Scorsese Dream Project “Gangs of New York” is Epic, Uneven

Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (B-) is an epic historical drama set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan. While Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz are fine in their roles, it is Daniel Day-Lewis who steals the show as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, the crime boss and political kingmaker of a time period inclusive of Irish immigration, the Civil War and the New York Draft Riots. It’s clear Scorsese was going for Dickensian characters and atmosphere on classic American turf, but then he rushes the final act. The story isn’t all that memorable, even if The Butcher’s menace lingers on.