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The Definitive Ranking of the Best Mobster Movies Ever Produced

Scarface (1983): In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Since film’s inception, mobster movies have captivated audiences with their blend of action, drama, and suspense. These movies have featured some of the most iconic actors of all time and have given viewers a glimpse into the shadowy world of organized crime. From classic films such as The Godfather to more contemporary offerings like Goodfellas, mobster movies have a long and illustrious history. As a result, we have decided to assemble a ranking of the best mobster films ever created.

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When crafting this list, we have considered several factors, including box office success, critical acclaim, and cultural significance. We have also included a few cult classics that may not have been as popular or successful as some of their peers but are still seen as essential viewing for any fan of mobster cinema. Without further ado, here is our definitive ranking of the best mobster movies ever produced:

The Godfather (1972) – Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and adapted from Mario Puzo’s acclaimed novel, The Godfather is considered one of the most preeminent films ever. It stars Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, the head of a powerful New York mafia family. It follows his son Michael (Al Pacino) as he takes over the family business after Don Vito’s death and attempts to expand into a global criminal empire. The Godfather has become an iconic film that has tremendously influenced many other movies since its release in 1972.

Goodfellas (1990) – Directed by Martin Scorsese and based on Nicholas Pileggi’s non-fiction book Wiseguy, Goodfellas recounts the tale of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), an Italian-American mobster who ascends through the echelons of organized crime in New York City during the 1960s and 70s. The movie stars Robert De Niro as Jimmy Conway and Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, two other gangsters embroiled in Hill’s affairs. Goodfellas is regularly cited as one of Scorsese’s most exceptional works and among the supreme mobster films ever created.

Scarface (1983) – Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino in the titular role, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Pacino), who rises to power in Miami’s drug underworld during the 1980s with help from his friend Manny Ray (Steven Bauer). The movie is filled with iconic moments and quotable lines that have become ingrained in popular culture over time. While it has received mixed reviews from critics over the years, Scarface remains a classic gangster movie that continues to be popular today.

The Untouchables (1987) – Directed by Brian De Palma and based on Eliot Ness’ autobiography The Untouchables: The Real Story Of Eliot Ness And His Battle With Al Capone, this crime drama stars Kevin Costner as Ness and Robert De Niro as Capone. The movie follows Ness’ efforts to bring down Capone’s criminal empire in Prohibition-era Chicago with help from a crack team of law enforcement officers known as “The Untouchables.” Featuring intense action sequences and excellent performances from its all-star cast, The Untouchables is one of De Palma’s most successful films and an essential entry into any list of mobster movies.

Casino (1995) – Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein and Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro, Casino tells the story of two childhood friends who become involved in Las Vegas’ casino industry during its heyday in the 1970s and 80s. While Ace manages casinos for mob bosses back home in Chicago, Nicky gets involved with drugs and violence on Las Vegas’ streets—ultimately leading to his downfall at Ace’s hands. The Casino is another classic entry from Scorsese that features some outstanding performances from its two leads, making it an essential viewing experience for any fan of mobster cinema.

Honorable Mentions: Little Caesar (1931), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Once Upon A Time In America (1984), Donnie Brasco (1997).

Mobster movies have entertained audiences for decades, providing viewers with insight into organized crime like no other genre can match. From classic offerings like The Godfather to more modern entries like Goodfellas, these films have featured some truly iconic performances from Hollywood’s greatest actors while also exploring themes such as loyalty, betrayal, power struggles—and ultimately, justice being served in one form or another—in ways few other genres can match up to thematically speaking either! With this list, we hope to provide you with a definitive overview of what are arguably some of cinema’s greatest contributions to exploring these themes within organized crime’s framework, so sit back, relax…and enjoy!

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