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Top 5 Movie Review: #4 The Godfather Part II

Nick Fletcher, Jay Journal Staff

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Actors

Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro.

Famous Quote

Michael Corleone: “My father taught me many things here – he taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

 

Review

The following review is the second installment of what will be an ongoing series in which I review the top five movies of all time, according to IMDb.com.

The Godfather Part II (1974) is the third film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The film is both a prequel and a sequel to its predecessor, The Godfather. The film is able to be both of these at the same time by following two completely separate storylines. One of these storylines focuses on Michael Corleone (Pacino) and picks up right where the previous film left off, whereas the other storyline focuses on a young Vito Corleone (De Niro) and how he established the family business in the first place.

So now for my thoughts on the film. Unlike my previous review of Pulp Fiction, I had never seen the Godfather Part II before, so therefore going in I had no idea what to expect. What I first came away with was a renewed love of “older” or more “classic” movies. I think going back and watching movies that were made in the 70’s and 80s can be incredibly rewarding and entertaining. The other thing that I immediately took away from the film was that after watching it I started to see how other movies that I have seen took inspiration from it. It’s clear that the Godfather films paved the way for movies like Scarface and Goodfellas, which I have already seen but now look at in a new light. The series reinvented the genre of mob movies.

In terms of the intricacies of the film itself I thought it was great; the acting in the movie was superb. It’s a rare thing to have great actors and great acting in every role of a film, but I feel like the Godfather Part II has just that, as actors like Pacino and De Niro draw you in and make you feel like you are actually watching some sort of documentary as opposed to just a fictional story. I think the other thing that really put this movie over the top for me was the way it was structured. I pointed this out in my review of Pulp Fiction as well, but I feel like telling a story in a unique way, not just in the formulaic chronological order that most movies do it in, can really set a film apart from the rest. The Godfather Part II goes back and forth, going back in time and telling the story of the young Vito Corleone and then coming back to the present and telling the story of Michael Corleone. I thought the way the director did this was highly effective and made what might have just been a good story into a truly great one.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I think the movie is superb. Make sure to watch the first film before watching this one too (I will be reviewing the Godfather in the near future), as that will obviously give you the full experience of the series. Based upon what I’ve seen so far, all of these top 5 IMDB films are truly essential viewing for any movie fan, so with that in mind, go and enjoy the film!

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