Old Man Angelo’s review published on Letterboxd:
No clue what I could possibly have to say about this movie that hasn't already been said. It's the quintessential "modern" American epic. A crime story presented with the grandiosity of ancient myth. A movie that can even serve as a parable for the rise of Al Pacino, a man who would take the torch from Hollywood legend Marlon Brando and go on to become Hollywood royalty of the highest order in his own right.
A true masterpiece in every sense of the term, 3 hours of perfection. Gordon Willis' naturalistic cinematography is something that stood out to me much more this time. In a world of digital shooting, and the desire to make literally everything visible and sharply defined, this movie is purposeful with it's grim low lighting, inky black shadows that often consume the entire frame and plunge it into complete darkness. The iconic score alone is an emotional journey and as much a character in the film as anyone.
This movie is so romanticised it ended up influencing the mafia more than the mafia itself was an influence on the film. But stripping the mafia stuff aside, Francis Ford Coppola used his Italian heritage to tell a rich and profoundly personal tale of family. There's no one watching this who doesn't find a bit of their life on screen, even if your grandfather didn't get shot in the back 5 times.