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"GANGS OF NEW YORK"
(2002) (Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Moderate None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young Irish-American sets out to avenge his father's death at the hands of a brutal and powerful Nativist, as corruption and anti-draft sentiments grow stronger in 1860s era New York.
PLOT:
It's New York City, 1863 and Amsterdam Vallon (LEONARDO DICAPRIO) is a young Irish-American orphan who's just been released from a "house of refuge." Sixteen years earlier and as a young boy, Amsterdam watched a massive street battle in the Five Points district between the Dead Rabbits forces led by his father, Priest Vallon (LIAM NEESON), and the Nativists under the control of William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting (DANIEL DAY-LEWIS).

Amsterdam wants to avenge his father's murder and lucks out when he runs into Johnny Sirocco (HENRY THOMAS), a street thief who works for Bill. Johnny doesn't give up Amsterdam's identity and the young man ends up working for Bill as well, eventually becoming his close confidant. While the Dead Rabbits have been outlawed by Cutting -- who unofficially runs the area along with corrupt politician William "Boss" Tweed (JIM BROADBENT) - he stills honors Amsterdam's father as the last reputable man he fought.

Men who once followed the Priest, such as Happy Jack (JOHN C. REILLY) and Charles McGloin (GARY LEWIS), now work for Bill and share his disdain for the hordes of immigrants who arrive daily at the docks. Most are signed up directly into the Union Army to be sent to the South, and soon everyday men will be drafted into the army if they can't come up with the $300 deferment fee.

When not moving in closer with the enemy, Amsterdam has taken a liking to Jenny Everdeane (CAMERON DIAZ), an accomplished pickpocket who also has a past with Cutting. As time passes and with the aid of former Dead Rabbit, Monk McGinn (BRENDAN GLEESON), Amsterdam finally makes his move on avenging his father's death. From that point on, the city careens toward violence on various fronts.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, director Martin Scorsese, or historical/period epics, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For intense strong violence, sexuality/nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LEONARDO DICAPRIO plays a young Irish-American who sets out to avenge his father's death by attempting to kill Bill. Briefly working for that man as a thief, he moves in closer for the kill. He also has sex with Jenny, smokes, drinks (and is drunk in one scene) and smokes opium.
  • DANIEL DAY-LEWIS plays the racist and nationalistic leader of the Five Points who kills various people and hates the immigrants and Federal government. He also uses strong profanity, smokes and apparently beds various women.
  • CAMERON DIAZ plays an accomplished pickpocket and general thief who has a past with Bill and becomes attracted to Amsterdam (with whom she has sex).
  • LIAM NEESON plays Amsterdam's father who leads an unsuccessful battle against Bill and loses his life.
  • JIM BROADBENT plays the corrupt democratic boss of the Five Points who wants the vote of new immigrants and works closely with Bill.
  • BRENDAN GLEESON plays a man who once fought with Priest Vallon and eventually joins forces with Amsterdam in an effort to take Bill out of power.
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays a former ally of Priest Vallon who now works for Bill as a corrupt cop.
  • HENRY THOMAS plays a young thief who introduces Amsterdam to Bill for whom he works.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 6 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is present, as is the sight of several sexual encounters in public (with movement and nudity). Other sexual encounters are implied (with observed making out, etc.) and various bare-breasted women are seen fawning over and caressing men (while two are seen together).

    Violence consists of various lethal, bloody and otherwise rather graphic street fights where many people are killed, injured and occasionally dismembered by various means and weapons. Other bloody/gory deaths and murders are present along with people striking or otherwise hitting others. Some of those scenes and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including racist ones).

