"You can always hire one half of the poor to kill the other half."
Martin Scorsese the master of cinema, known for his direction of wise guys like Joe Pesci and De Niro, took a break from making films about gangs after his 1995' Casino. This was a high point for Scorsese and afterwards he spent time making passion projects before coming back in 2002 with a gang affiliated, New York set film. But I bet no one guessed that Scorsese was taking his favorite setting and turning the time period back to 1863. An ambitious decision from the guy known for ambitious film-making. Turned out to be a success and even in 2020 it's still an entertaining film that's hard to stop watching. This is a film about America's bloody origins, about the rich taking advantage of the poor, and it's about cultural pride. Daniel Day Lewis is genius as the Butcher. A native to NY and one hell of a racist asshole. His presence is palpable in every seen. Dicaprio does alright too. Overall, this is a high energy, visual spectacle that's as brutal as it is honest. It's not one of Scorsese's best. But it's one hell of a film.