Goodfellas is a classic crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and it is widely regarded as one of the best films in the genre and has earned several awards and nominations. If you’re a huge fan like us, then you will surely enjoy our list of 15 incredible gangster movies like Goodfellas. Have a look!
The film is based on the true story of Henry Hill, a Mafia member, and his life in the criminal underworld. The film features Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta in the lead roles. Goodfellas was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one for Best Supporting Actor for Joe Pesci. Goodfellas has become a popular film in the crime genre and has a huge following among fans.
List of Movies Like Goodfellas
1. The Godfather (1972)
The iconic film- The Godfather has become one of the greatest films ever made. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the film is a masterclass in filmmaking and storytelling. The film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and James Caan in the lead roles, and the cast’s performances are nothing short of outstanding. The film’s plot is a complex and intriguing tale of power, family, and loyalty in the Mafia world.
The cinematography, soundtrack, and attention to detail make The Godfather a visually stunning film that is a joy to watch. The film’s themes of power and family are timeless, and the film’s impact on popular culture is undeniable. If you enjoy movies like Goodfellas and haven’t seen The Godfather, you’re missing out on a true masterpiece.
2. Casino (1995)
Casino is a crime drama film directed by none other than the great Martin Scorsese. Similar to movies like Goodfellas , Casino is based on real-life events and characters and it follows the lives of criminals involved in the Mafia. Casino is set in Las Vegas and tells the story of a Mafia-run casino.
Also like Goodfellas, the film features intense and violent scenes, as well as humor, which makes it a well-rounded and entertaining story. The cinematography, soundtrack, and attention to detail are spot on. With a strong cast, including Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, who both starred in Goodfellas, Casino is a must-watch!
3. Donnie Brasco (1997)
Donnie Brasco is based on the true story of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Mafia. The film stars Johnny Depp and Al Pacino and is directed by Mike Newell. Similar to films like Goodfellas, this films depicts the life of the Mafia and the dangers faced by those who infiltrate them.
Including the relationships between the Mafia members, the loyalty and trust issues, and the consequences of infiltrating the criminal underworld, there is so much for fans of Goodfellas to watch in this one, you won’t be disappointed!
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4. The Irishman (2019)
The Irishman is another one of Martin Scorsese’s masterpieces, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci (All the iconics!). And yes, like Goodfellas, this film is also based on the true story of Frank Sheeran, a hitman who worked for the Mafia. The film follows Sheeran as he recounts his life and his involvement with the Mafia over several decades.
The Irishman is a stunning film that yet again showed the talents of its cast and its director. This film has everything you’d expect, stunning cinematography, attention to detail and a great take on the crime world. The Irishman is witout a doubt another must-watch for fans of films like Goodfellas.
5. Scarface (1983)
Directed by Brian De Palma, Scarface is a crime drama film that film features Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant who rises to power as a cocaine kingpin in Miami. Scarface is very well-known for its intense violence, memorable dialogues, and larger-than-life characters, oh and Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic blue dress!
Scarface was a critical and commercial success and has since become a cult classic, so much so that the film has influenced several other films and tv shows in the crime genre. Scarface’s soundtrack, which features popular hip-hop and rock songs, has become one of the most iconic soundtracks in film history. Scarface is a terrific film similar to Goodfellas to watch.
6. Mean Streets (1973)
If we’re looking at Scorsese’s discography then I might as well mention his classic crime film Mean Streets. The film is set in New York’s Little Italy and follows the life of Charlie, a small-time hood who is torn between his loyalty to his criminal boss and his love for a woman. Mean Streets was one of Scorsese’s earliest films and marked his entry into the world of crime dramas.
The movie set up a highly realistic portrayal of the Mafia and the criminal underworld, as well as its intense and violent scenes. Simliar to films like Goodfellas, Mean Streets is absolutely brilliant. Hence, I recommend you watch the film that cemented Martin Scorsese’s reputation as one of the greatest directors of all time.
7. American Gangster (2007)
Ridley Scott’s American Gangster centers on the characters played by Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. This film is based on the true story of Frank Lucas, a notorious drug lord who operated in Harlem in the 1970s. The film follows Lucas’s rise to power as a drug kingpin, as well as the efforts of a dedicated police detective, Richie Roberts, to bring him down.
