Gangs of New York
2002
*****
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent

Martin Scorsese’s slice of not-so-proud American history charts the origins of gang violence. In 1862 a young man who calls himself Amsterdam returns to New York City to seek revenge on a gang leader who killed his father 16 years earlier. The screenplay, which was inspired by Herbert Asbury’s non-fiction book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld, has its problems and the ending seems a bit rushed, but this flawed masterpiece has so much balls and energy that you can’t help but fall under its spell. Daniel Day-Lewis is simply stunning as Bill the Butcher.