Rocky Ibarra’s review published on Letterboxd:
My long-awaited rewatch of The Godfather came to an end on the sixteenth of January when I decided to put Apocalypse Now on the line as my second favorite movie ever and another reason to see the ‘72 masterpiece again was to refresh my view on the film because recalling seventh grade memories, I saw it for the sake of seeing it and hailing it as the ‘greatest ever made.’ I now do genuinely think Apocalypse Now is far ahead in terms of technicals but The Godfather is a behemoth from a storytelling standpoint alone.
This time I picked up on more stuff; the subtle expressions of thoughts through the visuals and camera work, foreshadowing moments and even tiny mishaps but what mattered to me most is the emotions brought about by the brilliant performances of Marlon Brando as the former Don who keeps calm despite his sons having to suffer dire consequences, Al Pacino as almost like the black sheep of the bunch, detached and has no business at all with affairs and the screenplay by Coppola, Puzo and Towne which at its core is a picture of a family’s survival in the new, corrupt system of a modern American society and the ties that come along with it to only pick themselves up again as a stronger brand. Furthermore, Nino Rota’s score does make you want to feel Italian and Gordon Willis’ gorgeous cinematography emphasizes yellowish hues to the dimly lit interiors. Definitely something I've never seen before and have never seen since. It is beautiful, atmospheric and evocative.
The Godfather is undoubtedly highly artistic and stylish in its presentation but the story is so simple yet complex when told given the three-hour runtime; a story that could have done anything else but repeat itself however in the roots of those things, you find the essence of family, the sincerity of romance and the triviality of vengeance all of which come together in glorious fashion.