10 Best Gangster Movies


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The gangster genre is one of the most popular in modern movies and some of the best film directors alive have produced some incredible gangster movies.

In fact, on the IMDB the number 1 ranked movie is the Godfather – out of all genres. Because there are so many great gangster films out there, this was a tough list to put together.

As usual, if you don’t agree with my selections or ordering, post a comment and let us all know.

Also See: Game of thrones characters that were seen in Harry Potter before

So, without further ado, from good to amazing, here are the top 10 best gangster movies of all time.

1. Road to Perdition (Author’s Favourite – Best Gangster Movies)

Name: Road to Perdition

Year: 2002

Director: Sam Mendes

Stars: Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Stanley Tucci

Memorable Line: John Rooney: “What men do after work is what made us rich. No need to screw them at work as well.”

Plot: Mike Sullivan works as a hit man for crime boss John Rooney. Sullivan views Rooney as a father figure. However after his son is witness to a killing he has done Mike Sullivan finds him self on the run trying to save the life of his son and at the same time looking for revenge on those who wronged him. Jude Law co stars as a hit man hired to kill Sullivan.

 

2. Donnie Brasco 

Name: Donnie Brasco

Year: 1997

Director: Mike Newell

Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, James Russo

Memorable Line: Lefty: “How many times have I had you in my house? If you’re a rat, then I’m the biggest mutt in the history of the Mafia”.

Plot: This true story follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mafia of New York. Befriending Lefty Ruggiero, Pistone (under the name Donnie Brasco) is able to embed himself in a mafia faction lead by Sonny Black. Ruggiero and Pistone become tight as the group goes about collecting money for ‘the bosses’. Eventually, the group become big time when Black himself becomes a boss, all the while Pistone collects evidence. However, the trials and tribulations of the undercover work become more than Pistone can bear. His marriage falls apart and to top it off, the mafia suspect a mole in the organization. The real dilemma is afforded to Pistone, who knows if he walks away from the mafia, Ruggiero will be the one punished.

Also See: Top 10 Movie Clichés (Hollywood Special)

3. Miller’s Crossing (Recommended – Best Gangster Movies)

Name: Miller’s Crossing

Year: 1990

Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro

Memorable Line: Tom Reagan: “If you want me to keep my mouth shut, it’s gonna cost you some dough. I figure a thousand bucks is reasonable, so I want two.”

Plot: A highly styled ‘genre’ film which can perhaps be seen as a pastiche of all gangster movies. Tom Reagan is the laconic anti-hero of this amoral tale which is also, paradoxically, a look at morals within the criminal underworld of the 1930s. Two rival gangs vie for control of a city where the police are pawns, and the periodic busts of illicit drinking establishments are no more than a way for one gang to get back at the other. Black humour and shocking violence compete for screen time as we question whether or not Tom, right-hand man of the Irish mob leader, really has a heart.

 

4.  The Untouchables 

Name: The Untouchables

Year: 1987

Director: Brian De Palma

Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia

Memorable Line: Capone: “I want you to get this fuck where he breathes! I want you to find this nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HIS ASHES!”

Plot: 1920’s prohibition Chicago is corrupt from the judges downward. So in going up against Al Capone, Treasury agent Eliot Ness picks just two cops to help him and his accountant colleague. One is a sharp-shooting rookie, the other a seen-it-all beat man. The four of them are ready to battle Capone and his empire, but it could just be that guns are not the best way to get him.

 

5. The Departed (Audience Favourite – Best Gangster Movies)

Name: The Departed

Year: 2006

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Memorable Line: Dignam: “My theory on Feds is that they’re like mushrooms, feed ’em shit and keep ’em in the dark.”

Plot: In South Boston, the state police force is waging war on Irish-American organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Frank Costello. While Billy quickly gains Costello’s confidence, Colin Sullivan, a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the state police as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there’s a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy-and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself. But is either willing to turn on the friends and comrades they’ve made during their long stints undercover?

