Luke Starkey’s review published on Letterboxd:
I write this knowing all too well this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t love The Godfather. I don’t. I have a grand appreciation for it, and I can see how it was one of the greatest films of its time, but by my standards, it’s not the greatest film of all time.
Now I’m not out to tear shreds from the movie. Hell, I couldn’t if I tried. It boasts a shit ton of undeniable quality, from its stellar cast and their iconic performance to the grand visuals that are simply dripping with the correct aesthetic of the culture and period of which The Godfather is based.
There’s no denying Coppola used every tool in his box to the fullest of its extent, and achieved something no other director of the time could’ve even come close to.
But guys, this movie is over 50 years old. I mean I know I’m getting on but I wasn’t alive back then, and I wasn’t raised on this movie. I was an adult before I first sat down to appreciate it, and although I very much did appreciate it, there’s an aspect to it I simply couldn’t get past. It’s a slog to get through. Narratively there really isn’t a whole lot of story here to justify almost three hours run time. Sure it’s padded out with beautiful set pieces in which we bear witness to some insane performances, but the pacing’s all over the shop and at times it almost comes to a grinding halt, and it’s predictable.
Now again, maybe this comes down to a generational thing, but the rise of a mafia kingpin wasn’t exactly an original premise, even back in the early 70’s this genre had been dabbled in. I understand though that it was Coppola who nailed it, and while I can respect that, in the fifty-plus years since, there’ve been plenty of mafia films, and some dare I say it, at least narratively speaking are far more engaging.
All in all, I still rate it, respect it, and genuinely like it. Given the time, as I’ve just done, I’m happy to revisit it any time I can, but I’m sorry guys, I’m not amongst those who’ll stand atop the Hollywood hills and shout “The Godfather’s the best film of all time!”