This motion picture event from acclaimed director Martin Scorsese earned 10 Academy Award(R) nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, along with 5 Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Song! Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic), Cameron Diaz (Charlie's Angels), and Daniel Day-Lewis (The Boxer) star in this epic tale of vengeance and survival! As waves of immigrants swell the population of New York, lawlessness and corruption thrive in lower Manhattan's Five Points section. After years of incarceration, young Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon (DiCaprio) returns seeking revenge against the rival gang leader (Day-Lewis) who killed his father. But Amsterdam's personal vendetta becomes part of the gang warfare that erupts as he and his fellow Irishmen fight to carve a place for themselves in their newly adopted homeland!
Gangs of New York may achieve greatness with the passage of time. Mixed reviews were inevitable for a production this grand (and this troubled behind the scenes), but it's as distinguished as any of director Martin Scorsese's more celebrated New York stories. From its astonishing 1846 prologue to the city's infernal draft riots of 1863, the film aspires to erase the decorum of textbooks and chronicle 19th-century New York as a cauldron of street warfare. The hostility is embodied in a tale of primal vengeance between Irish American son Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his father's ruthless killer and "Nativist" gang leader Bill "the Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis, brutally inspired), so named for his lethal talent with knives. Vallon's vengeance is only marginally compelling; DiCaprio is arguably miscast, and Cameron Diaz (as Vallon's pickpocket lover) is adrift in a film with little use for women. Despite these weaknesses, Scorsese's mastery blossoms in his expert melding of personal and political trajectories; this is American history written in blood, unflinching, authentic, and utterly spectacular. --Jeff Shannon