Must Watch Gangster Movies

The gangster movie genre is one of the most popular and widely enjoyed genres of film. From classic crime dramas to contemporary crime thrillers, the genre has something for everyone to enjoy. The gangster movie genre is widely known for its intricate stories, iconic characters and memorable scenes. Whether it’s a classic gangster film like “The Godfather” or a modern one like “Goodfellas,” there are some essential gangster movies that every film fan should see. From screwball comedies to tragic crime stories, these are the must-watch movies everyone needs to see.

One of the must-watch gangster movies is The Godfather (1972). Director Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime drama is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Following the rise and fall of the powerful Corleone crime family, The Godfather features an all-star cast that includes Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall. The Godfather is acclaimed for its craftsmanship, compelling performances, and complex story.

Another essential gangster movie is Goodfellas (1990) which is directed by Martin Scorsese. The violent crime drama follows the rise and fall of Henry Hill, a lifelong mobster in the New York mafia. Goodfellas stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Lorraine Bracco, and is widely praised for its intense and stylish direction. This film is a must watch for any film fan.

A less serious gangster movie is Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992). This black comedy follows a gang of criminals who pull of a diamond heist and then must figure out who among them is a police informant. Reservoir Dogs features an all-star cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth. The film is darkly funny, full of thrilling shootouts, and one of Tarantino’s sharpest script.

For a more recent gangster movie, one needs to look no further than The Departed (2006). Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film follows a police officer and a mob boss who each try to outsmart the other. The Departed stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg and is widely praised for its fantastic performances and complex plot. The Departed is an intense crime thriller and one of Scorsese’s finest films.

The Impact of Gangster Movies on Popular Culture

The impact of gangster movies on popular culture is undeniable. Gangster films have been a perennial favorite among moviegoers and have had a tremendous influence on popular culture. From fashion and music to literature and language, the influence of the gangster genre is pervasive.

The language of gangster films has become a part of popular culture. Popular phrases like “Say hello to my little friend,” “Hasta la vista, baby,” and “Go ahead, make my day” have become pop culture catchphrases. Gangster films have influenced fashion as well, with the classic “gangster look” becoming a fashion statement. Finally, the music of gangster films has become a part of popular music, with rap and hip-hop artists sampling music from iconic films like Scarface and The Godfather.

The Pros and Cons of Gangster Movies

Gangster movies have become popular because of the compelling stories and iconic characters. The genre is seen by some as a reflection of society, exploring the motivations and ambitions of criminals and mobsters. On the other hand, there are those who feel that gangster films glorify crime and violence, making them socially irresponsible and inappropriate for some viewers.

Proponents of gangster films argue that they explore themes such as loyalty and betrayal, as well as power and greed, making them an entertaining way to explore human behavior. Others point out that the violence in gangster films is often over-the-top and unrealistic, making them less objectionable than many other types of films. On the other hand, critics of gangster films point out that they often glamorize crime and can have a negative impact on audiences, particularly younger viewers.

What Makes a Good Gangster Film

Making a good gangster film requires more than just crime and violence. It requires well-crafted characters, powerfully written scripts, and engaging dialogue. The best gangster films use elements like suspense, irony, and humor to tell their stories. They also often feature strong performances from the actors playing the gangsters.

Good gangster films also deconstruct the genre by offering insight into the characters and themes involved. They often provide a commentary on modern issues like police corruption and the power of organized crime syndicates. The best gangster films challenge our perceptions of crime and lead us to consider how it is portrayed in the media.

Real Life Influence of Gangster Movies

Gangster films have had a profound influence on real life crime and criminal justice. One of the most recognizable examples is the U.S. government’s RICO Act of 1970, which was inspired by The Godfather and other gangster films. The RICO Act was meant to help prosecutors fight organized crime by providing them with tougher laws and greater flexibility.

Gangster films have also inspired copycat crimes, with criminals attempting to emulate the crimes seen in films like Goodfellas. These criminals often make mistakes because they aren’t aware of the realities of the criminal underworld, leading to their capture and incarceration. Finally, gangster films have been used in courtrooms as part of criminal trials, with prosecutors using them to argue their points.

The Impact of Gangster Movies on Hollywood

Gangster films have had a profound impact on Hollywood. The genre has had a long and storied history in film and it has become one of Hollywood’s most beloved genres. The films have often pushed the boundaries of cinema and have been responsible for some of the most iconic films ever made.

The genre has also inspired many filmmakers to explore the themes and ideas present in gangster films. Directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Francis Ford Coppola have all used the genre to make some of their most acclaimed films. The genre has also been used as a platform for filmmakers to explore a variety of themes and ideas, from family dynamics to the power of organized crime syndicates.

The Iconic Characters of Gangster Movies

The characters in gangster films have become iconic and have been referenced in films and other media. From Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone to Robert De Niro’s Jimmy Conway, these characters have become part of the pop culture landscape. These characters have also been referenced in TV shows, rap songs, and other media, making them some of the most recognizable characters in film.

The characters in gangster films often represent larger themes and ideas. They often represent loyalty, power, and betrayal and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. From tragic figures to sympathetic anti-heroes, these characters have become some of the most beloved figures in the history of cinema.

The Influence of Social Media on Gangster Movies

Social media platforms have had a tremendous influence on gangster films. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram have given filmmakers a platform to market their films and to engage with their audience. Social media also allows filmmakers to get feedback from fans and generate buzz for their films.

Social media has also allowed filmmakers to explore new ideas and to take risks. Filmmakers can make bold choices or explore different genres and can use the feedback they receive to adjust their films. Social media has also opened the doors for smaller independent filmmakers, giving them a way to reach a wider audience and to find an audience that may not have been exposed to their films before.

The Future of Gangster Movies

The future of gangster films looks bright. The genre is still as popular as ever, with films like The Irishman, Joker, and Knives Out becoming worldwide hits. Filmmakers are also experimenting with the genre, exploring new ideas and taking risks. As audiences continue to embrace new stories and genres, there is no doubt that gangster films will remain a popular and beloved genre.

The future of gangster films also looks bright because of the rise of streaming platforms. Streaming platforms have given filmmakers a way to reach a wider audience, to reach global audiences, and to explore ideas that may have gone undiscovered before. This has given filmmakers the freedom to take chances and to take risks with their films, leading to an influx of new voices and ideas.

Finally, the genre of gangster films continues to evolve and to explore new ideas. As filmmakers continue to experiment and explore, there is no doubt that gangster films will remain a beloved and popular genre for years to come.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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