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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Al Pacino
Andy Garcia
Sofia Coppola
Talia Shire
Diane Keaton.
Directors
Francis Ford Coppola.
Screenwriters
Mario Puzo
Francis Ford Coppola.
Running Time
160 minutes

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The Godfather Part III
The concluding chapter in Coppola's crime family saga


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Plot
Don Corleone (Pacino), now wizened, is feeling shadow of God and attempts to draw the family business out of the pits of immorality. When he is foiled, it is the turn of cousin Vinnie, who shares his father Sonny's hothead, to take over. Michael may let the business go that way, but he is more reluctant when it comes to his daughter.


Review
As a nice little film about a bunch of hoods and their involvement in some complicated conspiracy involving the Vatican, The Godfather Part III works just fine, boasting first-rate performances from its two leading men and displaying enough clever directorial touches to suggest that this Francis Ford Coppola chap is a name to look out for. As the slavishly-awaited sequel to two of the finest films of the last 30 years, however, as the third episode in what may well be the Greatest Movie Story Ever Told, The Godfather Part III is, frankly, a dreadful disappointment.

It is, perhaps, unfair that this new production should be so smothered under the reputation of two films made nearly 20 years ago. By so closely adhering to the exact structure of his previous two instalments, however, and through his liberal employment of flashbacks, Coppola himself seems to beg for the comparisons, making it abundantly clear throughout that what is on offer here is no new departure, but simply part three of that old familiar tale of the familia Corleone. And as such, it simply doesn't work, lacking the strength of narrative, the menace, the sheer epic sweep of all that has gone before.

For about the first 30 minutes, however, everything seems to be very much in order. The familiar strains of Nino Rota's theme music never fail to send a shiver, the introduction of Andy Garcia as the suitably hotheaded bastard son of Sonny is a welcome addition to the ranks, while Pacino, all grey and shrunk, immediately conveys a telling portrait of immense power and obscene wealth, made all the more impressive by its confinement within such a wizened old frame.

The first hint that we may be going slightly off the rails comes with the gathering of the clans and the subsequent Die Hard-style interruption from the skies, a badly-handled set piece more reminiscent of Bond than the beautifully understated brutality of the tollbooth.

From here on, the violence becomes increasingly cartoon, notably Garcia riding a horse through the inevitable street festival, while things go from bad to worse as it gradually becomes all too apparent just how far out of her depth Sofia Coppola really is, floundering helplessly in her vain attempts to convince as both the Garcia love interest and daughter of the Don. By the time the much-vaunted operatic climax comes along, it is hardly surprising that proceedings finally slip into near-farce, as the supposed top assassin in all of Sicily takes a good half-hour and a fair portion of Cavalleria Rusticana to line up his sights. Miss Sofia manages to provoke the giggles amidst such supposed tragedy and all that is left is a basic re-run of your actual Don Corelone coil-shuffling routine to round things off.

Fans of the first two instalments are likely to find The Godfather Part III an unworthy heir to the tradition. First-time voters, meanwhile, will surely wonder what on earth all the fuss was all about.


Extras

Godfather Part III, The Godfather Part III, The
Released: 27 September 2004
The reputation of the trilogy remains the chief draw, as the extras are thin. Each disc does contain a commentary from Coppola, providing casual insight that is entertaining enough. However, other than the redesign of the packaging and the addition of postcards and similar twaddle, they are almost identical in content to those in the box set.

So the main disadvantage of picking up each disc separately is that you miss out on the set’s all-important bonus disc, which is packed with Godfather-related goodies. And as you can often pick the set up in the sales for less than £30, purchasing the films individually really is an offer you can refuse.


Verdict
Fans of the first two instalments are likely to find The Godfather Part III an unworthy heir to the tradition. First-time voters, meanwhile, will surely wonder what on earth all the fuss was all about.


Reviewed by Barry McIlheney

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Godfather Part III
Empire Star Rating

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."