    Various characters smoke and/or drink and several briefly smoke what's presumably opium, while some imitative behavior is present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • People drink in a pub where some are drunk.
  • Some people drink.
  • Various people drink at a play.
  • Amsterdam appears drunk as he drinks with Bill and others (some of whom appear to be drunk or passed out). A woman there then smokes what's presumably opium from a pipe and gives it to Amsterdam who takes a hit from it.
  • Various people have drinks.
  • Various people have drinks in another scene.
  • Jack drinks from a flask.
  • Some aristocrats drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Priest Vallon apparently purposefully cuts his own face with a straight razor as part of a pre-battle ceremony (and there's a tiny bit of blood that he doesn't want his young son to wipe from the blade as well as on his face). Amsterdam later does the same face slicing.
  • We see that Bill has a weird looking iris (that we later learn is metal).
  • A massive street battle turns very bloody with the wounded, killed and survivors having blood all over them (along with lots of blood in the snow). We also see blood squirting out and body parts being severed.
  • A man has some blood on his face after Amsterdam punches him.
  • Amsterdam finds blood on a boat (and gets some on his hands).
  • Bill has some butcher related blood on his apron.
  • We see some blood on Amsterdam's neck from where Jenny was pressing the tip of her knife.
  • We see a dead body on the street.
  • We see the hanging carcass of a dead pig that Bill is butchering (it has a huge slit down its abdomen).
  • We see a large scar on Jenny's belly from a Caesarean type procedure. Amsterdam then removes his shirt and he has scars all over his chest.
  • We see a bare-fisted boxing match where the opponents are rather bloody.
  • Bill has a lot of blood down his coat from an assassin's bullet. The assassin is also bloody.
  • Jenny has some blood on her neck after Bill throws a knife (among many) that nicks her there.
  • Amsterdam's face is bloody after he's beaten (as is the head of the man who repeatedly head-butted him). Later, we see bruises and cuts on his face, as well as the burn mark from the side of a knife that was pressed against his flesh.
  • Amsterdam finds a man who's been impaled on a tall fence but is still alive and rather bloody.
  • We see a freshly severed pig's head that has blood around it.
  • We see various black and white photos of dead Civil War soldiers.
  • People break windows and then set a place on fire (and injure some people - one is rather bloody).
  • Militiamen open fire on a mob, killing many of them (with bloody results on them and a great deal on the street below the men, women and kids).
  • Many people are rather bloody in the big battle scene at the end, including one who pulls a piece of shrapnel from his body.
  • A man stabs another man with a knife, resulting in bloody squirting out and covering the assailant.
  • We see dead and bloody bodies everywhere after the big battle and melee.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Bill and those who follow him have racist, Nativist and other bad attitudes toward most anyone who isn't of the same race or nationality as them (especially immigrants arriving in New York). They're also against Lincoln, the Union and the abolition of slavery.
  • Some viewers might not like Amsterdam throwing a bible into the river after a priest gives it to him.
  • Tweed is a corrupt political figure who's in cahoots with Bill and others and even runs a corrupt election.
  • Jenny is a pickpocket and we later see her working a house as a maid so that she can steal from it as well.
  • People, including Johnny and Amsterdam, loot a burning home.
  • Happy Jack is a corrupt cop who takes what he wants from those who've stolen from others.
  • For some sort of betting sport, people let a dog loose on some rats in a closed pen (we don't see the violence).
  • So that their boat raid is not entirely a miss, Amsterdam takes a recently fallen dead man and sells his body to a medical research facility.
  • Tweed and Bill conspire to hang any four people to act as if they're keeping crime in check (although they kill at least one innocent man).
  • Men on both sides of an election force people to vote for their candidate more than once (they grab and push them around).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling or tense for some viewers.
  • Doing one of their old routines, Bill throws knives around Jenny as she stands against a wall (for the viewing pleasure of those in the audience). Bill, however, becomes increasingly aggressive in his throwing, coming quite close several times at hitting her (after doing the same to an Asian woman performing before that) and everyone in the crowd, including Amsterdam, reacts to each throw.
  • Amsterdam throws a knife at Bill who blocks it. Bill then throws a knife that hits Amsterdam in the gut (as he was reaching for a gun). He then drives the knife further in and backhands Amsterdam. Bill's men hold guns on others and hit one man in the face, while Bill gets on top of Amsterdam on a table. Bill then punches and repeatedly head-butts Amsterdam, bloodying his head. He then throws a meat cleaver into the air and it lands next to Amsterdam's head.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pistols/Rifles/Spears/Axes/Cleavers/Clubs/Swords/Knives: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Cannons: Fired upon the city by the military resulting in many deaths, injuries and property damage.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck off," "I don't give a company f*ck," "Sh*t sack," "Bitches," "Nigger(s)" (said by white people about blacks), "Dumb mic," "Dandies," "Chinks" (said by white people about Asians), "Go(ing) to hell," "(You crazy) Bastard," "What the hell is this?" "The hell with that," "You mother whoring Irish nigger" and "You meathead."
