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The Best GANGSTER/CRIME films of all time

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by Crown Royal, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    Let me just start this off by saying I have no qualms with the mods squashing this thread if it turns into yet another tooth-and-nail catfight on who has the better taste in movies.

    With that, discuss your favourite gangster and crime films of all time, keeping it reasonably inside the lines of the topic. Which are the best of all, and why do you feel that way?
     
  2. Juice

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    I don't have a favorite necessarily, but I have a solid top 10:

    1. Godfather 2
    2. Goodfellas
    3. Godfather 1
    4. Infernal Affairs (Japanese version of Departed)
    5. Casino
    6. Scarface
    7. RocknRolla
    8. The Departed
    9. Layer Cake
    10. New Jack City
     
  3. KIMaster

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    It's hard to pinpoint what exactly is meant by gangster/crime, as many films contain those elements, but aren't technically of that genre. I mean, do Sidney Lumet's courtroom crime dramas count, for instance?

    Oddly enough, it's also an area where I think American pictures are generally behind the best of Asian and Europe. I don't believe that's the case for most genres, but for gangster films, it is. That might seem "shocking" because of Scorsese and the first two Godfathers, but it's true. Anyways, let's go with

    1. Beat (1997) (all-time favorite film)
    2. Croupier
    3. Running out of Time
    4. The Sting
    5. Nine Queens (the only film I've ever seen from Argentina)
    6. Snatch
    7. Serpico
    8. A Better Tomorrow (deeply flawed, but so incredible at its strongest points...)
    9. Wasabi
    10. Find Me Guilty/Run Lola Run
     
  4. Crown Royal

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    1) Goodfellas
    2) The Godfather
    3) The Godfather part II
    4) The Long Good Friday
    5) Mean Streets
    6) Eastern Promises
    7) Donnie Brasco
    8) Rififi
    9) The Departed
    10) Miller's Crossing
    11) Brother
    12) Point Blank
    13) American Gangster
    14) Croupier (highly overlooked, Clive Owen at his best)
    15) Kiss of Death (1947)

    This was a close one. There's lots of honourable mentions, and I have to edge Goodfellas over Godfather because of the aspect of commiting crimes and its code which Scorsese's film explores in such depth.
     
  5. KIMaster

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    Damn, I just noticed there wasn't a limit of 10 or anything.

    Which one? I'm assuming you probably mean the Takeshi Kitano picture, but there are several "Brother" gangster movies that are decently famous. Including a Russian one that is awful.

    Ooh, great choice. Probably would make my list if I were going up to 15.

    Ha!

    Not by me, sucker.
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    Takeshi's. His style to the film and his stoic character was dead-on and harsh, while keeping it unpredictable and having one of the most shocking mortality rates I've ever seen in a film.
     
  7. KIMaster

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    If you were that impressed by Takeshi Kitano (and I agree; he is an amazing actor with phenomenal range), check out "Kids Return" and "Hana-bi" if you haven't already.
     
  8. caseykasem

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    How timely seeing as I'm watching the Godfather on AMC right now.

    Focus:
    1. Goodfellas
    2. The Godfather II
    3. The Godfather
    4. City of God (not an American gangster movie in the traditional sense but a movie about gangs nonetheless.
    5. Casino
    6. The Departed
    7. Scarface
    8. Mean Streets
    9. Once Upon a Time in America
    10. Donnie Brasco
     
  9. Nettdata

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    Not even a single mention of King of New York?

    Heathens.
     
  10. KIMaster

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    It's one of the highest on my films to watch list. Yeah, it's shameful I haven't seen it.
     
  11. Kubla Kahn

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    Sad thing is Ive never seen it.

    Yet no one has mentioned Pulp Fiction either. Some gangsters doing some gangster shit. It's my favorite movie of all time at the moment (I know kind of an easy one but hey it's fucking great). Having said that and what I recently talked about with E.tuffman is that I do separate my favorites and what I consider best of all time, which don't necessarily align. Particularly, Casino, being my personal favorite over Goodfellas, but in terms of film making and all time history type discussions I think Goodfellas is a better qualified movie. Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie and probably top ten, hell probably top 5, gangster film of all time but I don't think it's number one and not my number one specifically in my personal favorite gangster movies, that would be Casino.

