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Gomorrah(Gomorra)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Italy

2008

2h15

Matteo Garrone

Director

Toni Servillo, Gianfelice Imparato, Maria Nazionale, Salvatore Cantalupo

Stars

Drama, Crime

Genre

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An examination of the Camorra, one of Italy's most notorious criminal organizations, and the desolate lives of civilians existing under their oppressive regime. In a world where innocent people have no choice but to live by the Camorra's rules and frequently become entangled in gang activities and violence, "Gomorrah" follows several men and the way their lives intertwine with this system.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Variety by

Utilizing a mesmerizing documentary style that studiously avoids glamorizing the horrors, Garrone cherrypicks episodes from Saviano's muckraking tract, building to a chillingly matter-of-fact crescendo of violence, though interwoven tales tend to dissipate the full force of the criminal Camorra families' insidious control.
90

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

This film never feels like copycat Americana to me. Its vision of the bleak, ruined, urban-cum-rural landscape of Naples and environs is distinctively European and postmodern, redolent of the spiritual and physical desolation Antonioni captured so memorably in "Red Desert."
80

Empire by Damon Wise

A sombre, slow, but well-paced study of organised crime in urban Naples that leaves a very grim taste in the mouth.
50

New York Magazine (Vulture) by David Edelstein

Gomorrah isn't memorable. The structure feels random, and the characters remain at arm's length. Next to HBO's "The Wire," which depicted an enormous financial ladder and also brought to life the characters on every rung, the movie is small potatoes: excellent journalism, so-so art.
80

L.A. Weekly by Ella Taylor

The five interwoven narratives in this visceral but disciplined and beautifully acted movie show to devastating effect how ordinary men and women -- and especially vulnerable boys desperate for masculine role models -- get caught up in the seductive violence and are ruthlessly destroyed by the network's hardened henchmen.
80

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

This corrosive, slapdash, grimly exciting exposé of organized crime in and around Naples comes on like "Mean Streets" cubed.
70

Chicago Reader by J.R. Jones

Given the breadth of the story, the characters never achieve much depth, but they're part of a larger pattern: the younger ones are eager to find their way into the organization while the older ones are desperate to find their way out
91

The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Gomorrah takes place in a world where decency can't take root and we can only watch in horror as crime overwhelms society's most vulnerable-- women, children, law-abiding citizens, and the conscientious few who want to get out of the game.

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