Gangster crime dramas were all the rage back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Some of Hollywood’s best directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino have delivered masterpieces in this genre. While we do not see many mob movies now, these decades-old gems still stand as some of the best movies made in Hollywood. So if you think you’re too “gangsta” or simply enjoy watching such movies, don’t miss out on these killer crime dramas.

The Godfather

The Godfather trilogy is the Holy Bible of gangster films. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo based on Puzo’s novel, these films span from 1945 to 1955, chronicling the criminal Corleone family. Marlon Brando plays Vito Corleone, patriarch and crime boss of the family. The movies also focus on the transformation of his son Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, as he goes from being the reluctant family outsider to a ruthless mafia boss.

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix

The Irishman

Based on Charles Brandt’s novel I Heard You Paint Houses, this Martin Scorsese directorial stars Robert De Niro in the lead as a hitman who gets involved with a mobster, played by Joe Pesci, and joins his crime family. The film also throws light upon his time working with the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino.

Streaming on: Netflix

Carlito’s Way

Directed by Brian De Palma and based on the novels by Edwin Torres, this crime drama stars Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante, a criminal who vows to change for the better and retire in paradise. But his criminal past is not willing to let go of him and he inadvertently ends up being dragged into the same illegal activities that put him in prison.

Streaming on: Netflix

Legend

This biographical crime drama by Brian Helgeland is adapted from John Pearson’s book and based on the rise and fall of the Kray twins. The film chronicles the lives of the brothers, the relationship that bound them together, and follows their career from being Britain’s most dreaded criminals to their imprisonment for life in 1969. Tom Hardy essays the main roles.

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

The Untouchables

Another piece of art by Brian De Palma, this crime drama follows the American Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness, played by Kevin Costner, as he forms the Untouchables team to bring the dreaded gangster Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, to justice. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards with Costner winning the award for Best Supporting Actor.

Streaming on: Netflix

The Departed

Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan, this film is a remake of a Hong Kong crime thriller, where a mob boss places a mole within the police department while the department uses an agent to infiltrate the mob at the same time. The lead roles are played by Jack Nicholson as the Irish mob boss, Matt Damon who plays his mole, and Leonardo Di Caprio as the undercover state trooper.

Streaming on: Netflix

Drive

This film does not center on a mob but is nonetheless a great crime drama. It focusses on a stunt driver played by Ryan Gosling and his lover Irene, played by Carey Mulligan. When Irene’s husband is released from prison, he gets involved with the mob whom he owes a lot of money. Along with the stunt driver, he takes part in a botched million-dollar heist that endangers the lives of everyone around them.

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

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