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12 Movies like The Godfather for Fans of Machiavellian Mafia Tales

Movies like The Godfather

The Godfather is an era-defining film that went on to influence every film that came after it. Culturally relevant more than 50 years later, this movie is a timeless piece of art, and for this reason we’ve created a list of movies like The Godfather. Mafia movies have become a genre of its own, as the mix between concepts like crime and honor (and the lack of it), proving a very fascinating contradiction that viewers love to see placed on their screen. Can there ever be honor in crime?

Francis Ford Coppola’sThe Godfather features legendary names such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan. The success of the masterpiece spawned 2 further sequels, which completed The Godfather Trilogy. The first movie followed the rise of the Corleone crime family under Corleone, and the transformation of his son Michael Corleone, from principled army veteran to a ruthless crime boss. If you wish to see more of such movies which The Godfather’s immense influence helped to shape, then here are 12 movies like The Godfather for you to watch next.

List of Movies like The Godfather

1. Goodfellas (1990)

If you’re looking for a movie that embodies the gritty writing and tone that can be found in movies like The Godfather, then Goodfellas is your best bet. Goodfellas is a biographical crime film that follows the rise and eventual fall of mobster Henry Hill and his accompanying crime family.

Like many mobster tales, the story spans over decades, showing us the effect of a life of crime on these characters, as well as their families and friends. This movie features veterans of the crime drama genre, including Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, and is even directed by Martin Scorcese. Already seen this iconic movie? Also Read: Movies like Goodfellas

2. Scarface (1983)

Scarface is an American crime drama, which the same as movies like The Godfather, is adapted from a novel of the same name. Also like The Godfather, this movie has remained culturally relevant and is chock full with multiple lines that are still quoted today. The plot is centered on Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who makes his way to Miami, and heads into a life of crime in a bid to gather wealth and make a name for himself.

This movie is particularly characterized by the superb acting displayed by Al Pacino who plays Montana, as well as its highly graphic action scenes. It has been praised as one of the greatest gangster movies of all time, and is continuously referenced in modern pop culture, especially other movies and music, especially hip-hop.

3. Capone (2020)

Capone is a biographical drama which features Tom Hardy as the well-storied Chicago mobster Al Capone. This movie gives us a lesser seen aspect of the crime lord’s life by focusing on the years after the completion of his 11-year prison sentence for tax evasion. Al Capone has moved to Florida as a decrepit old man suffering from neurosyphilis and dementia.

The movie is a haunting portrayal of a man who is haunted by his demons, and visions of the countless men that he killed or hurt in any way. Unlike movies like The Godfather, Al Capone strips away any sense of grandiosity from the man. He is no legendary figure, rather a small man in every sense of the word, with an evil and violent past.

4. Payback (1999)

It’s one man against the mob in Payback, a movie starring Mel Gibson, who plays Porter, a career criminal who is betrayed by his wife and partner, shot and robbed of his share of a completed heist. Similar to movies like The Godfather, crime organizations prove hard to infiltrate, as those at higher levels are protected by those beneath, but he’ll definitely try.

Payback is a classic revenge tale that takes the audience on a rickrolling adventure from dark back alleys and streets to empty warehouses. There are negotiations-gone-wrong, shootouts and explosions, enough to keep you invested for the entirety of the movie’s runtime.

5. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

Lucky Number Slevin is a neo-noir tinged crime thriller directed by Paul McGuigan. It features Josh Hartnett as Slevin Kelevra A.K.A Henry, who is thrown right in the middle of a mob war in New York City and has to maneuver his way out of it without any prior knowledge of the world of organized crime.

This movie is filled with a talented cast including Bruce Willis who plays Mr Goodkat, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, Ben Kingsley and many others. If you’re looking for a gritty crime drama in the vein of movies similar to The Godfather, then Lucky Number Slevin should find its way onto your watch list.

A big fan of Martin Scorsese? Also Read: Movies like Taxi Driver

6. Mean Streets (1973)

Robert De Niro is sure to be a regular in lists like these, and he also features in Mean Streets, this crime drama directed by frequent collaborator Martin Scorcese. He plays the role of Charlie Cappa, an Italian-American living in the neighborhood of Little Italy, New York. Charlie is torn between his religion and embarking on a sojourn into a life of crime.

However, a need to protect his friend Johnny sees Charlie put a series of events in motion that seems him involved in fights and shootouts, as he tries to transport Johnny out of town, so he can lay low for a while. This is a gritty drama from the same era with movies like The Godfather, and shares a lot of the same tone with it.

7. Training Day (2001)

There is no successful crime syndicate without a corrupt police, and Training Day showcases this point just as in movies like The Godfather. Training Day follows the story of Jake Hoyt, played by Denzel Washington, a highly decorated LAPD officer in the narcotics department, who has gathered his achievements through corrupt means.

We as viewers are presented with a conundrum by being shown a ‘good guy’ who uses illegal means to stop the bad guys and bring about justice. Also a guy who seems to be devoid of morality, and only sees the world of crime as a hunting ground, only for his pleasure.

8. Casino (1995)

We have the trio of Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro and director Martin Scorcese in yet another crime film, and not for the last time. The Avengers assembled in 1995 for Casino and follows Sam Rothstein, a Jewish American gambling handicapper who is hired by the Chicago mob to manage their Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas.

Similar to movies like The Godfather, it shows the impact that managing this business has on his family, his other relationships as the political and economic landscape of Las Vegas changes from year to year. A Martin Scorcese mob movie is always a classic and you should definitely give this one a watch.

9. American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster features Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas, a gangster from North Carolina, who begins his criminal career by smuggling heroin from Vietnam where he served during the war. His criminal enterprise is very successful, and the movie chronicles its rise, and maybe, eventual fall.

Black gangster movies are rare, but if American Gangster is anything to go by, it can be as enthralling and entertaining as Italian-American crime films like The Godfather. This movie has been praised for being a gritty throwback to the gangster movies of the 70s and 80s, while still adding its own twist to the genre.

10. The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is the latest in the series of collaborations between Director Martin Scorcese, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and even adding the legendary Al Pacino to the mix. Robert De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a former union delivery truck driver, who gets recruited by Russell Bufalino to carry out jobs for the South Philadelphia mob.

This movie is a lengthy and epic gangster movie that spans decades quite similar to movies like The Godfather. It garnered headlines for its use of de-aging technology on its main characters to portray them at a younger age. This technique is yet another reason for you to give this one a watch.

11. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs directed by Quentin Tarantino, is one of the bonafide gangster films likeThe Godfather. The plot follows a group of six criminals who are hired to plan and execute a heist. When they are ambushed by the police they are forced to escape and soon realize that someone among them is a mole, and try to find out who it is.

Reservoir Dogs is a critically acclaimed film, and has been praised especially for Tarantino’s heavy rock style, and use of a non-linear style of storytelling. It has been hailed as the greatest indie film of all time by many critics, and grew to become a cult classic.

12. Pulp Fiction (1994)

The next movie Pulp Fiction is also a Tarantino movie, and a masterpiece among masterpieces which make up his filmography. The plot follows different stories all centered on crime in the City of Los Angeles. It features huge movie stars such as Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.

Pulp Fiction remains culturally relevant to this day, similar to movies like The Godfather. It is a graphic movie full of frantic action scenes and quippy dialogue, and received seven Oscar nominations in its year of review, including Best Picture, Director and Actor.

Also Read: Movies like Inglourious Basterds

Honorable Mentions

Here is a list of movies likeThe Godfather that didn’t make it, which you can also check out:

  1. City of God
  2. Once Upon A Time In America
  3. Blow
  4. Eastern Promises

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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