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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Organised Crime Film
This film can actually be considered a history of the recent Italian history. Although set us a conventional crime film, it tells a very unconventional real life story about a group of "street kids" from Rome that became the crimelords of the city and whose stories intertwine with national and international politics and interests. Although a very long film, clocking in at...
Published on 23 April 2007 by S. Palmizio

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Need to concentrate!
You will only have found this if you are a fan of gangster films like Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2 [DVD] [2009], City Of God (Cidade De Deus) [DVD] [2003]Elite Squad [DVD] [2008]

This is based on a true-story that starts in the 70's and takes the viewer all the way through to the 90's.

The story is interesting as a whole, however, the film doesn't make it...
Published on 2 Jan 2011 by Peter R


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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Organised Crime Film, 23 April 2007
By 
S. Palmizio "simon_lostolto" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
This film can actually be considered a history of the recent Italian history. Although set us a conventional crime film, it tells a very unconventional real life story about a group of "street kids" from Rome that became the crimelords of the city and whose stories intertwine with national and international politics and interests. Although a very long film, clocking in at nearly three hours, the story flows and we are sucked into the lives of the characters of the film, feeling empathy and compassion for their fates. The film begins in the mid 60s with the first arrest of the boys who became the "Banda della Magliana" and ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall, encompassing all the terrorism and collusion between Mafia and politics in which the "Banda della Magliana" supposedly played a part, and for this at least the film should be cherished. Although not a great fan of recent Italian cinema I could not help but be mesmerized and overawed by this film that, had it been made in Hollywood, would have maybe rivalled the Godfather films, nevermind the Scorsese films on Mafia.

I recommend this film to anyone reading this review, hoping they might spread the word of this little gem of a film.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 15 May 2007
This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
If you're a fan of Scorcese and the Godfather this movie will be right up your boulevard.Telling the story of a a group of working class kids who become a criminal gang that controls the city of Rome ,its a visceral,thought provoking great movie with uniformely great performances and an epic scale that gives it a scope that makes it an even better movie watching experience.

Based on the Magliani gang who did control Rome,it spans about 20 or so years and from the early days of kidnapping local bigiwgs into drug dealing and prostitution it shows that not even the tightest relationships can survive the phrase'absolute power corrupts absolutely'as the members of the gang,Lebanese,Ice,Dandy etc begin to fall to pieces because of love,paranoia,drug addiction and the dogged efforts of the police commissioner who wants to bring them down.

Watching this i was reminded of the likes of Goodfellas,Casino,The Godfather and if you are even a passing fan of good movies this is a must .
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Want Loyalty Get A Dog, 15 Aug 2010
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
This is a long film full of events. It opens with some young scallywags from Rome pinching a car and most of them getting imprisoned. They then (most hearteningly for prison reformers) engage in a number of more and more violent crimes as they climb the local drug gang scene. Naturally the single-mindedness of youth begins to bend as each member starts to go in different directions from the others. Into the by now typical tales of cheating and revenge comes an indefatigable police officer and a series of interventions from Italian political groups. If the result is a little more romantic than GOMORRAH it is no less violent and you can play a game seeing who survives. It lacks the realism of LA SCORTA and the tightness of GOODFELLAS but it is still a damned good tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romanzo Criminale Epico, 20 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. R. J. Everett "rob57836" (Ipswich, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps not as gritty or realistic as 'Gommorah', another Italian gangster flic of much repute, 'Romanzo Criminale' takes a more viewer friendly 'story telling' narrative similar to 'Goodfellas' or 'City of God'. So we follow our main characters, like in those forementioned films, from their childhood through to their unsightly endings with the film focusing on the toll that a life of crime brings to both their relationships with each other and their loved ones (sounds familiar, huh?). Like with 'City of God', 'Romanzo Criminale' is based on real life events so you get actual news footage of the time spliced into the film in an effort to add authenticity to proceedings. The film also has a killer soundtrack, including a very moving string score (which to my mind was very reminissant to the score in Terrance Mallick's 'The thin red line') as well as a catchy pop soundtrack which spans across 3 sperate decades. Fans of 'Goodfellas' and 'City of God' should love this film, and although in my estimation it falls a little short of these 'gangster film' classics 'Romanzo Criminale' is still an epic and engaging film that entertains throughout it's 2 and half hr+ duration.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romanzo Criminale, 25 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
This was a very interesting film and will have enough crossover appeal to viewers with different interests - action, politics, history buffs will all have something in it for them.

If you can get over having to watch a film with subtitles, (personally I would rather watch a good film with subtitles than a bad one without, any day) it was thrilling. My only slight critism would be that although it probably helped the experience that the pace of the film was quite fast, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was who.