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6. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Name: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Year: 1998

Director: Guy Ritchie

Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones

Memorable Line: Eddie: “Err, bad breath, colorful language, feather duster… what do you think they’re gonna be armed with? Guns, you tit!”

Plot: Four Cockney wide-boys are tricked into owing 500,000 nicker to the local gang-land boss and porn king, ‘Hatchet’ Harry Lonsdale. With the very real threat of finger amputation looming over them the lads come up with a plan to nick the cash from their next-door neighbours: a gang of hardcase drug-dealers… Meanwhile, ‘Hatchet’ ain’t none too pleased when a pair of antique shotguns wot he wants are sold on by a pair of Scouse thieves, to be used in a “job”… The involvement of a conscientious debt-collector, some public school “chemists”, a psychotic hash-baron, a lot of guns and knives, ensures that karma is surrealistically resolved (just!) before the end credits roll.

 

7. Mean Streets

Name: Mean Streets

Year: 1973

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Richard Romanus

Memorable Line: Martin Scorsese: “You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”

Plot: In a series of character-led incidents set against the background of New York City’s Little Italy, we follow the life of Charlie, a small-time member of the wiseguy community who collects protection money. His friends Tony and Michael are part of the community, but his other friend Johnny Boy is unreliable and therefore must be shunned. Charlie’s secret girlfriend Teresa has epilepsy, and so must also be shunned. When Charlie’s uncle Giovanni offers him a restaurant – the first step up the ladder – Charlie is forced to choose between his desire for power, his love for Teresa and his duty to protect his friend Johnny Boy.

 

8. Casino

Name: Casino

Year: 1995

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci

Memorable Line: Ace Rothstein: “No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he’ll keep comin’ back and back until one of you is dead.”

Plot: This Martin Scorsese film depicts the Janus-like quality of Las Vegas–it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this paradoxical world. Seen through their eyes, each as a foil to the other, the details of mob involvement in the casinos of the 1970’s and ’80’s are revealed. Ace is the smooth operator of the Tangiers casino, while Nicky is his boyhood friend and tough strongman, robbing and shaking down the locals. However, they each have a tragic flaw–Ace falls in love with a hustler, Ginger, and Nicky falls into an ever-deepening spiral of drugs and violence.

 

9. Snatch (One of the Best Gangster Movies)

Name: Snatch

Year: 2000

Director: Guy Ritchie

Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones, Brad Pitt, Jason Statham

Memorable Line: Sol: “You ain’t from this planet are you, Vincent? Who is gonna mug two black fellas, holding pistols, sat in a car that is worth less than your shirt?”

Plot: Turkish, an unlicenced boxing promoter is pulled into trouble when he becomes involved in big time criminal Brick Top, who wants him to arrange a fight and fix it. Meanwhile, a diamond theft goes down but the 84 karat stone goes missing. This leads Avi, the boss who was supposed to receive the stone, to come to England to search for it, with the help of his cousin, Doug The Head and Bullet Tooth Tony. As events twist and turn, the two situations blend into one with a chain reaction of events carrying on for each and every character.

 

10. Reservoir Dogs

Name: Reservoir Dogs

Year: 1992

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi

Memorable Line: Mr. Pink: “I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.”

Plot: They were six strangers, assembled to pull off the perfect crime: Mr. White, a professional criminal; Mr. Orange, a young newcomer; Mr. Blonde, a trigger-happy killer; Mr. Pink, a paranoid neurotic; Mr. Brown; and Mr. Blue. Hired by mob boss Joe Cabot and given fake names so no one could identify the others, they thought there was no way their heist could have failed. But after a police ambush, killing Mr. Brown and seriously injuring Mr. Orange, the criminals return to their rendezvous point (a warehouse), and realize that one of them had to have been a police informant. But who?

 

What’s your favorite gangster movie? Comment below!

Part 2 Soon to Come! 😀

Also See: 25 Best Mindfuck Movies

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