Essential Gangster Movies

by craigcouz | created - 26 Jun 2012 | updated - 04 Jul 2012 | Public

My favourite gangster movies, British & American.

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1. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,452,440 | Gross: $134.97M

2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

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.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,010,002 | Gross: $57.30M

3. The Godfather: Part III (1990)

R | 162 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York City and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia Don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins, while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire

Votes: 327,434 | Gross: $66.67M

4. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 913,574 | Gross: $46.84M

5. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 416,931 | Gross: $42.44M

6. Gangster No. 1 (2000)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster.

Director: Paul McGuigan | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Saffron Burrows

Votes: 12,440 | Gross: $0.03M

7. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

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.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham

Votes: 495,593 | Gross: $3.90M

8. Snatch (2000)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Crime

55 Metascore

Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina

Votes: 723,288 | Gross: $30.33M

9. Donnie Brasco (1997)

R | 127 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An FBI undercover agent infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life, at the expense of his regular one.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 256,384 | Gross: $41.91M

10. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 257,251 | Gross: $76.27M

11. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,083,625 | Gross: $132.38M

12. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Votes: 831,060 | Gross: $2.83M

13. Carlito's Way (1993)

R | 144 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

65 Metascore

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.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo

Votes: 186,452 | Gross: $36.95M

14. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 669,885 | Gross: $45.60M

15. 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.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 280,219 | Gross: $5.32M

16. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster & his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,654,782 | Gross: $107.93M

17. Miller's Crossing (1990)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

66 Metascore

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 118,712 | Gross: $5.08M

18. Sexy Beast (2000)

R | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits "retired" safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.

Director: Jonathan Glazer | Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman

Votes: 50,437 | Gross: $6.95M

19. Love, Honor and Obey (2000)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

23 Metascore

A north London postman who gets involved with a gang of criminals

Directors: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis | Stars: Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller, Jude Law, Ray Winstone

Votes: 4,852 | Gross: $0.00M

20. Layer Cake (2004)

R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon, Tom Hardy

Votes: 154,719 | Gross: $2.34M

21. Get Carter (1971)

R | 112 min | Crime, Thriller

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne

Votes: 26,411

22. Billy Bathgate (1991)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In the year 1935, a teen named Billy Bathgate finds first love while becoming the protégé of fledgling gangster Dutch Schultz.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Loren Dean, Bruce Willis

Votes: 10,747 | Gross: $15.97M

23. Mobsters (1991)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama

From start to finish, it's a story of friendship between 4 street-wise males who don't mind using violence to achieve the lives that they want. They trust no one but each other which is vital to their success as mobsters.

Director: Michael Karbelnikoff | Stars: Christian Slater, Patrick Dempsey, Rodney Eastman, Costas Mandylor

Votes: 7,861 | Gross: $20.25M

24. Last Man Standing (1996)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken

Votes: 50,367 | Gross: $17.60M

25. Eastern Promises (2007)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Josef Altin

Votes: 215,254 | Gross: $17.11M

26. Blow (2001)

R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

The story of how George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme | Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 224,901 | Gross: $52.99M

27. Bugsy (1991)

R | 136 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

The story of how Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 23,953 | Gross: $49.11M

28. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 527,079 | Gross: $67.44M

29. Road to Perdition (2002)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

72 Metascore

A mob enforcer's son witnesses a murder, forcing him and his father to take to the road, and his father down a path of redemption and revenge.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey, Liam Aiken

Votes: 229,130 | Gross: $104.45M

30. Gangs of New York (2002)

R | 167 min | Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 373,615 | Gross: $77.81M

31. Public Enemies (2009)

R | 140 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Christian Stolte, Jason Clarke

Votes: 262,638 | Gross: $97.10M

32. American Gangster (2007)

R | 157 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin

Votes: 368,748 | Gross: $130.16M

33. The Krays (1990)

R | 115 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lords in London's '60s underworld.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw, Tom Bell

Votes: 7,045 | Gross: $2.06M

34. The Krays Geordie Connection (2004 Video)

143 min | Documentary

Steve Wraith was so obsessed with the Kray Brothers, he decided to write to them. Little did he know he was to become the Kray's Geordie Connection. The last of the infamous Kray brothers ... See full summary »

Director: Liam Galvin | Star: Steve Wraith

Votes: 5

35. The Krays: The Final Word (2001 Video)

118 min | Documentary

Add a Plot

Director: Aubrey Powell | Star: Reg Kray

Votes: 11

36. The Krays by Fred Dinenage (2010 TV Movie)

47 min | Documentary

TV presenter Fred Dinenage is the official biographer to the most infamous gangsters in British history, the Kray Twins. In this documentary Fred, for the first time, reveals the truth about his time with the Twins and their brutal lives.

Director: Emma Spellman | Stars: Fred Dinenage, Bobby Cummines, Freddie Foreman, Frankie Fraser

Votes: 8

37. Face (I) (1997)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In the face of demise in his values, a socialist in England decides to form a gang and rob banks for a living.

Director: Antonia Bird | Stars: Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Steve Sweeney, Gerry Conlon

Votes: 4,033

38. Essex Boys (2000)

R | 102 min | Crime, Thriller

The film is based loosely around events in December 1995 that culminated in the murders of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex, UK. On 6th December Patrick Tate, Craig Rolfe and Tony ... See full summary »

Director: Terry Winsor | Stars: Charlie Creed-Miles, Sean Bean, Gareth Milne, Alex Kingston

Votes: 3,592

39. Going Off Big Time (2000)

86 min | Thriller

After surviving prison, a man has to forge a career in the crime world.

Director: Jim Doyle | Stars: Neil Fitzmaurice, Dominic Carter, Nicholas Lamont, Nicholas Moss

Votes: 666

40. The Sopranos (1999–2007)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama

New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.

Stars: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli

Votes: 257,089

41. The Real Sopranos (2006 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

Finding the connections between the TV series and a real-life New Jersey Mob.

Director: Thomas Viner | Stars: Monique Jeanine Lycette, Joshua Paled, Rick Borgia, Joseph Daniele

Votes: 81

42. Tough Guys (1986)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Crime

Two elderly gangsters are released from prison only to find they have trouble fitting in as old men who still take no guff from anyone.

Director: Jeff Kanew | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charles Durning, Alexis Smith

Votes: 6,085 | Gross: $21.46M

43. Kill the Irishman (2011)

R | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

50 Metascore

The true story of Danny Greene, a tough Irish thug working for mobsters in Cleveland during the 1970's.

Director: Jonathan Hensleigh | Stars: Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer

Votes: 41,729 | Gross: $1.19M



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