    Actually my list of all time greats is very similar to Iwantsomejuice's


    1. Godfather 1
    2. Goodfellas
    3. Godfather 2
    4. Pulp Fiction
    5. Scarface
    6. Casino
    7. Snatch
    8. The Departed
    9. White Heat
    10. Heat

    My all time favorites:

    1. Casino
    2. The Godfather 2
    3. Pulp Fiction
    4. GoodFellas
    5. The Godfather
    6. Scarface
    7. Reservoir Dogs
    8. A Bronx Tale
    9. The Departed
    10. Snatch
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    I didn't mind it, it has a spectacular cast and the monsoon shoot-out is first rate, but Abel Fererra seemed less concentrated on the many characters and more on pure slaughter. Walken is at his most evil in this film and he alone makes it worth watching.
     
  13. E. Tuffmen

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    Goodfellas
    Godfather 1 and 2 - I consider these one movie really though I know technically they are not.
    A Bronx Tale
    White Heat
    The Roaring 20s (Cagney & Bogart)
    Public Enemy (Cagney).
    The Sting
    Reservoir Dogs
    Pulp Fiction
    Casino
     
  14. YCOSeth

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    Just to add in, I'm not a big fan of traditional gangster films (ie Italian guys in suits going 'ehhhh!') but I love a solid crime film. Just to add to the list:

    -Gangs of New York (probably my favorite film)
    -Pulp Fiction
    -Catch Me if You Can
    -Matchstick Men (con men are sweet)
     
  15. KIMaster

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    If you watched it and aren't just putting it there based on reputation, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Even Cagney fans have a hard time justifying that picture outside of JC's performance. My own thoughts on the film are here.
     
  16. Crown Royal

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    After Little Casesar, it was probably the first gangster film to make a mark and gave the blueprint for the characters Little James would play (White Heat being the most shining example) however Public Enemy is minor, low on plot and generally feeble to me. Back in the day, I can see it being an important film, but now aside from its historical signifigance it's nothing.

    As I mentioned on my list before, all of you who like gangster films need to drink in The Long Good Friday, an early 1980's British gangster film with Bob Hoskins giving the performance of a lifetime (not like the man hasn't given so many amazing performances already) as a slick and fearless underworld entrenpeneur. You can see how many films were influenced by this film, and Helen Mirren looks fucking HOT in this movie.

    "The MAFIA!?!? I shit 'em."
     
  17. Nettdata

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    Would True Romance be considered a crime flick?

    For that matter, I'd also consider Heat to be in my top 10.
     
  18. Crown Royal

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    The more people post on here, the more I realize I should have taken more time making my list. More awesome movies keep getting mentioned that I completely forget about.

    Personally, I would call True Romance a crime film, just not a gangster film.

    Every Silver Screen gangster movie ever:


    And who could forget Johnny Dangerously?!?!:
     
    #18 Crown Royal, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  19. E. Tuffmen

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    I have seen it two or three times though not recently. Your review of the film was spot on and I even think Cagney's performance was over the top to an extent. The reason it's on my list is because of its status as "one of the first" gangster films, one of the fist Cagney films I saw when I was a kid, and I always enjoy it a lot.

    I can't argue with this, but it's because of this that I like it as much as I do. As silly as it sounds, I enjoy the bad scenery and the poor acting and the cartoon way its portrayed. How can you not love a movie from the 30s with a character named Nails Nathan? Yes, it's a museum piece, but that is part of its charm. Many of my favorite movies are from that era of the early 30s because they were still learning and you can see the mistakes.
     
  20. joule_thief

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    Most of my favorites have been mentioned already, but one hasn't: The Usual Suspects

    How can you leave out Keyser Söze?

    One other favorite that might qualify would be Payback.