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The Best Gangster Movies 

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Updated May 18, 2020 28.3k votes 3.1k voters 165k views 22 items

List Rules Vote for your personal favorite Gangster films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

Everyone knows that gangster movies are some of the most entertaining films out there -- so if you’re looking for a list of the BEST gangster movies of all time, we’ve got you covered!

It’s pretty obvious that gangster movies focus on gangs and have a large element of organized crime, and may focus on large criminal organizations or perhaps a smaller gang, but they all have an element of illegal activity, which is what makes them so exciting. And the best part is, a lot of these movies are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime!

So, what’s better, the Pusher trilogy or Goodfellas? Or perhaps you’re more of a Godfather fan… but then, which Godfather movie is the best? That’s a heavily debated topic, but you can weigh in by voting on the titles below -- vote your favorite gangster movies up to help them move to the top of the list, and if you think any of the gangster films below are currently ranking too high, vote them down to move them lower until they’re swimming with the fishes. And if we forgot any of the best gangster movies, then you can add them to the list -- just keep in mind that we have our own Godfather, of sorts, and if he doesn’t give you his blessing, we’ll have to take a hit out on your addition (in other words, any additions are subject to moderation).

But enough yappin’, if you’re looking for the best gangster movies to watch, from old school flicks to modern mobster movies, this list has got you covered!

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1
Goodfellas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Pesci

Released: 1990

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. ...more

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15 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Goodfellas' #95 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Godfather Part II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
looksharp added Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall

Released: 1974

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. ...more

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#25 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #963 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Casino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
rjflo409 added Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, James Woods

Released: 1995

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Casino is a 1995 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with ...more

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#128 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #132 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #1,026 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
GaborVarga added Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more

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All The Evidence Matt Damon's Character In The Departed Is Secretly Gay #342 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer

Released: 1983

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma, and a remake of the 1932 film. In 1980s Miami, Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) rises up and becomes a powerful ...more

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#48 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #74 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #922 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

Released: 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more

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Genius Fan Theories About What's In The Briefcase In 'Pulp Fiction' #43 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth

Released: 1992

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

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#170 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #149 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #187 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
GaborVarga added Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

Released: 1987

Directed by: Brian De Palma

The Untouchables is a 1987 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent Eliot ...more

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#105 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #65 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Carlito's Way is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen

Released: 1993

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Carlito's Way is a 1993 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres. The film adaptation was scripted by David Koepp. ...more

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#10 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #26 of 528 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made #47 of 66 The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s

10
Gangs of New York is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Gangs of New York is a 2002 American fictionalized historical drama film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan in 1863. The film was directed by Martin ...more

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#144 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #670 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #14 of 114 The Best Mafia Films

11
Road to Perdition is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Paul Newman

Released: 2002

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Road to Perdition is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self, from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film stars ...more

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12
The Wolf of Wall Street ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
goodfella3728 added Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie

Released: 2013

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort. An ambitious stockbroker (Leonardo DiCaprio) tells ...more

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#763 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #5 of 212 The Best Drug Movies of All Time #182 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books

13
The Traitor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Candido, Fabrizio Ferracane

Released: 2020

Directed by: Marco Bellocchio

The Traitor is a 2020 Italian biographical crime drama directed by Marco Belloccio. A dramatic look at the life of Tomasco Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino) the first Sicilian Mafia informant in ...more

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#63 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #11 of 16 The Best Foreign Films Of 2020 #73 of 222 The Best Historical Drama Movies Of All Time, Ranked

14
On the Waterfront is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
looksharp added Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger

Released: 1954

Directed by: Elia Kazan

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American drama film about union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon ...more

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#824 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #21 of 114 The Best Mafia Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Blood In, Blood Out is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Pedro Franco Salgado added Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt, Enrique Castillo

Released: 1993

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

Blood In Blood Out (a.k.a. Bound by Honor) is a 1993 American crime-drama film directed by Taylor Hackford. The lives of three Chicano relatives intertwine from 1972 to 1984.
16
Gangster Squad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

This film is a 2013 American film directed by Ruben Fleischer, from a screenplay written by Will Beall and starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn. The story is ...more

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#59 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #29 of 94 The Worst January Movie Releases #9 of 15 Movie Couples With Creepy Age Gaps

17
The Irishman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

Released: 2019

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Irishman is a 2019 American epic biographical crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. The film ...more

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Historians Don’t Actually Believe Frank Sheeran Killed Jimmy Hoffa #39 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #169 of 347 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

18
State of Grace is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
bugcombat added Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright

Released: 1990

Directed by: Phil Joanou

State of Grace is a 1990 neo-noir film starring Sean Penn, Ed Harris and Gary Oldman, also featuring Robin Wright, John Turturro and John C. Reilly. Written by Dennis McIntyre and directed by ...more

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#54 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #348 of 528 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made #9 of 64 The Best Gary Oldman Movies

19
The Gentlemen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
The Gentlemen Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery

Released: 2020

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

The Gentlemen (a.k.a. Toff Guys and Bush) is a 2020 American crime comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie. A British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of ...more
20
taxi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
taxi
21
The Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss

Released: 2019

Directed by: Andrea Berloff

The Kitchen is a 2019 American crime drama film directed by Andrea Berloff, based on the comic book miniseries by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. After the FBI arrests their Irish mobster ...more

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#114 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #74 of 124 The Best New Drama Films of the Last Few Years #393 of 528 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made

22
Light of My Life is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gangster Movies
Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss

Released: 2019

Directed by: Casey Affleck

Light of My Life is a 2019 American drama film directed by Casey Affleck. A father (Casey Affleck) and his young daughter (Anna Pniowsky) find themselves trapped in the woods.