The portrayal of street-smart gangsters operating outside the law is indeed one of the most adored themes in the arena of movie making. From the standpoint of a moviegoer, the top 10 flicks mentioned here are enough to describe the mildness and sensitivity of a materialistic gangster with an aspirational hope for credit and success. No doubt, it was a tough job to round up ten neatest gangster movies from the cosmic pool of brilliant masterpieces. But here we go…
10. Carlito’s Way (1993):
Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino, Sean Penn and Penelope Ann Miller, this captivating movie is based on the novels Carlito’s way and After Hours. As an ex-gangland boss, Pacino delivers a top-drawer performance, trying to reform his spirit. No doubt, Pacino was admired for his on-time class performance but Penn’s character of an arrogant coke head does not let Pacino subdue his outstanding performance.
9. Once Upon a Time in America (1984):
A masterpiece in its own way, this movie is a perfect illustration of love, lust, relationships and standing up of gangsters in American society. This movie was directed by Sergio Leone, the master of creating special atmospheres and starring the all time preferred actors – Robert De Nero and James Woods. After staying focused for 3 hours and 47 minutes, you’ll realize that this movie is certainly a glorious gangster epic, you’ve ever seen.
8. Casino (1995):
One of the most ambitious flicks of Martin Scorsese, this complex gangster movie is better known for the outstanding performances of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Depicting the society of “blue collar” gangsters of the New York City, Casino is a highly recommended masterpiece for mob movie lovers.
7. Miller’s Crossing (1990):
In modest opinion, this American gangster movie, directed by Joel Coen, is so far considered as an unexplored pearl of cinematic world. This movie was given the high hat by viewers for the top-notch performances of Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney. The dialogues, accents and costumes of Miller’s Crossing are so fascinating that it steps you back in time.
6. Reservoir Dogs (1992):
However, this movie was widely criticized for being extremely violent from origin to end but it constitutes a tremendous beauty that while looking at the screen, you’re actually looking at reality. A Tarantino’s hallmark with a long trail of experienced actors, this gangster movie will not be soon forgotten for sure.
5. The Godfather – 2 (1974):
Till the date, this gangster movie is believed to be the greatest movie sequel ever produced. Smell of a voyeuristic delight, the second part of The Godfather’s trilogy is just not a movie about mafia’s life, rather it’s about a life-long battle of a daddy’s boy, trying to preserve a monolithic empire slipping out of his hands. Pacino at his best!
4. Pulp Fiction (1994):
It’s crazy, it’s confused, it’s Pulp Fiction! An admirable piece of abstract art, this gangster movie of Quentin Tarantino is more than being a brilliant. Masterminded in a highly conventionalized way, Pulp Fiction revolves around three parallel stories with amazing plot developments. This crime movie is also known for reinventing the career of John Travolta.
3. Scarface (1983):
Over-the-top performance of Al Pacino with bloodshot performance and strongest directorial effort of Brian De Palma, this pop-culture touchstone is the fable of Tony Montana’s climb to the top of cocaine empire in Miami. Apparently, this thrilling masterpiece is one of the best gangster movies depicting the dream of America, behind the curtains.
2. Goodfellas (1990):
The flick that Martin Scorsese was born to make is based upon Wiseguy, a 1986 book by Nicholas Pileggi. This movie is a tour de force that deals with the sensual glamour of criminal’s society with a straightforward conception that mob life must be like this. Incredible is the one and only word to say about the performances of Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. A must watch gangster movie with sharp script!
1. The Godfather (1972):
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on the novel of Mario Puzo, this bravura piece of work will be always remembered for being an outstanding blend of old genre and new depths. The roller-coaster of Hollywood, this gangster movie is better known for encompassing the best cast ever in an American flick. I am sure, this movie will continue to live with human race with heavenly re-watch-ability. A grand salute to Corleones!