It’s hard to say anything about “The Godfather” that hasn’t been said before.
Held up by many as one of the greatest films of all time — if not the No. 1 film on most lists — it has been analyzed and dissected by film critics and fans alike since its release in 1972. Somehow, there’s still a large handful of avid movie fans who haven’t seen it.
If you are one of those people who still need to catch up with it, I’m going to lay out out a few brief reasons that will hopefully convince you to finally go see one of the most iconic films of all time.
With a nearly three-hour runtime, there is a lot to take in, so I’ll just highlight some of the broader points of the film. Let’s start with the story.
The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of a famous crime family transfers the control of his empire to his reluctant son (Al Pacino). A series of events leads to a war with some of the other well-known crime families in the city.
There are a lot of characters and moving parts to a script that doesn’t slow down for its audience. It’s this kind of filmmaking approach that makes this movie so re-watchable. There are so many little elements that you can pick up on each time you watch it.
The acting is really what helps drive everything. Marlon Brando’s performance as Don Vito Corleone always gets the spotlight whenever there’s a mention of “The Godfather.” Although he rightfully deserves the praise, it’s Al Pacino’s subdued performance that works best for me. He upholds a quiet confidence that not many other actors can pull off. He is sinister while still being somewhat likable.
It’s interesting how you can find yourself rooting for such immoral characters. That’s a testament to the way these characters are meticulously developed and used within the story.
The cultural impact of “The Godfather” is enormous. From the use of its incredible score to the execution of some of the most unforgettable scenes in movie history, its influence can be seen in hundreds of movies and television shows. Even if you haven’t seen the “The Godfather” yet, you are probably familiar with some of its scenes and notable dialogue. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” has been parodied countless times in pop culture.
Don’t be fooled by the violent, gritty reputation that often gets attached to mob movies such as this one. “The Godfather” is an intelligent character study that chronicles the transformation of man as he slowly descends into villainy.
Where to Watch: You can stream the “The Godfather” and its sequels on Netflix.
Matt McCafferty is a film critic contributor for the Sentinel and writes Rewind Reviews of movies available for streaming. You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_McCafferty.