Gangster films are an immense part of popular culture. Aside from being cited as an inspiration for other filmmakers, they are also often referenced in other works of art outside film. The genre has produced some of the greatest films in history. Although not as popular today, classic gangster films are timeless enough to warrant a viewing event though they are decades old. Here are classic action-packed gangster films you can stream on Netflix that will surely put you at the edge of your seat:
Carlito’s Way (1993)
Public Enemies (2009)
Donnie Brasco (1997)
American Gangster (2007)
One of the most popular films on the list, Scarface has been extensively referenced in hip-hop music and other works of art and pop culture. It tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana as he rises from being a penniless man to becoming a powerful drug lord. However, Tony becomes “high in his own supply,” triggering a series of events that endangers his empire. The film was controversial upon its release due to its violence and graphic scenes. But it is now considered one of the best films of its genre. Watch it here.
Road to Perdition (2002)
The Irishman (2019)
One of the most anticipated films of 2019, The Irishman is a reunion of legendary mob film actors of the 90s and Martin Scorsese. The film tells the story of truck driver turned hitman Frank Sheeran. He initially worked for Russell Bufalino and the Pennsylvania crime family. As he rises through the ranks, he gets to work with Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa, one of the nation’s powerful people at that time.
The film received critical acclaim, and it was voted as one of the year’s best films. It features a star-studded cast of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, who went out of his acting retirement for this role. Watch it here.
The Godfather I and II
Of course, no gangster film list is complete without The Godfather and its sequel. The first two films of the trilogy are considered to be not only the best films of the genre, but two of the greatest films ever. The series chronicles the fictional Corleone crime family of New York.
The first film sees Michael Corleone, youngest son of mob boss Don Vito Corleone reluctant to enter the family business. However, when his father’s life gets in danger, Michael takes over the empire.
Part II acts as both sequel and prequel. Michael attempts to expand his empire and legitimize its holdings. It also tackles the rise of Don Vito from a Sicilian refugee in New York to becoming the most powerful figure in organized crime in the city. Watch both here.
Which gangster film are you going to stream for your movie night?