Similar to movies like Goodfellas, American Gangster explores themes of morality, crime, and corruption and offers a nuanced portrayal of its central characters. The film received positive reviews for its stylish direction, strong performances, and sharp script, so be sure to check it out!
8. The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed might not center around his favourite men but with Leonardo Dicaprio and Matt Damon as frontrunners, its hardly one to miss. The movie tells the story of a young cop who goes undercover to take down a powerful crime boss in Boston. The Departed is often compared to Goodfellas, due to its similar in crime and violence and its focus on the inner workings of the gritty criminal underworld.
While The Departed is a remake of the Honk Kong thriller Infernal Affairs (2002), I’ve got to say I do believe this to be the finest work of Scorsese alongside films like Goodfellas. The Departed is a stylised modern crime- sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
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9. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is an American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film is known for its non-linear narrative structure and its eclectic mix of pop culture references. The movie follows a series of interconnected stories about criminals and their experiences in the criminal underworld. The film’s cast includes John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson, all of whom gave memorable performances that have become cultural touchstones.
Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. The film’s memorable dialogue and iconic scenes have made it one of the most influential films of all time. Pulp Fiction remains a classic of modern cinema and will make for great choice for movies similar to Goodfellas.
10. The Untouchables (1987)
The Untouchables is based on the real-life story of Eliot Ness, a U.S. Treasury agent who took on the notorious Al Capone, the kingpin of organized crime in Chicago during the Prohibition era. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Ness assembled a team of agents known as The Untouchables and launched a relentless pursuit of Capone.
The film is a gripping and suspenseful portrayal of the battle between law and order, and the dark underworld of organized crime. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil- something that has captured the imagination of audiences for decades. The Untouchables is a timeless masterpiece to watch after films like Goodfellas.
11. Heat (1995)
Heat is a classic crime thriller directed by Michael Mann with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino as the central characters. The story follows a seasoned thief who plans a massive heist while a police detective tries to bring him down. Looking for more crime movies with Robert De Niro? then you will like this one.
Heat is a masterclass in character development, with De Niro and Pacino delivering powerful performances as the two opposing forces. The film is also well known for its gripping action scenes and tense chase sequences. Not many movies like Goodfellas live up to the expectations but Heat’s iconic shoot-out scene alone is a great reason to insist you to see it!
12. Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
Robert De Niro has been a part of many iconic crime dramas in his career, and Once Upon A Time In America by Sergio Leone is an underrated gem. The movie takes place in the early 20th century and follows a group of young friends who grow up to become notorious gangsters in the New York City underworld.
The film is a sweeping epic that spans several decades, tracing the lives of the characters from their childhoods to old age. With its intricate storyline and performance executed just well as you’d expect, Once Upon A Time In America is a true masterpiece of filmmaking similar to movies like Goodfellas.
13. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
Taking a little detour from the underworld is the black comedy-crime The Wolf of Wall Street – an American biographical film by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on the life of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who rose to fame as a stockbroker in the late 80s and early 90s. While it is not similar to movies like Goodfellas, it holds Scorsese’s crazy brilliance.
The film depicts Belfort’s rise to power and eventual fall from grace as a result of his unethical business practices and involvement in financial crimes. But talking about the story won’t do it justice, the storytelling and the performance are maddening-ly good and highly entertaining. This film is both a commentary on the greed of the financial world and a wild, ride that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.
14. The Town (2010)
The Town is a crime thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The story is set in the rough neighborhood of Charlestown, Boston, where a group of bank robbers, led by Doug MacRay, operate with precision and success. Doug falls in love with a bank manager who is a witness to one of their crimes and becomes a liability to the group.
Similar to films like Goodfellas, this film explores themes of loyalty, love, and crime in a gritty, raw, and realistic manner. The Town is an underdog crime movie full of intensity and strong emotions.
15. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Quentin Tarantino’s debut Reservoir Dogs is a crime movie that features an ensemble cast including Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, and Chris Penn. The story revolves around a group of criminals who plan a diamond robbery, but things go awry, and they begin to turn on each other.
Reservoir Dogs is a terrifically articulated story with unique motifs that have grown to become specific to his directing style. One thing that stands out is the storytelling format, which portrays the plot in a non-linear fashion through different accounts pertaining to the main characters. Reservoir Dogs is a good option for crime films like Goodfellas.
Here are a few Gangster movies like goodfellas that didn’t make a list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Layer Cake