15 best movies about the mafia

1. Godfather

The Godfather

  • USA, Italy, 1972.
  • Epic gangster drama.
  • Duration: 175 minutes.
  • IMDb: 9.2.

Francis Ford Coppola’s epic is about the Corleone mafia family. The head of the Don Vito clan, whom everyone calls the Godfather, marries his daughter. At the same time, his beloved son Michael returns home after the war. The latter does not want to have anything to do with the dark deeds of his father. However, the assassination attempt on Vito Corleone changes everything.

The Godfather is considered not only an exemplary gangster film, but also an example of one of the most poignant character transformations in the history of cinema. Al Pacino plays a modest young man, a war hero who, under the influence of circumstances, turns into a cruel and cold-blooded mafia boss.

Coppola’s trilogy presented the audience with memorable characters, legendary scenes (for example, the famous episode with the horse’s head) and is disassembled into catchy quotes: “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse”, “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” and many more. other.

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2. Scarface


  • USA, 1983.
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 170 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.3.

Cuban felon Tony Montana is about to tie up with a criminal past and start a new life. But circumstances force the hero to get involved in dark deeds again. Fearlessness and nerves of steel allow Tony to quickly rise to the very top of the Miami underworld.

The image created by Al Pacino in this film by Brian De Palma is very different from the noble Sicilian mafia Michael Corleone from Coppola’s landmark trilogy. The name Tony Montana has become almost a household name. This character craves wealth and unlimited power, which he achieves without hesitation in dubious ways.

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3. Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in America

  • USA, Italy, 1984.
  • Crime historical drama.
  • Duration: 229 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.4.

Half a century of history, shown through the eyes of David Aaronson, nicknamed Noodles, unfolds in the Jewish quarter of New York. A gang of teenagers step by step turns into the kings of the underworld of the era of prohibition.

The film directed by Sergio Leone did not immediately receive recognition from critics and audiences. The fact is that for hire in the United States, censorship cut and remounted the picture. The tape, distorted in this way, lost all the author’s intention and failed miserably.

The director’s version is considered one of the best films in the crime genre, and the role of David Aaronson secured the role of a bad guy with a difficult fate for Robert De Niro .

4. Untouchables

The Untouchables

  • USA, 1987.
  • Crime drama, thriller.
  • Duration: 119 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.9.

Notorious gangster Al Capone illegally sells alcohol during Prohibition. But there are people who are determined to stop the head of the mafia: the fearless police officer Jim Malone, the shooter Giuseppe Petri and the accountant Oscar Wallace.

This film by Brian De Palma became legendary not least thanks to the stellar cast: Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner and the very bright Sean Connery played the main roles here. The last of his acting work brought a well-deserved Oscar.

5. Nicefellas


  • USA, 1990.
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 146 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.7.

Aspiring mobster Henry Hill dreams of being tough and respected. Together with gangsters Jimi Conway and Tommy DeVito, the hero pulls off a variety of dark deeds and scams, gradually becoming a real gangster.

No list of gangster movies is complete without Martin Scorsese’s films . The stylish Goodfellas is considered the gold standard of crime drama. Of particular admiration is the three-minute scene filmed in one frame without editing, in which Henry and his girlfriend enter the Copacabana club through the back door.

It is said that Scorsese came up with this sequence after he was not allowed to shoot near the main entrance, where people were constantly crowded. So, thanks to a combination of circumstances, one of the most iconic scenes in cinema appeared.

6. Bronx story

A Bronx Tale

  • USA, 1993.
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 121 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

Sonny, head of an Italian mafia group in the Bronx, kills a man in broad daylight. A nine-year-old Calogero becomes an accidental witness to the crime. However, the boy does not betray the killer to the authorities, and therefore becomes the favorite of the mafia leader. But Calogero’s father – a simple bus driver – does not approve of this.

The directorial debut of Robert De Niro at one time went unnoticed and did not receive awards, but this makes it no less significant and interesting. This is a serious story about the severity and consequences of the choice, about the complexities of the relationship between parents and children, about atonement for mistakes, which is sometimes very difficult.

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7. Way of Carlito

Carlito’s Way

  • USA, 1993.
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 143 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.9.

Released from prison, Carlito Brigante decides to break with his criminal past and start an honest life. That’s just his nephew got involved in a criminal adventure, and therefore the former mafia has to take up the old again.

Al Pacino, who made a name for himself in films like The Godfather and Scarface, once again played a criminal and drug dealer, but he did it so skillfully and self-sufficiently that he ended up with a completely new image.

It will be incredibly interesting for the audience to watch the inner metamorphosis of the main character. Looking at the hero Al Pacino, you involuntarily begin to believe that even a hardened criminal can change for the better.

8 Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

  • USA, 1994.
  • Crime black comedy.
  • Duration: 154 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.9.

