Ruth Scouller’s review published on Letterboxd:
Whereas The Godfather, a masterpiece in its own right, has been diminished slightly for me the further I have dug beyond the surface layers of the cinematic canon, hampered somewhat by feeling like a greatest hits package over a 10 year timespan, The Godfather Part II on the other hand is that rare film that just gets better every time you revisit it. When I was 15, and even up until I turned 20, The Godfather was the best film I had ever seen. But the older I got, the more the sheer excellence of its sequel overwhelmed me. Whilst I wasn't a massive fan after that first viewing on VHS on 24th July 2004, even preferring Part III, by the end of the decade it was my preferred Godfather film and knocking on the door of my Top 5 of all-time, and hasn't left it since.
I now see it as being in another league to The Godfather entirely. The film making excellence on display here from all departments constantly staggers me. I can sense one or two minor areas where it could potentially be improved upon, but given that it had to deal with a late production issue like old Clemenza having to be written out for Pentangeli, and Marlon Brando not showing up for a cameo, not to mention following up The Godfather's modern timeline with new material, and running 200 minutes, what they did here is frankly stunning. It is a rare film in history in that you could fill the Supporting Actor Oscar nominations with this film alone (and they very nearly did) and no one would complain.
If anyone said to me that this was the best American drama in cinema, let along the best film ever, I wouldn't correct them. One of my most enduring adages as a cinema lover is that the older (or more mature) you get, the greater this film becomes.