Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
Martin Scorsese’s sprawling epic tale of gangs and corrupt politicians running New York during the Civil War, this film is headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the part of “Amsterdam” Vallon, in which he plots his revenge against Bill the Butcher (the wonderful Daniel Day-Lewis) by moving up the ranks in his gang. There are also multiple subplots that attempts to tell the story of New York in 1863, and multiple groups of people trying to survive and get by. The ambition is highly admirable but ultimately feels quite too dragged. It’s often entertaining but the truth is that Daniel Day-Lewis carries the film with his wonderful performance. Leonardo DiCaprio does a good job, but he didn’t necessarily resonate with me like his other performances. Cameron Diaz feels out of place in the film, bogging it down further. So far, this might be Scorsese’s worst film yet, but for what he’s capable of, this is still quite good, a good watch, if you will. For what it tries to be, it should be epic, sprawling, and resonating. It’s none of these, it’s just good, interesting, and sometimes fun.