If you didn’t know it already, Daniel Day-Lewis is an absolute beast at this thing called acting. Bonus points for the viewer when you get him paired up with a legendary director and one of the most popular actors of the decade. We win!
We start out with Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) gearing up for battle. Alongside him is his son Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio). Against him, rival gang leader Bill “The Butcher” (Day-Lewis). After a bloody battle, Amsterdam is left fatherless and shipped to an institution. Several years later, Amsterdam is a young man, finding his way back to New York to plot his revenge on Bill. He finds his way into Bill’s inner circle, and tries to kill him from the inside. But the impending draft riots only make matters more chaotic. No doubt about it, there will be violence.
The opening scene, with the music, cinematography, and overall bloodiness set an early tone of what Gangs of New York would be. If you are a fan of violence, people fighting with axes, etc. Gangs of New York is definitely going to be one of your favorites. And while Cameron Diaz and DiCaprio give their usual good performances, Daniel Day-Lewis is completely mesmerizing as Bill the Butcher. Every scene he is in, you are completely drawn to him. One of his best roles, and that is saying a lot. Completely fits into Martin Scorsese’s filmography.