Best Gangster Movies on Netflix
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 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‘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.
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%.
Directed and written by the Safdie brothers, Howard Ratner, played by Adam Sandler, is a once-successful New York gems dealer whose gambling addiction has left his family and career in shambles, and hundreds of thousands in debt.
Always looking for the next big bet, Howard thinks he finally hit it big when he discovers a rare uncut rock of Ethiopian gems, with a very interested high-profile buyer. But the closer Howard gets to finally winning big, the more he is forced to realize he can’t keep running from the consequences of his actions.
A bank robbery goes awry when one of the robbers takes a hostage. Doug, played by Affleck, has the duty to check up on the hostage after she is let go, to see if she knows anything about the crew. The two end up falling for each other. He learns that she has kept some information from the authorities for her own protection but information that could identify one of the other members in particular.
The heist is being investigated by the FBI and the lead investigator ultimately finds some crucial evidence that links the foursome to the heist and subsequent armored car chase and is hot on their tail for further evidence to put the group away dead or alive.
Gangster films provide the perfect blend of escapism and entertainment. You can’t help but simultaneously admire and wince at the characters. There’s no doubt that these movies are among the best thriller movies out there, and some even among Netflix original movies.
Don’t think that the gangster style stops in Italy, though. It can be considered that pirates were an original kind of gangster. So don’t be shy to expand your horizons.
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.
If you’re a fan of gangster style movie, be sure to add the works of the Coen brothers and Stanley Kubrick film works into your library. Their styles are definitely worth the watch.