Add ’em to your watchlist: These are the best gangster movies ever made
Gangster movies aren’t for everyone, but the people who like them, love them. They have action, internal politics, high stakes, and usually fun New York accents. So, who can blame you for wanting to watch a good mob movie every once in a while?
If you’re just getting into gangster movies or wanting to refresh your rewatch list, then this article is the one for you. We’ve compiled all of the best and most important gangster/mob movies around.
According to former mob boss, Michael Franzese, the best ever portrayal of a mobster is performed by Joe Pesci in the 1995 movie Casino. We figured we couldn’t exactly argue with someone who once lived the life, so Casino most definitely deserves a watch.
This Martin Scorsese film starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and of course, Joe Pesci is a whopping three hours long, so prepare to have an intermission at some point. This movie is also a Golden Globe winner and an Oscar nominee.
This movie is iconic, we assume you’ve actually already seen it, but we couldn’t not put it on the list. However, if you haven’t seen it, now is the time to add it to your list. This 1972 movie is taught in film classes for crying out loud – it’s a masterclass in gangster / mafia movies.
This three time Oscar winning movie stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall. It follows the story of an aging patriarch attempting to transfer the family business to his reluctant son. This movie nearly has a perfect score on IMDb of 9.2 out of ten. Once you finish this three hour movie, there are two more Godfather films for you to check out.
This movie is about a jewelry heist gone wrong, afterwards the people involved start to point fingers at one another thinking one is a police informant. This 1992 movie stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, and Chris Penn. It’s also directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Reservoir Dogs is short compared to a lot of gangster movies, coming to an end at an hour and forty minutes. It won twelve different awards after its release, and even if you haven’t seen it yet, odds are you’ve heard someone talk about it.
This Oscar winning movie from 1990 was also directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci. So, according to Michael Franzese, you probably want to watch this one too.
Goodfellas is based on a book about Henry Hill called Wiseguy – so if you really want to deep dive into your mafia movie binge, you might want to pick up a copy of this Nicholas Pileggi novel. Whether you read it before or after you watch this two and a half hour movie is up to you.
This is the most recent movie on the list – it came out in 2013. The movie was nominated for ten different Oscars, though it didn’t win any. It did win seventy other awards during its release year, however, and was nominated for two hundred and sixteen other awards. This movie is worth your time if you like gangster movies.
This two hour and eighteen minute crime drama was directed by David O. Russell and stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawerence, Jeremy Renner, Michael Peña and Louis C.K. Whew, that’s a star-studded list.
Road to Perdition
This two hour movie is about a mob boss and his son after the son witnesses a murder. The two are forced to seek revenge as well as redemption.
Road to Perdition was directed by Sam Mendes and stars Tyler Hoechlin, Tom Hanks (seriously America’s uncle as a gangster), Paul Newman, and Daniel Craig. The 2002 movie is about two hours long and won an Oscar.
Oh look, it’s another Martin Scorsese movie, what a shocker. This 2006 gangster movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Whalberg, and Martin Sheen. (Plus, appearances from a number of other very famous faces.)
The premise of The Departed is about an undercover cop trying to figure out who on the police force is feeding information to the Irish mob. Meanwhile, the leak is trying to figure out which gangster is the undercover cop. This two and a half hour movie won four Oscars.
So, there you have it. These are the best and most popular mafia movies, though there are many other good mob movies out there. This list will most definitely give you a good start on your new gangster movie obsession, or provide you with some great rewatch material.