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!
Director Martin Scorsese revisits New York City's notorious past with this dazzling historical drama. A throwback to the epics of yesteryear, GANGS OF NEW YORK is set in the mid-1800s, when the streets of lower Manhattan were teeming with tension and violence. Leonardo DiCaprio is Amsterdam Vallon, the son of a revered gang leader (Liam Neeson). As a youth, Amsterdam witnessed the death of his father at the hands of William "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), the maniacally driven ruler of the city's most powerful gang. Sixteen years later, Amsterdam is finally released from the orphanage that raised him. Determined to avenge his father's death, Amsterdam makes his way back to the volatile Five Points to track down Cutting and exact revenge. As he gradually infiltrates Bill the Butcher's camp and earns the crazed gangster's respect, he must also contend with the tumultuous, but beautiful, Jenny Everdean (Cameron Diaz). DiCaprio and Diaz are impressive in their respective roles, but it is Day-Lewis who steals the show. Resurfacing after a five-year retirement, the Irish actor delivers a performance that is at once cartoonish, electrifying, comical, sincere, and deeply moving. By paying tribute to the early days of New York City in such a grand, spectacular manner, Scorsese also pays tribute to cinema itself.
"...GANGS OF NEW YORK is something better than perfect: It's thrillingly alive....A triumph of pure craft and passionate heart..." 01/23/2003 p.75
New York Times
"...GANGS OF NEW YORK is an important film as well as an entertaining one. With this project, Mr. Scorsese has made his passionate ethnographic sensibility the vehicle of an especially grand ambition..." 12/20/2002 p.E1
"...It has as much greatness in it as any movie this year..." 12/20/2002 p.1E
"...The complicated and brilliant Day-Lewis makes all of old New York come alive; he's the furnace that stokes the story, and he gives off real, exciting heat..." 01/03/2003 p.43-4
"...GANGS OF NEW YORK bears all the earmarks of a magnum opus for Martin Scorsese....A richly impressive and densely realized work..." 12/02/2002 p.38-44
"...Unsparing, hallucinatory, spectacular, it's personal moviemaking on an epic scale, a vision that will take your breath away and hold it for the movie's entire running time..." 02/01/2003 p.20
"...GANGS OF NEW YORK may be the last of its kind -- a costume picture made entirely in a studio by a superbly creative director in collaboration with mater craftspeople..." 01/01/2003 p.24-7
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...Day-Lewis does a superb job of making the villain charismatic and complex..." 02/01/2003 p.62
"Big, brilliant, brutal and beautiful." 02/01/2003 p.100