What Are Some Good Gangster Movies

Crime, mystery and action are all part of the appeal of gangster movies. A good gangster movie has the ability to make viewers want to become a part of the story and maybe even lose themselves in the escapism of a gritty world where mobsters reign. This genre of movies is often characterized by its non-stop action and its portrayal of organized criminal gangs, drugs and money. As a direct result of its stimulating plot lines, gangster movies have become some of the most beloved movies of all time.

One of the most iconic gangster movies is the 1972 classic The Godfather. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather follows the life of Michael Corleone, a Sicilian immigrant rising to power as a dominant figure in the Italian-American mafia. The Godfather is renowned for its clever use of symbology and its deep characters, allowing the audience to truly care for those involved in the mafia lifestyle. With its masterful directing and powerful performances, The Godfather remains one of the most iconic gangster movies of all time.

Another classic gangster movie is the 1995 thriller Heat. Directed by Michael Mann, Heat tells the story of two men on opposite sides of the law. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro put in iconic performances as a detective and a criminal mastermind yearning to commit the perfect heist. Heat is remembered for its incredible shootout scenes and its thought-provoking dialogue. Rather than just a crime film, Heat is a psychological, moral and philosophical exploration of crime and its effects on both individuals and society.

The 2007 crime drama American Gangster is another one of the best gangster movies of all time. The Denzel Washington led film follows the story of Frank Lucas, a powerful drug lord in 1970s Harlem. With its impressive performances, American Gangster is highly gripping, and the fact that it is based on a true story only serves to heighten its realism. American Gangster also features Russell Crowe, who played an undercover narcotics agent who is looking to take down the criminal empire of Frank Lucas, further escalating the intensity of the film.

Good gangster movies often explore real-world issues in creative ways and immerse the audience in a unique yet familiar story. This genre of movies has the ability to make us laugh, cry and think twice about our own values and beliefs. A quality gangster movie will always be remembered for its fascinating plot line, its use of cinematic techniques and its performance excellence.

History of Gangste Movies

The history of gangster movies can be traced back to the early 1900s, with films like The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) and The Great Train Robbery (1903) heavily featuring criminal characters and stories. In the 1930s, Little Caesar (1930) and Public Enemy (1931) were released and were two of the earliest examples of big budget gangster movies that laid the groundwork for the genre. The 1950s saw the rise of movies like The Killing (1956) and Touch of Evil (1958) and in the 70s, gangster movies began to shift away from fictional stories to more based on true stories, like Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The French Connection (1971).

In the 80s and 90s, movies such as Scarface (1983) and Goodfellas (1990) were released, and ushered in a new wave of gangster movies. Post-2000, movies like The Departed (2006), The Town (2010) and Black Mass (2015) carried on the legacy of the genre. In recent times, the Fast and Furious franchise has also been strongly linked to gangster movies, embracing the genre’s aesthetic and concept.

Cinematic techniques used in Gangster Movies

Gangster movies often employ a variety of cinematic techniques to help create an intense and thrilling atmosphere. These techniques usually revolve around lighting, score and editing. Directors are known to use low key lighting to mark out moments of sadness or despair and high key lighting to signify joy and happiness. In addition to this, gritty visual effects such as shaky camera shots can be used to make the audience feel as if they are a part of the action.

The score of a film is also crucial to the atmosphere of gangster movies. The music of these movies usually consists of mellow jazz music and strings to depict suspense. This type of score is what often makes viewers feel as if they are a part of the story. Lastly, editing is a very effective tool used in gangster movies. The use of quick cuts help build tension and suspense and give the audience a god sense of the action unfolding.

Ideas and Themes in Gangster Movies

Gangster movies often explore a wide range of topics and themes. The themes of loyalty, justice, revenge and betrayal are some of the ideas that permeate these films. Another popular theme is the cult of masculinity, where the gang leader often stands at the centre, surrounded by his loyal followers. These films often explore the corruptive power of money and the legal system. They also look at the power dynamics between criminals and law enforcement agencies, as well as the intersection between crime and justice.

Despite their popular appeal and entertaining action scenes, gangster movies often serve as a lens to reflect on our own moral beliefs. Through their representation of authority and power, they can offer us valuable insight into our own societies and cultures. From thrillers to trilogies, gangster films have had a marked influence on our culture, and their power and appeal will no doubt persist for many years to come.

Impact of Gangster Movies

Gangster movies have a huge influence on popular culture. Many films have extraordinary followings and prove to be cultural touchstones. These films have had a great influence not only on pop culture but also on the way we think. They represent a complex reality of crime, tragedy and loyalty that appeals to both audiences and critics.

Through their sensitive treatments of often taboo topics, gangster movies often provide viewers with insight into the reality of crime and justice. These films often act as a critique of society and can even at times portray revolutionary ideals. They can also serve to incite opinion, raise awareness and start conversations about important topics.

Gangster movies often have a love-hate relationship with the law. While many of the films focus on criminals and the lawlessness, many of them still have a respect for the law. These films often have a deep underlying moral code which is reflected in the protagonists and the stories. Ultimately, gangster films offer viewers a unique glimpse into a world that is both thrilling and dangerous, but also reflect our own lives, fears and beliefs.

Critical Reception

Gangster movies generally receive a great deal of critical praise. These films often receive praise for their exploration of complex themes and their portrayal of complex characters. Along with this, they are often loved for their dialogue and storytelling, which can elevate the viewing experience to a new level.

These films often deal with controversial themes, making them rather polarizing. Although they often showcase criminals and criminals’ lifestyles, they can also open up discussion and further exploration. Critics and fans alike have often praised these films for their ability to address the grim reality of crime without shying away from its harshness.

Gangster movies have consistently proven themselves to be a popular genre, attracting a wide audience and huge box-office returns. They have resurfaced time and time again, continuing to gain fame and notoriety around the world. With their rich characters, compelling stories and powerful themes, gangster movies will continue to be some of the most beloved movies of all time.

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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