The 5 Best Gangster Movies on Netflix
Get ready for mobster movie night. It’s about time you got the chance to put your feet up, set your tommy gun down on the coffee table, hang up your fedora, and enjoy one of the many mafia-approved gangster movies, complete with Italian style popcorn (popcorn doused with tomato sauce and eaten while wearing Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses) and Al Capone candies (milk duds shaped like bullets and filled with hidden moonshine).
After you find the right movie snacking supplies — a definite must for any successful mob movie night — Netflix can deliver with the right gangster film to suit your tastes. True, it doesn’t have some of the classics one could wish for — The Godfather and its subsequent sequels aren’t on Netflix, for example. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a good selection of mob-related films in your queue, waiting to be watched, and admittedly Netflix is often changing and adding to its instant streaming selection, so The Godfather may not be far away. Let’s take a look at some of the best options currently available.
1. No Country for Old Men
This award winning film is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name and was directed by the Coen brothers. The plot revolves around a botched drug deal with a Mexican cartel. When Vietnam War veteran Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon the money left amid a group of massacred drug dealers, he is pursued by hit man Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem).
2. Malibu’s Most Wanted
Though it certainly doesn’t fall in with movies about Italian mobsters and the usual crime lords, satirical comedy Malibu’s Most Wanted is, in fact, a great gangster movie. Featuring Jamie Kennedy as a disillusioned rich boy who thinks he understands hip hop culture, the flick sees Kennedy’s B-Rad kidnapped and then held hostage in the more dangerous areas of Los Angeles, only to discover that the entire thing began as a hoax — and then got wildly out of control. With hilarious performances by young Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson, the movie is a great time, poking fun at the mainstream romanticism of black culture.
3. Lucky Number Slevin
While the usual gangster movie is serious and dark in nature, that’s not a prerequisite. Director Paul McGuigan’s Lucky Number Slevin is a fun rump through the world of crime, as Josh Hartnett’s character finds himself the pawn in a game of cat-and-mouse between two mob bosses. But more to Slevin than meets the eye.
In addition to Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, and Stanley Tucci round out the film’s all-star cast. Though it’s not your typical crime story, fans of both humor and action will likely have a good time watching.
Director Matteo Garrone weaves five separate stories of people affected by gangsters in this film about organized crime in Naples, Italy. From an haute couture tailor working in a mob-run garment factory, to a family of farmers involved in an illegal toxic chemical dumping operation, Gomorrah shows how organized crime has corrupted all levels of Italian society. Based on a non-fiction book of the same name by Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah is notable for its realistic and unromantic portrayal of the everyday lives of gangsters and the people they victimize.
“It is not a mob film in the classical vein, because there is no Scarface or central boss figure with whom we are tacitly allowed to become fascinated,” noted The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. “There are just scattered villains and victims, filmed with loose, freewheeling energy and attack.” Gomorrah currently has a 92% Certified Fresh approval rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
The sequel to the acclaimed graphic-novel-turned-film Sin City, A Dame To Kill For came out almost a decade after its predecessor. The film follows the same structure as the first, with several smaller stories that come together. Many of the original characters, including Marv (Mickey Rourke), Nancy (Jessica Alba), Dwight (Josh Brolin). Though it fails to meet the expectations set by the original, A Dame to Kill For manages to act as a satisfying conclusion to the story of Sin City.
Additional reporting by Nathanael Arnold, Sarah Schweppe, Evie Carrick, and Becca Bleznak.
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