth . Scorsese makes the streets a little too clean , a little too Hollywood grunge , a little too glamorous in spite of everything . Leonardo Dicaprio is a very underrated actor held back by his startling good looks but he's wrong as Amsterdamn and wasn't right for the part which should have gone to an unknown . Cameron Diaz is totally unconvincing as Jenny and Scorsese could have easily given the part to a real life NY hooker while Daniel Day Lewis gives a powerhouse performance as Bill Cutting , however the role is slightly overplayed especially compared to Lewis's other work

Indeed everyone involved in GANGS OF NEW YORK in whatever capacity has done far better in other movies and at the end of the day this is a very unsatisfying flawed picture which received more nominations than it did prizes at award ceremonies , and I'm somewhat happy about that because this movie isn't a crowning achievement for anyone , especially Martin Scorsese or Daniel Day Lewis who are capable of better things

Seven out of Ten

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