If fast paced, high energy, sex driven, gun wielding movies are your thing, you’ve probably been incredibly excited for the debut of The Irishman. It won’t be hitting our screens until late October, and even then we won’t be seeing it on Netflix until late November.
However, while you wait there are loads of movies featuring thick New York accents and guns to keep you ticking over. Here are the American Film Institute’s top ten gangster movies to get you in the mood.
It’s Miami 1980, and a determined Cuban immigrant, Tony Montana finds himself in a refugee camp. With a plan that involves a contract killing for a green card, Tony is soon working for drug dealer, Frank Lopez. Tony slowly makes his way through the ranks, rising to the top. However, the it all soon starts to unravel for the cocaine king.
In a small town there’s boy in love with the American dream. Rico is a small time criminal and one day heads east to join Sam Vettori’s gang with his friend Joe Massara. Soon he becomes the leader, becoming known as ‘Little Caeser’, which in turn brings him closer to the radical mobster Pete Montana. After a deadly night in a night-club, many people begin to turn on Rico and his little empire is threatened.
Tom and Matt are best friends who have been getting into trouble through their teen years and into adulthood, much to the disapproval of their families. As time passes, Tom in particular becomes violent and more brave in what he is willing to do for his gang. When their group is treated by a rival gang after a freak accident, gang war breaks out, and Tom is ready to fight.
Now a cult classic, the film follows the lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife and a pair of diner bandits who intertwine in four compelling tales of violence and redemption (with some awesome dance moves). Largely, it revolves around Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega striving to retrieve a stolen suitcase from their employer, notorious mob boss Marsellus Wallace. Some very random incidents call for these characters and their friends to meet in some funny and downright bizarre storylines. It’s Tarantino after all.
Belonging to the epic 1930’s trio all involved in this list, Scarface: The Shame of a Nation is the most controversial of the three, and perhaps the most humorous.. The movie follows the classic rise and fall of a gangster, roughly based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Key lieutenant of South Side Chicago crime boss Johnny Lovo, Tony Camonte is an ambitious and reckless gangster who ignores warnings not to mess with Irish gangs on the North Side. When the North Side retaliates, Tony essentially massacres them, leaving him on top of the world. Worried about Tony’s overconfidence, however, Johnny orders him killed, but this also backfires, and Tony finds himself even closer to becoming king of the city.
Crime’s everlasting love story, which describes the true meaning of ‘Ride or Die’. We follow the lives of gangster couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after Bonnie, who’s bored with her life, joins Clyde on a violent crime spree through the country, mostly involving bank robberies to fund their life and provide a little fun.
A psychopathic criminal, Cody Jarrett, escapes from prison and leads his sadistic band of thieves in a payroll heist. Whilst in prison, Cody is infiltrated by an undercover cop, who joins their gang and slowly tries to unravel the gang. Interestingly, Cody is in love with his mother while his top henchman is trying to get him killed. It’s a rollercoaster alright.
The sequel to the original Godfather once again portrays the lives of the Corleone crime family, in particular, the story of Vito, the youngest learning about his place in the world. Born to a respected Italian mobster, they move to New York in the 1950’s where Vito plans to expand the family business to Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba, whilst trying to fix his own personal problems, such as a failing marriage and a crazy brother.
Based on a true story, Henry Hill is a small time mobster, who unfortunately is best friends with the likes of Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a little higher. After a jail sentence, Henry must now sneak around his old mob life in order to live a life of luxury he’s always imagined. This all changes when the trio end up in a situation where they have to save each other to make it out alive.
Now studied by film students across the globe, many say that The Godfather is one of the best films ever created. The Godfather follows the life of Vito Corleone, who’s the head of his mafia family in New York and his son Michael. What follows is a story where Vito is torn between his old values as a mob boss and the new ways of the mafia world, which involves his son waging a mob war against a rival gang, something which could rip his family apart.
It’s a must-see for any cinephile.
The new gangster movie lands on Netflix on 27th November 2019.
Based on the best-selling book by Charles Brandt, The Irishman sees De Niro play Frank Sheeran, a veteran of the Second World War who returned to the USA to become a labour unionist moonlighting as an assassin for the Mafia.
Al Pacino joins him in the top billing as Jimmy Hoffa, a shady trade union boss who went missing in 1975. This is the fourth time that De Niro and Pacino have worked together since they appeared as father and son (albeit not sharing scenes) in The Godfather Part II.