At the beginning, there are two main gangs in New York. One, is the "Natives", who were born there. The other one is the "Irish" gang, who immigrated from Ireland. The Natives want to keep NY for themselves, while the Irish just want to live there in peace. Amsterdam Vallon, an Irish, saw his father die in the gang wars, after which their gang's name could not be said in public again (because of dishonor). However, he wanted revenge, so he, while pretending to work for the Natives and their leader, "Butcher" Cutting, organized a group of Irish and went after the Natives. Along the way, he falls in love with a Native pickpocket/criminal, Jenny. At the end, the two gangs are about to have an epic final battle, when the New York Draft Riots of 1863 erupt, and they battle in the middle of a military riot. Eventually, the Irish win because their leader kills the Natives' leader.
The review of this Movie prepared by Eugene Kim
An ongoing battle between White Anglo-Saxon "natives" and Irish immigrants for control of the streets and turf of New York City's infamous Five Points neighborhood plays out across the middle of the 19th century. In an 1846 prologue, William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting slays Irish leader "Priest" Vallon in a street fight witnessed by Vallon's little boy. The lad is sent off to prison for the rest of his youth and returns to the Five Points a young man during the early days of the Civil War. As he earns the trust of his hated enemy and argues and flirts with cutpurse-whore Jennie Everdeane, Amsterdam Vallon acquires the training and the courage to take on Bill the Butcher while the war batters the nation and the draft riots fill the streets of New York with blood in 1863. Martin Scorsese tried to get this film made for nearly a quarter century, and had the massive sets (including a New York harbor) constructed in Rome, before this 2002 film was released. Vivid, violent, overlong and flabby, but often riveting. Day-Lewis makes a magnificent villain, and DiCaprio and Diaz hold their own reasonably well.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
The time is civil war era New York City. "Amsterdam" is trying to get revenge for his father's ("Priest") murder against "Butcher" the head of a rival gang. After growing up in an orphanage/reform school, Amsterdam goes back to his old neighbourhood and works/steals/kills his way up Butcher's gang, is betrayed by one of his own, and is punished publicly. After recouperating, he organizes the Irish community in New York to fight back against his enemy. The movie concludes with a very bloody riot, street battle, and finally a full army assault in the city, that leaves hundreds dead. Very gory and graphic movie for an unknown facet of 19th century New York and the Civil war.
The review of this Movie prepared by Robert S.