Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On GOTTI
Kevin Connolly, star of ENTOURAGE, directs the new picture that stars John Travolta as the infamous mob boss. The movie follows his rise from New York criminal to the leader of the Gambino crime family. Travolta's real life wife Kelly Preston plays Gotti's wife, Victoria.
Watch the trailer here:
The film hits theaters today, so check out what the critics are saying below:
Peter Debruge, Variety: "Culminating in a jaw-dropping montage of locals extolling Gotti's virtues, the film presents an extended grievance over how unjust it is that the U.S. government won't leave the poor kid alone (and kid he is, played from roughly ages 15 to 50 by thuggishly handsome 25-year-old Spencer Lofranco). Amid the indignity of "five trials in 37 months," was Junior wrongly charged with drug trafficking, murder conspiracy, and racketeering? Maybe, but that's a strange agenda for a mob movie to put forth, posing as a candid tell-all about the most notorious gangster since Al Capone, when in fact, it's designed to clear his son's name. If anything, Travolta's portrayal of Gotti seems engineered not to understand the larger-than-life "Teflon Don" (so-called because, for the longest time, no one could make charges stick) but to make us more sympathetic toward Junior's case."
Stephen Whitty, Daily News: "Kelly Preston fails to convince as Travolta's wife - weird, since that's what she is in real life, too. A few veterans like Stacy Keach show up, and then wisely take a powder. Lurking in the background is multi-untalented actor Leo Rossi, who also gets a credit - some credit - for re-writing the screenplay. Meanwhile, filmmaker Kevin Connolly - yeah, one of the "Entourage" boys - directs like he's in a hurry to pick up Turtle for a hot-tub party. The cinematography is flat and washed-out. The fight scenes are rushed and unconvincing."
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times: "Part mob thriller and part domestic drama, "Gotti" certainly doesn't pull its punches when re-creating such violent chapters as the Gotti-orchestrated hit on Paul Castellano outside Sparks Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan - but it spends more time on the political maneuverings within the New York mob in the 1970s and 1980s, and on the relationship between Gotti Sr. and his namesake son. (The movie is based on John Gotti Jr.'s memoir, "Shadow of My Father.") John Travolta (who was attached to this project for seven years, through changes of directors and supporting cast and producers) portrays Gotti as an egomaniacal, swaggering, at times ruthlessly ambitious gangster on the rise - but also a loyal friend and devoted family man."
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter: "In between all the mob business, which is handled in a matter-of-fact and generic manner, Gottifocuses on the close-knit family unit that the gangster created with his wife (Kelly Preston) and five children out in the tree-lined streets of Queens. Shown to be a tough but caring dad, as well as a testy but affectionate hubby, Gotti is a far cry from Henry Hill, Michael Corleone or any other Mafioso depicted on screen. The great tragedy here is not that he was responsible for countless deaths as the head of one of the world's biggest crime syndicates, but that his 12-year-old son Frank was killed in a car accident in front of his home. (The man behind the accident disappeared a few months later and was never heard from again.)"
David Ehrlich, IndieWire: "Written by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi, and finding its way to screens after a long and circuitous process that peaked with Lionsgate selling the direct-to-video title back to its producers last December, "Gotti" is a low-rent sideshow from the moment it starts. Garish digital photography welcomes us to New York City, where a gray-haired Gotti turns to the camera and says: "As far as back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.""