“Gotti”  – 7


In a word:  Violent

This is a good movie if you like stories, true or false, about racketeering and gangsterism. In this violence-ridden biopic film, John Travolta portrays John Gotti as a true-to-life character who rose to head the New York-based Mafia, until he died in federal prison at the age of 61.

The movie chronicles Gotti’s rise to fame, equal to that of a Hollywood idol, his devout loyalty to family, and his penchant for notoriety which came at a cost to many lives, not to mention millions of taxpayer dollars spent on prosecutions and law enforcement efforts trying to nail the charismatic hoodlum.

John Travolta gives us a noble performance, deftly immersing himself in the manner and swarthiness of Gotti, both as a handsome killer and later, a dying jailbird. The concern I have as a movie buff, and as an American is the love and admiration festooned upon such a violent criminal, both in real life and in the minds and hearts of fans. Gotti was handsome, Gotti was a boss of bosses, Gotti was vicious and he was a hero of sorts. But he was a really bad guy and we shouldn’t lionize really bad people. Somehow, it seems unfitting and damaging to the minds of impressionable youth that someone such as he should be the object of affection and glory. I also think about the family members of past victims who probably would renounce the film.

Yes, we all know about many other criminals or yore who became the subject of over-glorification from the wild west to serial killers. But this film clarifies in less than two hours, the pointless killings for the sake of killings, as the Mafia once again rises to the level of stardom.

Was the acting good? Yes. Was the story-line accurate.? Close, likely.  Did the movie do well at the box office? No…it bombed. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 0% rating, one star. Other ratings sites were similar.

I thought the movie was fair. For Organized Crime buffs, it was even better. But compared to The Godfather, the pinnacle of OC films, Rotten Tomatoes might have it right.

Don’t see this movie if you’ve got hang-ups about a flood of bad language and gross violence.

The movie was entertaining enough to warrant a 7 out of 10.

Gotti (2018) – Rotten Tomatoes

4 Responses to A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “GOTTI” – 7

  1. Donald June 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    I agree with Marshall, partially. I’m not sure I would give the movie a 7. I thought it was disjointed and jumped around way too much. I thought it was difficult to follow. I would probably give it a 5, because the subject matter was interesting. However, I would give John Travolta an 8 or a 9 for his performance, which I thought was very good.

    If you have trouble with profanity, don’t go see this movie. The ubiquitous “F” word and “MF” word is over done, even for a Mafia movie. The violence is obvious but not gratuitous. They don’t linger on closeups of the violent effects. However, it would be difficult to tell this story without profanity and violence.

    My biggest objection to the movie is that I don’t see any need to make it. Who cares about John Gotti? I only saw it because I am a fan of John Travolta and tend to see all of his movies. The proof is in the pudding. When my wife and I saw it there were only three more people in a theater that holds almost 400 people.

  2. Charlie Greene June 26, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

    As a big Travolta fan this one is definitely on my must see list Marshall.
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Just Me June 27, 2018 at 7:56 am #

    Excellent review as always, Marshall, and, I totally agree with you about the effects of glorifying evil. The Mafia criminals are not admirable.

  4. Tom Robbins June 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

    I would rather watch a not yet made movie called “The Executioner”, based on the fictional long running book series about an ex military man who hunts down and kills Mafia Scum wherever he can find them.