The Gangs of New York (2002)
Director Martin Scorsese has established himself as the king of gangster flicks with Goodfellas, The Departed, and his most recent picture The Irishman all securing their seats in the theatre of cinema history.
In the highly acclaimed Gangs of New York, Scorsese takes his uncompromising style of gang warfare back in history to 19th Century New York City where an Irish immigrant gang called the Dead Rabbits, led by Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) and later Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio), stake their claim to a patch of American soil ruled by a fiercely nativist Protestant gang commanded by Bill the Butcher (the outstanding Daniel Day-Lewis).
Martin Scorsese has worked with DiCaprio on five occasions to resounding critical and commercial success: the pair has racked up dozens of Academy Award nominations and wins. Gangs of New York was nominated for ten Oscars, just one short of another of their collaborations The Aviator.
Scorsese was inspired by the centuries-old tombstones in Manhattan and so, in painstaking detail, he recreated the aesthetic, dialect, and armed street conflicts of 1860s New York. In doing so he explores the brutal tribalism that permeated the birth of the United States. CNN critic Paul Clinton labelled it “a grand American epic.”