Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Though some viewers might be put off by its length, graphic violence, and absence of likable characters, Sergio Leone's final film is also a cinematic masterpiece. Spanning four decades, the film tells the story of David… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 1, 1984
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Sergio Leone's epic crime drama is visually stunning, stylistically bold, and emotionally haunting, and filled with great performances from the likes of Robert De Niro and James Woods.

Gary Arnold
Washington Post

This would-be epic schlep, dragging almost 50 years of chronology over a sluggish 140 minutes, is far too slight of text and ponderous of presentation to sustain more than nodding-off dramatic interest.

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

Leone is less interested in arousing an audience's easier emotions than in presenting, at a dispassionate distance, the horror of two men warily walking toward each other on a tightrope suspended above the snake pit of their , deepest compulsions.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Common Sense Media

Complex gangster epic has strong violence, sex.

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Lou Lumenick
New York Post

Adding 22 minutes only enhances Leone's brilliant saga of guilt and betrayal

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Every gesture is immediate, and every gesture seems eternal.

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Nick Rogers

A tale of haunting introspection, unremitting power and potent symbolism. "America" ruminates on the corrosive effects of greed, violence, objectification and pain, and forces us to face despicable acts of a stand-in for our nation's worst impulses.

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David Fear
Time Out

Sergio Leone's languid, lovely and lengthy ode to Lower East Side mobsters (more specifically, mobster films) ...

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Variety Staff

A disappointment of considerable proportions.

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Jeff Beck

While Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" is not quite the masterpiece that some make it out to be due to its excess, there are still plenty of things to recommend about it.

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More reviews for Once Upon a Time in America

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
Available now in its four-hour director's cut, Leone's supreme masterpiece is a magnificent epic - superbly directed, full of fantastic performances… More
Liam Gadd
A haunting, powerful, compelling, superbly-acted, visually beautiful and bold film from Sergio Leone. One of Robert De Niro's greatest performances as… More
Graham Jones
It's hard to judge this masterpiece when thinking about Coppola and Scorsese's more well known gangster flicks or even to compare it to Leone's… More
Idrees Khan
An epic film, in both length and pure awesomeness.
Colin Montgomery
"Once Upon a Time in America" is a stunning, lengthy, and novel-esque narration of three pivotal years (1922, 1933, and 1967) in the lives of two… More
Mark Walker
Numerous excellent crime sagas have been made over the years and at the top of most peoples lists tend to be "The Godfather parts I & II",… More