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Once Upon a Time in America

A little star-rating math:

Sergio Leone’s overall command of the medium has us beginning at four stars. Alas, his palpable misogyny throughout the film shaves off the fourth star. Toward the end, we lose most of the third star with the reveal of a plot twist that bears the odd distinction of being both predictable and thoroughly implausible. The remaining sliver of that third star is melted away by the bewildering prominence of Ennio Morricone’s distracting pan flute, which simply has no place in a movie about Jewish American mobsters. The two stars that survive are disappointed.