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.
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