Spotlight – Martin Scorsese: Gangs of New York 
by Nicholas Robinson
When his father (Liam Neeson) is killed in New York City, Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) returns in 1863 to hunt down his father’s killer, the ruthless, Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting (Daniel Day Lewis). It’s not easy for Amsterdam as gangs roam a corrupt New York City, with Bill Cutting ruling over everyone. – IMDB.com
Ever since 2003 when this was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, my brothers have been nagging at me to watch this movie. Every year since my brother bought this DVD it has gotten worse and worse and now I’ve finally made time to watch it. Boy, was it worth the wait. Martin Scorsese delivers yet another amazing movie with a really good story, amazing acting, and good music.
The story in this movie is similar to a lot of Scorsese movies in the sense that it is not the traditional gang or mafia movie or your standard drama. It shows amazing character development with less focus on the actions of the characters than on the relationships between the characters and the characters themselves. The way that each and every scene helps in creating every character’s back story and current plot interconnect and how time changes people and that some things never change was just amazing.
The main great thing about this movie however is the acting. Daniel Day Lewis gave a brilliant performance as Bill Cutting, the ruthless gangster who will do anything to stay alive, maintain his respect and make sure he gets what he wants. From his opening speech to his closing one, Daniel Day Lewis delivers line after line of amazing dialogue that can’t be gotten just by reading the script. you feel every emotion that his character feels. You go through the entire movie with your heart in your hand and your mind on full alert because you’re afraid he will take it away and cut it up. He is that convincing.
Leonardo DiCaprio also gave a great performance as the vengeful son of a great priest, the man who Billl Cutting considered to be the one worth remembering. Leo doesn’t give the best of his career, but still does a really good job. I also liked seeing all of these great names in this movie including: Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Graham, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent and Eddie Marsan. Martin Scorsese knows that having a great cast helps out a lot with scripts like these.
The music in this movie was really good. It warmed my heart when it needed to, it gave you a chill straight down to your bones when it needed to and it also gave a completely Irish feel throughout the entire movie that I really liked. The costumes in this movie were also very good. Just by looking at what everyone was wearing, you could tell what period the movie was set in. Also, instead of seeing actors in costumes like you see in a lot of movies nowadays, the actors felt like they actually fit them in the sense that you could see them walking down the street and think absolutely nothing of it.
Overall, this is a great movie that I might watch again soon.
IMDB says 7.4/10
RT says 75%
I say 9.5/10