Top 5 gangster movies of all time, ranked
The gangster genre has delivered some of the most powerful stories ever made. We rank the 5 best gangster movies of all time! Find out where movies like “Scarface,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Godfather” rank on the list.
5. “The Untouchables” (1987)
De Palma is on the list with his own movie focused on Al Capone (played by De Niro.) But this time, looking at the cops (Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, and Sean Connery) who took him down.
The score by Ennio Morricone is still one of the all-time best, and not just in the gangster genre. It also features one of the best shootouts you’ll ever see.
4. “City of God” (2002)
This flawless movie from director Fernando Meirelles takes a glimpse inside the slums of Rio de Janeiro. The focus is from the 1960s to the 1980s. Highlighting how a group of kids grows up to be its most deadly gangsters.
There is slick photography and amazing performances by the actors! Many of which had never acted before. This is what makes this movie a work that will be celebrated for decades to come.
3. “Goodfellas” (1990)
Regarded as Scorsese’s gangster masterpiece, he adapts the tell-all book (written by Nicholas Pileggi) of mobster-turned-informant Henry Hill and turns it into a vibrant story about life as a mobster.
Ray Liotta as Hill gives the performance of a lifetime, while De Niro and Pesci as the other members of his crew deliver roles that would make them icons in the genre.
Also read: Emmy Awards 2020: Key winners and nominees
2. “Scarface” (1983)
De Palma remakes the 1932 version, changes the plot from the mob to a 1980s Miami drug cartel, and then lets Al Pacino do the rest.
The movie, which at the time of its release wasn’t a major hit due to its graphic violence and depiction of Cuban immigrants, suddenly became a must-have during the home video craze and then hit icon status thanks to its references in rap music and depictions in video games over the past few decades.
1. “The Godfather” (1972) / The Godfather Part II” (1974)
It’s really impossible to talk about one film without the other, so we figured we’d do what’s right and include both Francis Ford Coppola classics as one selection.
Coppola’s adaptation of the Mario Puzo book blew audiences away and elevated the gangster genre into a place where prestige film making can be done. Then, somehow, Coppola went and made a sequel that is arguably better than the original thanks to its use of flashbacks and making us care about a family that is so evil.
The end result is a look at the mafia that thanks to its beautiful structure and performances are the gold standard in the gangster genre.
If you can (and have the time), watch both movies back-to-back.