Gangs of New York was good, but not Scorsese’s best work. The production was impressive and Daniel Day-Lewis (who left his job as a cobbler in semi-retirement from acting to make this movie) was amazing but the storytelling wasn’t as fluid or engaging as movies like Goodfellas. The story was confusing and seemed somewhat random but after watching a special from the Discovery Channel on the DVD, a lot of it made more sense in the history of New York. Many things were even true just shown in different orders or with different characters. But I’d have thought Scorsese would have done a better job at putting these things together into the story to make it more powerful. For example, Boss Tweed, the corrupt politician, seemed corrupt in the movie but not on the scale that he was in real life. And the gangs were far more organized in history than they seemed to be in the movie – they appeared as friends rather than organizations. And the firemen were ancillary in the movie but cornerstones of the neighborhood and the gangs in real life.
I feel like this movie was made more as an interesting story about NYC after 9/11 than something Scorsese really put thought into.