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Critics reviews
The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola United States, 1972
Coppola, melding old-school craftsmanship with youthful bravado, built an astonishing picture around these actors. There are some great movies you want, or need, to see only once or twice in a lifetime, but The Godfather stands up to repeated viewings, revealing yet more riches from the shadows each time.
July 20, 2015
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Both [Citizen Kane and The Godfather] are melancholy and wistful about their conviction that corruption is an inescapable part of American life in general and The American Dream in particular, and maybe I wouldn’t mind this attitude quite so much if its metaphysics weren’t so glib and absolute in its defeatism.
December 01, 2008
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Gordon Willis’s brilliant cinematography—Rembrandt by way of Manhattan—made it acceptable for studio-made color films to be as shadowy and moody as the black & white noirs had been earlier. Where would classic paranoiac thrillers be without that added palette? Its flowing, epic structure, courtesy of Mario Puzo’s screenplay and Coppola’s subtle, no-nonsense direction, remains a model of classic storytelling.
October 03, 2008
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There is much in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather that marks it as the beginning of a new era in American cinema: its fix on violence, physical and psychological, as the core of contemporary life; its expansive, dispassionate, almost sociological account of the workings of a criminal institution; the boldly deep tones and colours pioneered by cinematographer Gordon Willis.
August 01, 1997
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It does not sustain this particular interpretation as effectively as did “The Bad Sleep Well” some years ago. That is to say that Kurosawa and his scenarists came much closer to conjuring up the quasi-criminal ruthlessness of a conglomerate like ITT than do Coppola, Puzo, and Brando. Coppola’s approach tends to be humanistic, ethnic, and almost grotesquely nostalgic. There is more feeling in the film than we had any right to expect, but also more fuzziness in the development of the narrative.
March 16, 1972
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