Best Gangster Movies on Netflix

Gangster films or movies about the mafia are some of my favorites. Hollywood has had a long love affair with gangster movies going back to the era of silent pictures. The heyday came during the prohibition era 1930s, and I’m pleased to say that one of the more famous films from the period Scarface, loosely based on the story of Al Capone, is on this list.

Netflix subscribers truly are spoiled for choice in the mobster-gangster genre. There are 27 feature films on the list. While most of the movies included here tell American gangster stories, I’ve included a few from other countries and will continue to update the list from time to time.  Enjoy!

The Godfather Trilogy

The Godfather Trilogy

See the separate Godfather Trilogy playlist on Dom’s Guide for the latest links.



Goodfellas (1990)

GoodFellas on Netflix

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Director Martin Scorsese’s gripping gangster opus recounts three decades in the life of real-world mobster Henry Hill, who dreamed of becoming a big-time wise guy but landed in the Witness Protection Program instead.


Scarface (1983)

Scarface with Al Pacino on Netflix

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Brian De Palma’s crime drama stars Al Pacino as Cuban refugee Tony Montana, who becomes a drug kingpin in 1980s Miami but makes the fatal mistake of getting high on his own cocaine supply.


The Departed (2006)

The Departed on Netflix

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To take down Boston’s Irish Mafia, the police send in one of their own to infiltrate the underworld, not realizing the syndicate has done the same thing. While an undercover cop curries favor with a kingpin, a criminal rises through the police ranks.


Casino (1995)

Casino on Netflix

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Martin Scorsese draws on Nicholas Pileggi’s book about Las Vegas in the 1970s and ’80s as inspiration for his tale contrasting the city’s glamorous exterior with its sordid interior fueled by excess — and the mob. Against this backdrop, the story chronicles the rise and fall of a casino owner with mob connections (Robert De Niro), his friend and Mafia underboss (Joe Pesci) and an ex-prostitute with expensive taste and a driving will (Sharon Stone).


A Bronx Tale (1993)

A Bronx Tale on Netflix

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In this evocative slice-of-life film, a Bronx boy grows to adulthood worshipping disparate heroes: his hardworking father, who drives a city bus, and the neighborhood mob boss, who becomes a kind of surrogate dad.


Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction on Netflix

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Weaving together three stories featuring a burger-loving hit man, his philosophical partner and a washed-up boxer, Quentin Tarantino influenced a generation of filmmakers with this crime caper’s stylized, over-the-top violence and dark comic spirit.


The Untouchables (1987)

The Untouchables on Netflix

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G-Man Eliot Ness will stop at nothing to take down legendary gangster Al Capone — even if it means bending some rules — in director Brian De Palma’s period crime drama penned by playwright David Mamet.


Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs on Netflix

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Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut is raw, violent, often mimicked — and unforgettable. A botched robbery indicates a police informant, and the pressure mounts in the aftermath at a warehouse. Crime begets violence as the survivors unravel.


Donnie Brasco (1997)

Donnie Brasco on Netflix

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When FBI agent Joe Pistone goes undercover and rechristens himself Donnie Brasco to infiltrate the mob, he increasingly identifies with the made men he’s charged with taking down in this engrossing crime drama based on a true story.


Carlito’s Way (1993)

Carlito's Way on Netflix

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Sprung from prison on a technicality, Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) vows to use his unexpected second chance to his best advantage. But every time he tries to get out of the rackets, the bad guys pull him back in. Director Brian De Palma stamps his signature electric visual style onto this searing drama about the challenges of trying to go straight in a crooked world. Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen and John Leguizamo co-star.


Kill the Irishman (2011)

Kill the Irishman on Netflix

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This true crime tale from director Jonathan Hensleigh charts the bloody rise and fall of Irish mobster Danny Greene, who faced down the Mafia to claim control of organized crime in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1970s.


Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Miller's Crossing on Netflix

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Trusted adviser to 1920s Irish crime boss Lee O’Bannon, Tom Reagan’s loyalty is tested when he takes up with O’Bannon’s gal pal, Verna Bernbaum. Meanwhile, rivals Johnny Caspar and Eddie Dane threaten O’Bannon’s racket. Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Albert Finney, Steve Buscemi, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman and Marcia Gay Harden star in this marvelously crafted, unnerving crime-era epic helmed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.


Gangs of New York (2002)

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Amid the savage Irish and Italian rivalry that dominated New York City in the mid-1800s, young Amsterdam Vallon hunts down his father’s hateful murderer, Bill “the Butcher” Cutting. Along the way, Vallon falls for a streetwise pickpocket.


Scarface (1932)

Scarface (1932) on Netflix

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Mobster Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) seizes control of Chicago’s bootlegging racket in this classic crime drama, which also stars George Raft, Boris Karloff and Osgood Perkins (Anthony Perkins’s father).


Mobsters (1991)

Mobsters on Netflix

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Director Michael Karbelnikoff’s blood-soaked crime saga traces the ascent of notorious street thugs Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Frank Costello to the top of the syndicate. Setting aside their ethnic differences, the quartet ultimately turns their small-time bootlegging enterprise into domination of the underworld. The high-powered cast includes Christian Slater, F. Murray Abraham, Lara Flynn Boyle and Anthony Quinn.


Bonded by Blood (2010)

Bonded by Blood on Netflix

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This thriller follows the careers of Tony Tucker, Pat Tate and Craig Rolfe, three notorious crooks who ruled southern England’s drug trafficking underworld — until they were gunned down in their car in a high-profile triple homicide.


Hoodlum (1997)

Hoodlum on Netflix

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In this gangland epic, black gangs in 1930s New York City battle the Italian mob for control of the Harlem numbers racket. Laurence Fishburne plays the Harlem boss tasked with protecting the business from mafioso Dutch Schultz and his violent crew.


Eastern Promises (2007)

Eastern Promises on Netflix

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Notorious Russian gangster Nikolai Luzhin finds his normally steely resolve compromised when he learns that a midwife named Anna has discovered incriminating evidence against his “family” in the pages of a dead woman’s diary.


Layer Cake (aka L4yer Cake) (2004)

Layer Cake on Netflix

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A seasoned British drug dealer (Daniel Craig) longs to ditch his illegal trade. But he can’t do that without wrapping up just one more job involving the drug-addicted daughter of an influential criminal and a gargantuan stash of purloined ecstasy. The cache’s original owners are after him as well, leaving him with no other choice but to run for his life. Matthew Vaughn directs this intricate drama, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.


Mean Streets (1973)

Mean Streets on Netflix

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In director Martin Scorsese’s look at New York City’s Little Italy, a small-time hood deals with the pressures of working his way up the ranks of a local mob, while coping with his family’s disapproval of his epileptic girlfriend.


Bugsy (1991)

Bugsy on Netflix

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Warren Beatty stars as gangster Bugsy Siegel, who worked hard to realize his dream of building a gambling mecca in the middle of the Nevada desert. But his affair with screen siren Virginia Hill would ultimately bring him down.


Gomorrah (2008)

Gamorrah on Netflix

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The intertwining tales of a delivery boy, a tailor, a businessman and two cocky teenagers form the fabric of this gritty and lyrical examination of the influential Neapolitan mob known as the Camorra.


Heat (1986)

Heat (1986) on Netflix

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Hard-hitting bodyguard Nick Escalante puts his heart and soul into protecting his friends. Crippled by his gambling addiction, Nick is spurred to act when his ex-girlfriend is badly beaten by the son of a notorious mobster.


Billy Bathgate (1991)

Billy Bathgate on Netflix

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Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Willis and Golden Globe nominee Nicole Kidman star in this action-packed gangster epic detailing the rise and fall of notorious mobster Dutch Schultz (Hoffman) as seen through the eyes of his protégé, Billy Bathgate (Loren Dean). An ambitious Billy is seduced by the power, money and glamour of Dutch’s crime world, but he soon finds himself grappling with issues of trust, murder and survival.

 

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