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The best gangster movies on Netflix

There are lots of different mob movies to check out from different time periods and locations.
By
May 1, 2022
Netflix Originals next to popcorn stock photo 6 gangster movies on netflix

Are you 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.

Read more: What’s new on Netflix

Netflix’s selection of gangster movies is robust, but many of the heavy hitters are missing. For example, the series of Godfather films and Goodfellas are nowhere to be found on the service. However, there are some bonafide classics available, as well as a few off-the-beaten-path gems you should check out. Don’t have Netflix? You can sign up at the link below.

Netflix icon
Netflix
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

Best gangster movies on Netflix

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best gangster movies on Netflix as films come and go from the service.


Uncut Gems

If you aren’t into stressful movies, you may want to give this one a pass. However, Uncut Gems is a perfect example of the Safdie brothers and Adam Sandler at their finest. Sandler portrays Howard Ratner, a jeweler deep in debt to the wrong people for his gambling addiction. Ratner may not be a gangster, but he sure owes them a heap of money. All he has to do is find the right bet and secure a big payoff — without placing another bet and bringing it all crashing down.


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, many reviewers wrote about how advanced technology was used to “de-age” De Niro and other cast members 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.


Shot Caller

Ever wonder what would happen if Jaime Lannister joined a gang in prison? Well, this film stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, but that’s as close as we’ll get. During a prison term for DUI, Coster-Waldau’s character Jacob Harlon falls in with a violent gang and makes his way through its ranks. Upon his release, he’s tasked with orchestrating a weapons deal with another gang, or risk the lives of his family. Shot Caller is one of the gangster movies on Netflix focused on time spent behind bars.


Gun City

Gun City is a Spanish gangster film set in Barcelona in 1921. It’s best experienced in its native language, and it follows detectives as they try to track down anarchists who hijacked a military train. The detectives turn to increasingly brutal methods to get their information, including murder. Once the detectives get to the heart of the situation, they have precious little time to work out a solution or risk further bloodshed.


Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt stars in this interesting 2012 film as a mob hitman. He’s hired to find and kill two men in New Orleans who robbed a major mobster’s regular card game. Of course, you can expect to see lots of twists in this tale, along with great performances from Pitt, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn as the card game thieves, and the late and great James Gandolfini as another hitman who joins Pitt in his job.


The Gentlemen

the gentlemen
A24

This 2019 drama was written and directed by Guy Ritchie, who is the master of British crime drama. In this film, an American gangster, played by Matthew McConaughey, is trying to sell off his cannabis business, and lots of Brits want in on the action. The movie also stars Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, and Michelle Dockery, among many others. It’s definitely one of the best gangster movies on Netflix.


Donnie Brasco

donnie brasco
Warner Bros

This 1997 movie is based on true events. Set in the 1970s, it stars Johnny Depp as an FBI agent who goes undercover and inside the New York City mafia. The movie shows how his character got way too deep into his role and even developed a friendship with one of the mobsters, played by Al Pacino. This movie should be a must for all crime film fans.


The Shadow of Violence

Set in rural Ireland, this 2020 gangster movie on Netflix is all about a mob enforcer who wants to get back in touch with his ex-wife and son. However, his gangster bosses now want him to kill a person for them. He has to figure out what’s more important: staying in good graces with the mob family or his real family.


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 gang life. Reformed gangster Bambi leaves prison and returns to Watts, Los Angeles. Plenty of obstacles get in his way to rehabilitation.


Legend

This 2015 movie brings us Tom Hardy, playing dual 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.


Honorable Mentions

Here are a few more great gangster movies on Netflix that didn’t quite make the main list:

  • The Debt Collector — A martial artist who is down on his luck is recruited to be the mob’s debt collector.
  • How I Fell In Love With A Gangster — A woman gets involved with a major Poland-based gangster in this Netflix original movie based on true events.
  • Savages — A crime cartel decides to muscle in on some California weed “businessmen” by kidnapping their girlfriends.
  • Riot — A cop robs a bank, but it’s all a setup so he can be sent to the same prison as the Russian mob boss who ordered the death of the cop’s wife.
  • Villain — This British movie centers on an ex-con who unwillingly gets back involved with the local mob to save his family pub.

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.