Best Gangster Movies on Netflix

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Mafia films depict both the wealth and power of organized crime, and the thrill of humanity’s darker nature most simply can’t resist watching. These gangster movies now streaming on Netflix give you all the glamour and grit you can handle in a single binge.

Kill The Irishman


From a cinematic standpoint, Kill The Irishman feels like an homage to predecessors such as Casino and Goodfellas.

However, that doesn’t take away the film’s originality. This tense movie gives you little respite, as every moment gets crazier as the movie progresses.

Kill The Irishman is based on the true story of Danny Greene—less of a “rags to riches” tale, and more of a “repeatedly knocked-down king” legend.

One can’t be too surprised that Danny Greene had attempts on his life after taking on the Italian mob. The shocking part, however, was just how many attempts it took to accomplish.

This underrated film deserves far more attention in the gangster movies genre.

 

Legend


Legend tells a fascinating story about two twin brothers running a gang in London.

There’s Reggie Kray, the sophisticated brains of the gang, who also does what he can to give his new wife a normal life.

Then there’s Ron Kray, the mentally unstable and brutish brother, who just wants to do what he wants.

The amount of accuracy is still being debated, after journalists interviewed both the director and people who have actually met the brothers.

However, it’s fair to say that a good portion of the movie is accurate.

Tom Hardy gives an amazing performance as both brothers, immediately and brilliantly differentiating the two. His skill alone makes Legend well worth the watch.

 

The Departed


The Departed‘s place in the gangster movies genre is debatable.

However, one could argue that—since the movie shows the point-of-view of both the cop and the criminal—it’s at least a crime-gangster crossover.

The Departed follows Billy Costigan, an undercover informant who becomes a low-level soldier for Frank Costello and his organization.

Meanwhile, an informant for Frank Costello, Colin Sullivan, is working as an undercover informant for the Massachusetts Police Department.

The movie makes bold moves and becomes more thrilling as it progresses. The Departed is highly recommended for anyone into action thrillers, not just gangster movies.

 

Goodfellas


Widely considered one of the best mob films of all time, Goodfellas—based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi—follows gangster Henry Hill and his seductive life of power, family, and respect in the world of organized crime.

The climax shifts the film’s tone brilliantly, and puts the audience on the edge of its seat. If you haven’t seen Goodfellas yet, you’re missing out on one of Scorsese’s best pictures ever.

It’s also a treat for history buffs, as the real-life Henry Hill says it’s about 95%.

 

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Gangster films provide the perfect blend of escapism and entertainment. You can’t help but simultaneously admire and wince at the characters.

The respected hierarchy and organization of the Mafia—much like royalty, in its own ways—and the unimaginable greed and ruthlessness that comes with so much power are all equally addictive to watch.

For more movie recommendations, check out the best Coen brothers or Stanley Kubrick films, or the top Netflix original movies now streaming.