This film is refreshingly different to other gangster/mafia films in that it while it isn't the first to chart the evolution of a gang from teenage deliquency through to final meglomania and self destruction from exposure to massive power, it links it to real political events throughout the relevant period of history. This shows how although it may not be obvious in daily life, these sinister organisations, have an impact on all our lives, even if only indirectly.

It is also refreshing that the ending isn't neatly explained nor is there any direct moralising message, it is just shown as what happens in life and you can draw your own conclusions.....this makes it feel more realistic and therefore satisfying. (a little like a documentary rather than a film)

It will definitely entertain most people for one reason or another, it's diverse enough to do that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'stray dogs, not a gang' - an excellent gangster tale, 20 Feb 2012
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
'Crime Novel' is a much missed and less known Italian gangster story, with some nice bits of action and drama in a TV styled movie epic.

Childhood friends (with their chosen nicknames Ice, Lebanese and Dandy) grow up together and form a large crime gang, vowing to take over Rome with organised crime (through gambling, drugs and prostitution).

This gang grows, gets guns and develops a nice tidy set-up, but is being hunted by determined police. One of the main three falls for a prostitute (as also does a detective). The story builds up to feuds, distrust, scamming and ultimately a deadly finale of gangster extravaganza.

The film is 2.5 hours, slick, 60's styled, racy, rude and violent. It obviously nods to and is influenced by The Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas and should please fans of other such gang and gangster driven titles (Mesrine, 36 etc). It is foreign, world cinema but in a more tale like fashion, rather than dramatic action or entertainment.

The film is so popular in Italy they created a spin-off TV series. It is NOT a Mafia film, as the gang is on a more smaller scale, telling an unconventional tale about 3 boys growing to men through 3 decades.

I would recommend this to film fans (especially world cinema) but warn it is long, demanding, light in drama and history, but rewardingly slick and likeable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italy's answer to Once Upon a Time in America?, 17 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
Following the rise and fall of a street gang that took over organised crime in Rome in the 70s, 80s and 90s, this movie interweaves history, politics and fiction in an epic tale of ambition and betrayal.

It's a long film, but you won't notice that. Some of the acting leaves a little to be desired, but you will overlook that. Even some of the directing is a little clunky, but the sheer passion and pace of the story will keep you watching. There are plenty of surprises, and some unexpected - and well executed - humorous parts, and the violence is visceral and no more than you would expect in a story about organised crime.

Well worth watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romanzo Criminale DVD, 1 Jun 2011
This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
A good italian film of a true story. A lot of violence but its what you expect! The speakers appear to be speaking the dialect of Lazio as opposed to italian. It is also surprising to note that the guys are Lebanese. The action is fast paced and i recognize several elements of italian culture in the fim. All in all a classic for those who love italian cinema.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant gangster epic!, 6 Mar 2011
This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
Proving that the English speaking world doesn't hold a monopoly on gangster movies this Italian tale following three friends from a childhood dreaming of power and notoriety through to their rise up Rome's criminal ladder is a gem of the genre.Seamlessly splitting into three parts to show the different points of view as leadership changes over the years adds an originality and depth that really brings the story to life.

Lebanese (Pier Francesco Favino) is the first to take the fore depicting a troubled man who seems unable to cope with any world but the grimy underbelly. After him the playboy Dandy (Claudio Santamaria) takes over but is more interested in enjoying himself than running the business. Perhaps the more engaging story or at least the one you sympathise the most with is that of Ice (Kim Rossi Stuart). He manages to lead a life separate from the drugs and guns with a woman he loves but soon finds he cannot escape his past.

All the leads are fantastic and spread over two decades the scope of the plot gives the movie great depth. This isn't a film about the action but rather the men behind the guns- what leads them into that world and why it is they stay. But if you like action there's plenty of that too. This is a fantastic movie with great characters and a believable plot that rolls along to its dramatic end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and human, 29 Oct 2010
This review is from: Romanzo Criminale [DVD] (DVD)
Anyone expecting a typical, run of the mill gangster film will I think be pleasantly surprised by this. I thought the characterisation was superb, and as the director himself says in the DVD extra film, "there are no heroes", just human lives where "even cowards can be heroic once." This is so far removed from the typical Hollywood "good versus evil" movie treatment. It is set in Cold War Italy, and the interweaving plots set the violent acts in the context of the wider political events. The most refreshing thing about the movie was that a central character was a woman, not a one-dimensional stereotypical hooker, but a wonderfully multi-faceted character created by the beautiful Anna Mouglalis. I genuinely cared about the characters, and did not want the movie to end.
If you enjoyed this Il Divo [DVD] [2008]
Good Morning, Night [DVD] [2003]
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Romanzo Criminale [DVD]
Romanzo Criminale [DVD] by Michele Placido (DVD - 2007)
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