101 Gangster Movies You Must See Before You Dieby KasparM | created - 24 Jan 2012 | updated - 24 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
17 min | Short, Crime, Drama
A young wife and her musician husband live in poverty in a New York City tenement. The husband's job requires him to go away for for a number of days. On his return, he is robbed by the ... See full summary »
4. Underworld (1927)
Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.
8. The Public Enemy (1931)
Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama
A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.
9. Scarface (1932)
PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.
10. Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)
Not Rated | 122 min | Crime
A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.
11. Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.
12. 'G' Men (1935)
Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »
14. Bullets or Ballots (1936)
Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
15. Pépé le Moko (1937)
Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.
Votes: 5,149 | Gross: $0.15M
16. Marked Woman (1937)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".
17. Dead End (1937)
Approved | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.
19. Each Dawn I Die (1939)
Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.
20. The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.
21. High Sierra (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.
22. This Gun for Hire (1942)
Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.
23. The Glass Key (1942)
Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A crooked politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.
24. The Killers (1946)
Not Rated | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.
25. The Big Sleep (1946)
Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.
26. Kiss of Death (1947)
Approved | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.
27. Brighton Rock (1948)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie murders a journalist called Fred Hale whom he believes is responsible for... See full summary »
Votes: 4,399 | Gross: $0.22M
29. I Walk Alone (1947)
Approved | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.
31. Key Largo (1948)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.
33. White Heat (1949)
Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.
34. They Live by Night (1948)
Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance
An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.
35. Gun Crazy (1950)
Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.
37. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Crime
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.
39. The Big Combo (1955)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
45. The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)
Not Rated | 101 min | Crime, History
Jack Diamond and his sickly brother arrive in prohibition New York as jewellery thieves. After a spell in jail the coldly ambitious Diamond hits on the idea of stealing from thieves himself... See full summary »
46. The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960)
103 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
During the 1960s Germany, criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse is using hypnotized victims and the surveillance equipment of a Nazi-era bugged hotel to steal nuclear technology from a visiting American industrialist.
47. Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge.
48. Branded to Kill (1967)
Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama
After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.
50. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
R | 111 min | Action, Biography, Crime
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks.
51. Point Blank (1967)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Thriller
After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the rather inconsequential sum of money that was stolen from him.
52. Bullitt (1968)
M/PG | 114 min | Action, Crime, Mystery
An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.
Votes: 51,011 | Gross: $42.30M
53. The Brotherhood (1968)
PG-13 | 96 min | Crime, Drama
The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother ... See full summary »
54. Bloody Mama (1970)
R | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era. Her loyal brood have every perversion ... See full summary »
61. Thieves Like Us (1974)
R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ... See full summary »
62. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Votes: 896,509 | Gross: $57.30M
64. Atlantic City (1980)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.
67. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
R | 229 min | Crime, Drama
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.
Votes: 249,028 | Gross: $5.32M
70. The Untouchables (1987)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.
Votes: 237,810 | Gross: $76.27M
72. Goodfellas (1990)
R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.
Votes: 819,109 | Gross: $46.84M
73. King of New York (1990)
R | 103 min | Crime, Thriller
A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.
Votes: 25,914 | Gross: $2.55M
74. Miller's Crossing (1990)
R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.
Votes: 111,668 | Gross: $5.08M
75. The Grifters (1990)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.
Votes: 22,229 | Gross: $13.45M
77. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama
Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.
Votes: 104,067 | Gross: $57.50M
79. American Me (1992)
R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.
Votes: 6,532 | Gross: $13.09M
81. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
Votes: 750,704 | Gross: $2.83M
82. Menace II Society (1993)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.
Votes: 43,420 | Gross: $27.90M
83. Sonatine (1993)
R | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.
85. Carlito's Way (1993)
R | 144 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.
Votes: 175,507 | Gross: $36.95M
86. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,486,980 | Gross: $107.93M
87. The Usual Suspects (1995)
R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.
Votes: 830,379 | Gross: $23.34M
88. Get Shorty (1995)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt, and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job.
Votes: 67,109 | Gross: $72.08M
89. Casino (1995)
R | 178 min | Crime, Drama
A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
Votes: 375,250 | Gross: $42.44M
90. Heat (1995)
R | 170 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and their professional lives.
Votes: 479,272 | Gross: $67.44M
91. Donnie Brasco (1997)
R | 127 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.
Votes: 242,612 | Gross: $41.91M
92. L.A. Confidential (1997)
R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Votes: 456,255 | Gross: $64.62M
94. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime
A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
Votes: 458,057 | Gross: $3.65M
95. Brother (I) (2000)
R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A Japanese gangster is exiled to Los Angeles where his brother lives with a small but respectable multi-racial gang, who he inspires to expand their influence.
Votes: 19,788 | Gross: $0.45M
98. Infernal Affairs (2002)
R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.
Votes: 102,255 | Gross: $0.17M
99. Gangs of New York (2002)
R | 167 min | Crime, Drama
In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.
Votes: 346,331 | Gross: $77.81M
100. The Departed (2006)
R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.
Votes: 981,414 | Gross: $132.38M