In solely comparing it to its predecessors, it becomes quickly evident that The Godfather Part III is an overlong, utterly pointless sequel. On its own terms, it is an ambitious, albeit grossly overestimated, piece of cinema that's as fascinating in its shortcomings as it is infuriating. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by movienut707 at 19:18, 13 November 2013 | Report This Post


"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."

In solely comparing it to its predecessors, it becomes quickly evident that The Godfather Part III is an overlong, utterly pointless sequel. On its own terms, it is an ambitious, albeit grossly overestimated, piece of cinema that's as fascinating in its shortcomings as it is infuriating. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by movienut707 at 19:18, 13 November 2013 | Report This Post


Part III is very underrated

Although it comes nowhere near the first two instalments, it still is a very intriguing movie. Andy Garcia is excellent in his role and Al Pacino is alright too. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robmarathon at 09:27, 26 July 2012 | Report This Post


The Godfather Part III Review

I feel that both Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo shouldn't have gone for a part 3. If anyone is new to The Godfather (which I doubt) and watch this film first then you will not understand my rating. Those who are familiar with The Godfather on the other hand will understand that compared to the first two films, it's hell of a disappointment. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 23:51, 02 March 2012 | Report This Post


Making Gnocchi

Frankly, if Sofia Coppola was my cousin, I'd take a crack at her too. She is undeniably sexy in real world, girl-next-door terms. On screen she lacks confidence, which serves to give her an aura of vulnerablity. This in turn adds to her believability. The kitchen scene with Garcia, where they're making Gnocchi, or whatever, is one hot scene. No, the blame for Godfather 3's short-comings lay elsewhere. Certainly not in the same league as one and two, but then, what is? Especially these day... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cameron1975Williams at 18:43, 11 December 2011 | Report This Post


2 stars, lmfao

It seems popular to bash this film. It's a lot better than it's given credit for ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by david hayes at 01:15, 23 June 2011 | Report This Post


Good

Obviously not as brilliant as parts 1 & 2 but still a sight better than most of the shite filling our screens of late! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 01:17, 04 May 2009 | Report This Post


THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE WAS ALSO THE DEATH OF A BELOVED FRANCHISE

not so terrible that it should get 2 stars or lower, but Part III of Francis Coppola's really marked the end of the franchise's brilliance. Pacino's acting was fair, and Andy Garcia leant sturdy support but it was Sofia Coppola that got under my skin. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by WiseGuy101 at 03:37, 05 February 2009 | Report This Post


Should not be remembered as a Godfather movie

Pretty good as a movie itself but not even close to being a good Godfather movie. At least one good thing was accomplished by this movie-it kicked off Garcia's career. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by !xHoTRoDx! at 19:51, 22 December 2008 | Report This Post


Sucks hard

Sorry meant none of the magic that was evident in the godfather 1 and 2 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ace Rothstein at 02:42, 13 August 2008 | Report This Post


Sucks hard

Jeez, when the godfather trilogy comes out on blu ray, I may just smash part 3 with a hammer or flush it down the toilet. It's so overstated, stupid and there's no magic evident in the first 2. I like to pretend it doesn't exist to the point where in the conversation, I would say- the two godfather films are awesome, only to be told, there's 3. That's when I remember this travesty. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ace Rothstein at 02:40, 13 August 2008 | Report This Post


Sucks hard

Jeez, when the godfather trilogy comes out on blu ray, I may just smash part 3 with a hammer or flush it down the toilet. It's so overstated, stupid and there's no magic evident in the first 2. I like to pretend it doesn't exist to the point where in the conversation, I would say- the two godfather films are awesome, only to be told, there's 3. That's when I remember this travesty. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ace Rothstein at 02:39, 13 August 2008 | Report This Post


The Ugly Brother...really a Beautiful Piece.

