Dan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In America is a masterpiece. An absolutely beautiful masterpiece. It has an amazing cast, Robert De Niro and James Woods are at the top of their game here. Ennio Morricone’s score for the film is beautiful and moving. The pacing for a nearly 4 hour long movie is amazing. Once I was drawn into the film, the time went by like it was nothing. I definitely recommend watching this in one sitting if you have the time and patience. As this film can be tedious if you are not patient with it.
Another thing I should make clear to those who haven’t seen it and want to see it is that this film is very graphic. Far more graphic than The Godfather, Goodfellas, and even Scarface. Even though it’s rated R, I’m almost sure this film would either be rated NC-17 or be not rated at all if released today. This film is not for the faint of heart. It has very brutal violence including sexual violence, all of which are very disturbing. But those who are okay with seeing such things will very much enjoy this film. It is an absolutely mesmerizing masterpiece that everyone should see at least once in their life. And the music alone makes this film a masterpiece.
Side note: The cut I enjoy the most is the 3hr 49min (229 min) European cut. I think the added footage in the extended directors cut ruins the pacing and takes you out of the movie because of the quality differences.