Thugs Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield have philosophical conversations between fights. Meanwhile, their mysterious boss, Marsellus Wallace, discusses a fight to be lost with boxer Butch. Vincent also needs to complete an important assignment – to entertain the precious wife of Marsellus. And for this, dancing to Chuck Berry is best suited.

Quentin Tarantino is a recognized representative of postmodernism in cinema. The director likes to be inspired by genre films. Therefore, his own paintings are, as it were, woven from pieces of cult works.

At the same time, the Tarantino films themselves acquire a cult status. So, scenes from “Pulp Fiction” are familiar to almost every movie buff, whether it’s dancing at a local dance competition in a restaurant or talking about cultural differences between Europe and America.

9. Casino


  • USA, 1995
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 178 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.2.

The film tells the difficult story of the development of the gambling business in the United States through the prism of the relationship between friends Sam Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro. The first falls in love with the mercenary drug addict Ginger, and the second gets into serious trouble with organized crime.

The documentary-drama film “Casino” is Scorsese’s third “gangster” project. Prior to this, the director made films Mean Streets and Goodfellas. The master managed once again to perfectly show the wrong side of the underworld.

And the picture was decorated with his talent by the incomparable Robert De Niro, who played the charismatic mafia tycoon.

10. Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco

  • USA, 1997.
  • Crime biographical drama.
  • Duration: 127 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.7.

A young FBI agent named Donnie Brasco infiltrates the mafia. Gradually, he becomes close to an aging mafia named Lefty. However, soon Donnie will have to choose between a friend and loyalty to duty.

Mike Newell’s colorful crime drama Donnie Brasco tells the real story of FBI officer Joseph Pistone, who worked undercover for many years. A lavish cast of Al Pacino and a young Johnny Depp ensured the film critical acclaim and cult status.

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11. Cursed way

Road to Perdition

  • USA, 2002
  • Crime drama.
  • Duration: 117 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.7.

The film tells about gangster showdowns during the Great Depression. The boy accidentally finds out what his father is really doing. It turns out that exemplary family man Michael Sullivan is a dangerous gangster. Now the hero will have to go against the mafia in order to save his own son.

A gritty gangster retro noir based on the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins and Richard Pierce Rayner. Damned Road is the second feature film by the talented English director Sam Mendes. The film did not have the same resounding success as the director’s previous picture, American Beauty. But critics rated the tape very highly.

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12. Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York

  • USA, 2002
  • Crime historical drama.
  • Duration: 167 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.5.

The action takes place in New York in the mid-nineteenth century. Lower Manhattan becomes a battleground for gangs of “native” Americans and Irish immigrants.

The leader of the “indigenous” nicknamed the Butcher kills the leader of the Irish. After that, the little son of the deceased ends up in a correctional facility for a long time. Many years later, the guy returns to his native area to avenge his father.

Each of Scorsese’s crime films is remarkable in its own way, but it was in the historical drama Gangs of New York that the master began a fruitful collaboration with DiCaprio. It continued with The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street.

13. Renegades

The Departed

  • USA, 2006
  • Crime drama, thriller.
  • Duration: 151 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.5.

Two graduates of the police academy found themselves on opposite sides of the barricades. Colin Sullivan is a mobster embedded in the ranks of law enforcement agencies, Billy Costigan is a police officer sent to the mafia. Both of them are looking for ways to destroy each other, but gradually the existence in a distorted reality changes the inner world of the characters.

The Hollywood adaptation of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs won numerous awards. It was for The Departed that Scorsese received his first and so far only directorial Oscar .

14. Gangster

american gangster

  • USA, 2007.
  • Crime biographical drama.
  • Duration: 157 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

After the death of his boss, the head of the Harlem mafia, Frank Lucas decides to create his own drug cartel. He succeeds: the hero imports heroin directly from Southeast Asia, using a unique method of smuggling. Lucas’ affairs are rapidly going uphill, but the principled and honest policeman Richie Roberts intends to stop this lawlessness.

Some of the brightest movie stars took part in the work on the film: Ridley Scott appeared in the director’s chair, and the main roles were played by Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. Oddly enough, the incredible story of friendship between a drug lord and a police officer is based on real events. The director was even consulted by the real Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas.

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15. Vice for export

Eastern Promises

  • UK, Canada, USA, 2007.
  • Crime drama, thriller.
  • Duration: 101 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.6.
Frame from the film “Vice for Export”

The daughter of Russian emigrants Anna works as a midwife in a London hospital. One day, the heroine finds the diary of a girl who died during childbirth and finds out that she was taken out of Russia by deceit, forced to use drugs and engage in prostitution. Anna’s own investigation leads Anna to the Russian mafia.

Critics praised the work of Viggo Mortensen, who played the Russian mafia. In order to look authentic in this role, the actor spent several months studying Russian culture and language.

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