Looking to watch a movie with big crimes, lots of guns, and an unhealthy dose of profanity? Fuhgeddaboutit! We’re here to tell you about the best gangster movies on Netflix right now.
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Netflix’s selection of gangster movies is robust, but a lot of the heavy hitters are missing. The series of Godfather films and The Departed are nowhere to be found on the service, for example. However, there are some bonafide classics available as well as a few off-the-beaten-path gems you should definitely check out.
Best gangster movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best gangster movies on Netflix regularly as films come and go from the service.
1. Knockaround Guys
This 2001 movie has a different, and comedic take, on the gangster film. Vin Diesel plays one of four sons of top mobsters. Their mission is simple: Just find and return a bag of money in a small town in Montana to their fathers. However, things don’t go as planned, thanks in part to a corrupt sheriff who wants the money for himself. It’s definitely one of the best gangster movies on Netflix.
2. The Irishman
Nearly 20 years after Goodfellas, Scorsese and De Niro teamed up again for this 2019 Netflix original movie. It’s over three hours long, but it’s still very watchable. It’s based loosely on the real-life story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), who served in World War II and later became a truck driver. In the end, he became a hitman for the mob and was involved with the late head of the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa.
When this movie was first released, much was written about how advanced technology was used to “de-age” De Niro and other members of the cast, as we watch their lives from World War II to nearly the present day. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about visual effects overshadowing the story. The Irishman still works as an examination of the life of a mob hitman.
Speaking of Goodfellas, it’s back on Netflix. Goodfellas is two-and-a-half hours of what may be the best gangster movie ever made, and it stars Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta. The movie follows the memoir of Henry Hill (Liotta) as he tries to fit in with the Italian ‘wiseguys’ from his neighborhood in Brooklyn. Goodfellas follows the risks and rewards that the three stars take, with DeNiro portraying James Conway and Pesci playing Tommy DeVito.
Joe Pesci took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Tommy DeVito, and the film secured 43 additional awards from its 82 total nominations.
4. Killing Them Softly
Brad Pitt is the star attraction for this 2012 movie. It begins as three thieves decide to rob a gambling den. Unfortunately for them, this den was protected by the mob. Pitt plays one of two Mafia hitmen, with the other played by James Gandolfini. They are ordered to go after the three thieves to get back the money, and to eliminate them as well. It’s one of the more unique gangster movies on Netflix.
5. The Family
Robert De Niro is back in this 2013 movie, but this time its a comedy. He plays a former Mafia boss who turns himself in to give up other mob members. As a result, he and his family are relocated to France under new identities. You might think he, his wife (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), and his two kids would lay low. However, they decided to deal with France in their own way, and that leads to the Mafia wanting to strike back.
6. Cardboard Gangsters
This Irish film — set and filmed in Ireland and even funded by an Irish government agency — was the most-viewed Irish film of 2017. It received numerous award nominations. Chances are good, though, that you’ve never heard of it. Now’s your chance to see what all the fuss is about!
Cardboard Gangsters tells the sometimes-funny, sometimes-horrifying story of young Irish drug dealers looking to dominate their neck of the woods. The film follows as these young, hot-headed upstarts get involved in matters way over their heads — with tragic consequences.
This film is in English but the Irish accents are thick and some slang terms are used that might be confusing. It is easily one of the best gangster movies on Netflix right now, but it still might be helpful to put the subtitles on for this one!
7. Once Upon A Time In London
As with the US, London saw the rise of gangsters in the 1930s. This 2019 gangster movie on Netflix focuses on two real crime lords in the city, Billy Hill and Jack ‘Spot’ Comer. The movie shows how these two people ruled organized crime in London from the 1930s through the 1950s.
8. Kill The Irishman
Not to be confused with The Irishman earlier on this list, this 2011 film is based on the true story of Danny Greene. Played by Ray Stevenson, Greene rose through the ranks of the Mafia in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960s and 1970s. His life finally ended as part of a turf war in the city between the Irish and Italian Mafia. Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer also star in this fascinating look at a different part of organized crime in America.
9. Imperial Dreams
Netflix Original films are starting to grow in popularity and prestige. Imperial Dreams won the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Festival and has been a hit for the streaming company. It is no surprise Imperial Dreams had such success, as it follows popular themes such as mass incarceration, police racism, education, and the gang life. Reformed gangster Bambi leaves prison and returns to Watts, Los Angeles. Plenty of obstacles get in his way to rehabilitation.
This 2015 movie brings us Tom Hardy once again. He plays duel roles as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The real-life identical twin brothers were much-feared mobsters in London during the 1950s and 1960s. We witness their rise and fall as gangsters, until they finally get arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 1969.
Plenty more including scary, action, war movies, and the list goes on
That’s our collection of the best gangster movies on Netflix right now! We will update this list as new movies arrive — or, unfortunately, some of the films on this list leave the streaming service. However, there’s a ton of content you can stream on the service. Here are some of our other Netflix guides worth checking out: