The Godfather Part II
Not yet rated
Time Out saysCoppola's superior sequel to his own very fine Mafia epic extends the original film's timeframe both backwards (to Vito Corleone's arrival and struggles to get by in New York at the start of the 20th century) and forwards (to his son Michael's ruthless protection of his own power as capo during a post-war period of expanded influence into Vegas, Cuba and elsewhere). The two strands alternate in Coppola's elliptical and elegantly orchestrated narrative, so that the seemingly inexorable progress from petty to corporate crime, from survival instinct to a steely obsession with power for power's sake, is charted with a terrifying lucidity. True, the film is so entranced by the dynastic dazzle that it neglects to show the Mob's baleful influence on America at large - the only people visibly harmed are either rival mafiosi or corrupt authority figures - but the performances, Gordon Willis' memorably gloomy camerawork, the stately pace and the sheer scale of the story's sweep render everything engrossing and so, well, plausible that our ideas of organised crime in America will forever be marked by this movie.