  • It's possible some kids could imitate the racist comments and actions of Bill and the others, as well as the style of fighting that's present.
  • Priest Vallon apparently purposefully cuts his own face with a straight razor as part of a pre-battle ceremony (and there's a tiny bit of blood that he doesn't want his young son to wipe from the blade as well as on his face). Amsterdam later does the same face slicing.
  • For some sort of betting sport, people let a dog loose on some rats in a closed pen (we don't see the violence).
  • Jenny is a pickpocket and bumps into people (and uses a fake decoy arm in another scene) to steal from people.
  • Bill shows Amsterdam how to kill (by using a pig carcass as a substitute person) by stabbing twice into the body and then slitting the throat.
  • Bill throws large knives around an Asian woman and then Jenny to show his prowess at that.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of dramatic and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 "f" words (1 used sexually), 1 "s" word, 1 slang term related to female genitals ("c*nny" or something like that), 9 hells, 3 damns, 5 uses of "Jesus," 2 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," "Oh Jesus" and "Sweet Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A miscellaneous man and woman make out with her leg up along his side (briefly seen).
  • A comment is made about hookers working on their backs and killing with their hands.
  • Some women show cleavage.
  • Amsterdam comments (in voice over narration) that every "lay" had a different name and mentions that a "badger gets a fella into bed with a girl and robs his pockets while they're on the go."
  • Jenny shows some cleavage.
  • Amsterdam and Jenny passionately kiss and he wonders how to open her corset. She says it takes too long but then quickly does it as he kisses on her neck (with heavy breathing from both). More passionate kissing follows and the two are then lying next to each other (we see a large scar on her belly from a Caesarean type procedure). He then removes his shirt (and he has scars all over his chest) and she kisses his chest, followed by more passionate kissing. Nothing else happens after that, however, when he becomes upset with her and starts to dress (prompting her to say -- mockingly -- that he's quicker than most fellows).
  • We see various bare-breasted women beside Amsterdam, Bill and others and caressing them, etc. One woman tells Bill to come upstairs with him. He asks if he's ever had her before and she says no. During this, we briefly see a man between a woman's legs having sex with her (movement and the sight of the side of her bare rear) as the camera passes by. We see more bare-breasted women and then another brief shot of another couple having sex in front of others.
  • Amsterdam violently knocks over some items in a room and asks Jenny, "Is there anyone in the Five Points that you haven't f*cked?" She screams back, "Yes, you." They slap each other and struggle in a rough fashion. Their hostility turns to passion and they then passionately kiss. We then see them standing up against a column with her legs spread around his waist. He later wakes up in bed with her (implying sex) and when he doesn't answer a question that Bill poses, Bill asks if Amsterdam's mouth is "filled with c*nny juice."
  • We see three nude women (bare breasts and butts) lying in bed with Bill (implying sex).
  • Jenny states that Bill took her in when she was young, but didn't "lay a hand on me until I asked him to."
  • We see bare-breasted women at a big gathering.
  • We see two bare-breasted women lying together.
  • A classic statue shows bare breasts, as does the classic figure on a ship's bow.
  • SMOKING
  • Amsterdam (cigars) and Bill (pipe) each smoke a number of times, while various miscellaneous people smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A boy sees his father killed during a battle.
  • A boy and his mother sees their father/husband hanged.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of the story.
  • Nativist/racist thoughts and behavior.
  • The Civil War and its impact on northern cities.
  • On occasion, we see some cross dressers (men dressed like women).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some miscellaneous people are seen struggling.
  • Priest Vallon and Bill's armies battle each other on the snowy streets. During this, the massive hordes struggle with and strike at each other, including Bill slicing and stabbing people with a meat cleaver and sword (injuring or killing many people). Vallon does the same and many more people are wounded or killed during the battle that becomes more violent and bloodier. A man is cut across the throat, three men are knocked back through a window, a woman bites on a man's face (and appears to bite off part of it), a limb is severed and a person is stabbed in the back. Many more people are wounded or killed with a great deal more blood (including a man's mouth being yanked sideways, etc.).
  • Bill comes after Vallon and cuts off a man's arm (with blood squirting out) before stabbing Vallon in the gut. Vallon grabs him by the throat, but Bill stabs him in the side, mortally wounding him. Moments later, he drives the knife deeper into him, killing him (we don't see the impact).
  • Vallon's son grabs a knife and swings it at various people before running away.
  • A kid hits a man on the leg, knocking him down.
  • McGloin pushes various black people and punches and kicks others.
  • People throw items at new immigrants, hitting one woman in the face.
  • Johnny and another young man confront Amsterdam with one holding a knife on him. Amsterdam says he doesn't want to fight, but when forced to, punches the second man to the floor and then punches Johnny, slams him back against a wall and then holds the knife on him.
