in about 100 words or less
US/Italy 166m, Colour
Director: Martin Scorsese; Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Lewis, John C. Reilly
Based on 19thC historical events which occurred in the Five Points District of New York City, The Gangs of New York is an historically based drama about Irish immigrants who attempted to make new lives for themselves during this tumultuous period of American history. The film’s stunning photography and frighteningly realistic performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as mob boss – Bill “The Butcher” Cutting more than makes up for the syrupy and largely unnecessary romantic plot between Vallon (DiCaprio) and Jenny (Diaz), which otherwise distracts from the more interesting elements of the story and the fascinating historical details that are woven into this darkly entertaining production (Klaus Ming January 2012).