I'm not going to review Part I and II. That is because I fully stand up for Part III. The first two where classics in their own right but this one had the most beautiful and saddening story. With Michael now facing the fact that he needs to legitimize the Family and find a new heir he looks to his brothers bastard son ,Vincent Mancini (played well by a young Andy Garcia), whilst trying to keep away from murder and the Sicilian Mafia. The whole film plays like the opera in the film ,Cavalleri... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JohnnyTightlips at 14:59, 09 August 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

To give this a two star review is just pure idiotic. Sofia did not make me 'giggle' in the climax at all. And although the worst acting in the film comes from her, look at who she is working opposite. Basically, i can see it flaws but that does not detract from it being a rather good film. Not on a par with the original and the sequel but it was better than most films. Coppola apparently did not put as much effort as he could, and should of done into the film which is shame. But even so, i stil... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mafyou at 00:43, 03 May 2008 | Report This Post


part 1 an 2 are genious part 3 i refuse to believe exists. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 23:09, 24 October 2007 | Report This Post


part 1 an 2 are genious part 3 i refuse to believe exists. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 23:09, 24 October 2007 | Report This Post


It is very overlooked by the first two as they were both absolutely fantastic, there is something wrong with this movie but to point out what is unfathomable. In way it is a good film but concerning the other two movies it is an all right film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 17:55, 30 June 2007 | Report This Post


It is very overlooked by the first two as they were both absolutely fantastic, there is something wrong with this movie but to point out what is unfathomable. In way it is a good film but concerning the other two movies it is an all right film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 17:55, 30 June 2007 | Report This Post


Highly, and strongly, disagree....

f the first two instalments are likely to find The Godfather Part III an unworthy heir to the tradition. First-time voters, meanwhile, will surely wonder what on earth all the fuss was all about an't stress the utter crap of the phrase above. The film is excellent. NOT the brilliant movie like its original two - but nowadays that goes without saying - but nevertheless, an excellent epilogue to Godfather story. I put it 5 stars, not because it necessaraly deserved it (I actually rate it so my... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Batman Beyond at 17:39, 08 June 2007 | Report This Post


Highly, and strongly, disagree....

f the first two instalments are likely to find The Godfather Part III an unworthy heir to the tradition. First-time voters, meanwhile, will surely wonder what on earth all the fuss was all about an't stress the utter crap of the phrase above. The film is excellent. NOT the brilliant movie like its original two - but nowadays that goes without saying - but nevertheless, an excellent epilogue to Godfather story. I put it 5 stars, not because it necessaraly deserved it (I actually rate it so my... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Batman Beyond at 17:28, 08 June 2007 | Report This Post


Oh dear!

It was a good film but it had large pitfalls for instance its so boring! i watched the other 2 films and fell in love but watching number 3 is a let down it seems like nothing happens untill the the last 40mins the other 2 kept you hooked in for the whole 3hours but you lose intrest and lose the love all because of number three. the ending is very though but thats about it... you might as well watch it to round off the godfather trilogy but it is dissapointing ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Funktris at 21:09, 24 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: The Godfather Part III

I can understand Empire's review when this film came out because I was very disappointed too. The Godfather & The Godfather Part II are, in my humble opinion, the greatest achievement in modern American cinema - & that final shot of a cold, brooding Michael was just perfect. There are other movies that I love a lot, certainly Scorsese's Raging Bull is a film that has lived with me, but these two are my favourites. So Part III had a lot to live up to & a lot to conte... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by EDDIE BOY at 15:03, 01 March 2007 | Report This Post


Empire reviewers are idiots

Why, why, why? Part 3 may not be of the same quality as the first and second part but as part of a trilogy, the film works successfully. The last scene at Palermo opera is particularly moving and the film definetly deserves multiple viewings. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Clemenza at 14:01, 04 January 2007 | Report This Post


good sequel not as good as part 1or 2 but still a goof finnish to a great series ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by casino at 15:24, 08 December 2006 | Report This Post


Oh my god!!! How boring is this. It has like one memorable scene, which is the helicopter assault and thats it. Overlong and overboring. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by huny_monster at 22:46, 21 July 2006 | Report This Post


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