25 Most Thrilling Gangster Movies Ever Made

Gangster movies are some of the most popular film there is. They shape how our culture perceives criminal organizations and outlines the rich history of some mafia crime groups. If you’re looking for entertaining gangster movies, we know the 25 best gangster movies of all time.

American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster takes place in the 1960s and is a unique look on crime in the 20th century.

King of New York (1990)

King of New York is a crime movie taking place in New York City and shows how some gangsters think of themselves as heroes.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is the first movie that showcased the mob in Boston having the history of Irish, Italian, and African-American gangs in the city.

Killing Them Softly (2012)

Killing Them Softly is about the mafia after the collapse of the housing market.

The Untouchables (1987)

The Untouchables is a crime film that takes place in the prohibition era.

Scarface (1983)

Scarface shows the power of money and drugs like cocaine in the 1980s, a nod to Al Capone’s reign over Chicago during the Jazz Era. 

Menace II Society (1993)

Menace II Society is considered one of the greatest Los Angeles gang films and was released a year after the L.A. riots.

Mean Streets (1973)

Mean Streets takes place in Little Italy, New York, and puts neighborhood crime and police corruption together into one influential film.

The Harder They Come (1972) 

The Harder They Come is about an aspiring reggae singer and his journey from poverty to success.

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

Angels With Dirty Faces is one of the first mafia movies to showcase the relationship between the Catholic religion and the mob.

The Departed (2006)

The Departed shows the perspective of the police, gangsters, and criminal informants.

The Long Good Friday (1980)

The Long Good Friday is about a British gangster that aims to become a legitimate businessman by partnering with the American mafia.

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Boyz n the Hood addresses the fear and rioting in the streets of Los Angeles.

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Miller’s Crossing is a prohibition-era crime movie that aimed to answer the question of what crime does to honest men.

Touch of Evil (1958)

Touch of Evil is about the corruption of the drug trade at the border between the United States and Mexico.

The French Connection (1971)

The French Connection is about a detective in New York City that discovers a drug trade connecting to France.

Gomorrah (2008)

Gomorrah is about the Mafia group from Napoli.

A Prophet (2009)

A Prophet is about a young man in prison that gets involved with the Corsican Mafia.

City of God (2002)

City of God is a unique gangster movie not narrated by criminals or police but in the perspective of someone documenting the story.

Eastern Promises (2007)

Eastern Promises is about a British Nurse that discovers a notebook from a young girl that documents how she got pregnant from a member of the Russian mafia.

The Public Enemy (1931)

The Public Enemy highlights the gangster life during The Great Depression.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America is a crime film that spans over decades and showcases the loyalty and friendship between members of the mob in New York City.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather is about a mob boss whose story goes into such detail that it is continued in two other movies.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas is about a boy who’s always wanted to be a gangster and grows into a made man backed by the Brooklyn-Italian mob.

The Godfather Part 2 (1974)

The Godfather Part 2 is the sequel to The Godfather and embodies the words “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”