Gangs of New York

Rated 2.0 A 19th-century crime lord (Daniel Day-Lewis) takes a newcomer (Leonardo DiCaprio) under his wing, not knowing that he’s the revenge-hungry son of a man the crime lord killed 16 years earlier. Director Martin Scorsese planned this huge, unruly epic for 24 years, and it’s certainly impressive to behold. But, apart from the scenes of brawling and violence, Scorsese’s energy flags; he and his writers (Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan) neglect to populate these muddy mean streets with vivid characters. The story isn’t compelling, and the dialogue is portentous and magniloquent. Day-Lewis makes a memorably swaggering villain, but he holds the screen alone; DiCaprio’s callow sulk is certainly no match for him. Cameron Diaz co-stars as a fetching pickpocket, with Jim Broadbent as the notorious Boss Tweed.