"El Padrino" is a familiar gangster story. We've seen most of it before. Its main asset is a good cast. The biggest problem I saw is the direction. Star Damian Chapa directed the movie himself, and unfortunately he didn't do a good job directing. However, there is something alluring about this movie, Chapa has an intensity he brings to the role (despite the fact that I've heard others say they didn't like him as the lead). Jennifer Tilly does an outstanding job, she'll make your skin crawl many times during the film. Gary Busey is equally frightening in his demented role.
Violent, intense, but not too gory. It would be an all time classic again if only the directing was a bit better, but I still like it quite a bit regardless.