Considering that other highly regarded works such as Goodfellas have turned out to be good but not great, my expectations for The Godfather were rightfully tempered. To my surprise however, The Godfather actually turned out to be a great movie. Despite the dark and heavy subject material and tone, the movie managed to be entertaining, which is an area where many similar crime films fail.
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Genre: Crime, Drama,
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Running Time: 175 minutes
MMPA rating: R
The Good: All around excellent performances, Surprising plot twists and turns, Many quotable lines, Good soundtrack, Several iconic movie moments,
The Bad: Dragged a little bit in a few places,
Warning: This movie is "R" and is intended for mature audiences.
Plot Summary: Considering the popularity of The Godfather and the fact that most plot summaries spoil some of the best parts, there is no need for a plot summary.
Plot: 8.8/10- The Godfather's first 20-30 minutes are mostly setup the rest of the film by establishing the characters to a degree as well as the setting. One or two scenes during those first 20-30 minutes felt unnecessary and overly long. Fortunately however, the movie began to pick up the pace a little with a story that finally grabbed my attention by the 30 minute mark and after that, it was an entertaining experience. The plot took some unexpected twists and turns. During a few points in the movie, the pacing dragged a little too much, which took me out of the movie for a short time. Other than that, the plot was well written. Despite the long running time and occasional pacing issues, The Godfather did not feel like a long movie. Also, the planning to overthrow the other crime families and other such aspects were the most entertaining part of the movie to me. It should be stated that I do enjoy long movies more than the average moviegoer, therefore The Godfather is likely to bore some viewers more than me.
Characterization: 8.5/10- In general, the characters of The Godfather are solid characters for the type of movie being made. However, only three or four of the characters are actually memorable and identifiable, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Vito Corleone, head of the Corleone family, is the most memorable character, and he has many unforgettable quotes. Michael Corleone is the character that receives the most development throughout the course of the film. Beyond the two main characters and Tom Hagen, not many of the other characters are given much development or characterization, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Special effects: N/A- While not special effects per se, Francis Ford Coppola's direction is overall very strong, and he was able to create effective suspense in some scenes. However, to me at least, his direction was not revolutionary or noticeably amazing as some have said.
Soundtrack: 8.4/10- Nino Rota's score for The Godfather is fitting for what the film needed, and it added suspense to some scenes. After doing some research, I discovered that the movie was disqualified for Best Score at the Oscars because the "Love Theme" was used by Rota in a previous work.
Humor: N/A- Considering that The Godfather is such a serious film, many will not find any humor in the movie. However, some parts did make me laugh in a good sadistic kind of way, like when a character that you dislike finally gets what is coming to him.
Entertainment Value: 8.2/10- The Godfather combines two things that I find particularly entertaining: 1) strategic scheming and planning, and 2) criminals killing criminals in ruthless ways.
Overall: 8.8/10- Despite being overrated to a degree, The Godfather is undeniably a well crafted piece of film with excellent performances and surprising entertainment value, providing the long running time is not a turn off.
Closing comments: Considering that The Godfather is so highly regarded by critics, I recommend the movie to anyone old enough that considers themselves a film enthusiast to watch the movie, even if one does not enjoy the experience. However, I am not one of those snobs that would say that you not are film enthusiast if you have not seen the movie, since there are many other movies that you should watch first.
Recommended for *Mature*: CineFiles (film enthusiasts), Crime genre fans, Drama fans,
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