  • Some kids run up and throw something through a glass window, breaking it.
  • We see some guys hitting another man on the back and head, while we see other people fighting.
  • Fireworks set off a fire in a building. Competing fire house teams show up to battle the blaze and end up fighting each other (with struggling and punching) while various people (including Johnny and Amsterdam) loot the place (and those two have a close encounter with the raging fire). During this, a firefighter punches a next-door neighbor.
  • Happy Jack hits a guy in the gut and strikes another man's arm with his club.
  • For some sort of betting sport, people let a dog loose on some rats in a closed pen (we don't see the violence).
  • Bill stabs a knife down into a man's hand while playing poker.
  • Amsterdam, Johnny and others board a boat to rob it. A man then comes out and shoots a shotgun blast into the air, but has a knife in his back and falls to the deck dead.
  • Amsterdam challenges one of Bill's men to an old-fashioned boxing match/fistfight. Amsterdam punches him in the face several times (severe blows). More punches are exchanged and the man drives Amsterdam back into a wall, knees him and steps on his foot. More punching and struggling follows that ends with Amsterdam having the man in a head and leg lock and twisting his head. Others then drag Amsterdam off that man.
  • Jenny apparently knees Amsterdam after he catches her in a criminal act. He then slams her back against a wall where she knees him again and then holds a knife point to this throat. He then keeps moving toward her, egging her on to slice his throat. He then grabs the knife and we see some blood on his neck.
  • Four people are hanged.
  • Amsterdam pushes Jenny aside.
  • We see a bare-fisted boxing match where the opponents are rather bloody. During this, Amsterdam punches some cops who try to break it up.
  • We see various people throwing or knocking others into a body of water.
  • People throw things at an actor playing Abraham Lincoln on the stage.
  • An assassin tries to kill Bill but only wounds him. Amsterdam grabs and struggles with the assassin who's then shot and wounded. Bill then says he's going to teach the man to speak English with a knife (the man dies).
  • Monk pushes Amsterdam back against a wall.
  • Amsterdam violently knocks over some items in a room before grabbing Jenny in a rough fashion. They briefly struggle but their hostility turns to passion.
  • Bill pushes Johnny back against a wall and stabs a knife on both sides of his head.
  • Doing one of their old routines, Bill throws knives around Jenny as she stands against a wall (for the viewing pleasure of those in the audience). Bill, however, becomes increasingly aggressive in his throwing, coming quite close several times at hitting her (after doing the same to an Asian woman performing before that) and everyone in the crowd, including Amsterdam, reacts to each throw. One throw nicks her neck, drawing a little blood.
  • Amsterdam throws a knife at Bill who blocks it. Bill then throws a knife that hits Amsterdam in the gut (as he was reaching for a gun). He then drives the knife further in and backhands Amsterdam. Bill's men hold guns on others and hit one man in the face, while Bill gets on top of Amsterdam on a table. Bill then punches and repeatedly head-butts Amsterdam, bloodying his head. He then throws a meat cleaver into the air and it lands next to Amsterdam's head. Finally, he takes a hot knife and places its side on Amsterdam's face, burning it.
  • Jenny holds a gun on Monk when he comes to visit.
  • Jack fires a shot at Amsterdam who then walks around looking for him with his gun drawn. Amsterdam then grabs Jack around the neck and his gun fires, but no one is hit.
  • We see a man who's apparently dead and strung up on a post.
  • Amsterdam finds a man who's been impaled on a tall fence but is still alive. The bloody man asks for Amsterdam to kill him and he does, by gunshot (we don't see the impact).
  • Various men surround and then knock a man to the floor where they repeatedly kick him. A priest then hits him as well.
  • Men on both sides of an election force people to vote for their candidate more than once (they grab and push them around).
  • Bill throws a meat cleaver into a man's back, impaling him. He then beats him over the head with a club (we don't see that impact).
  • People break windows and then set a place on fire (and injure some people - one is rather bloody).
  • People break into an aristocrat's house. He shoots two of them, but the others grab him. Others loot that and other places, arming themselves.
  • We see people hitting other people during the start of a melee.
  • A person is shot dead and then gets tangled in telegraphed wires.
  • A person hits Jenny in the gut and face.
  • More property damage occurs during the melee.
  • Jenny shoots a woman dead who was attacking her.
  • A person is stabbed and others are killed. We also see a person who's on fire (we see the burning legs).
  • Militiamen open fire on a mob, killing many of them (with bloody results on them and a great deal on the street below the men, women and kids).
  • The navy fires cannon shots into the city, causing a great deal of property damage, injuries and deaths. Explosions go off as people fight and wound or kill others.
  • Two men fight in the smoke with one man racing by and slicing the other on his legs several times. The injured man stabs and kills an approaching soldier.
  • Another explosion injuries many people, while one of Bill's men is riddled with bullets and killed.
  • A man tries to attack various soldiers who repeatedly kick and stab him with bayonets.
  • A man stabs another man in the chest with a knife, resulting in bloody squirting out and covering the assailant.



  • Reviewed December 7, 2002 / Posted December 20, 2002

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