Gangs have been a part of our society for centuries, and their influence can be seen in various forms of media, including movies. From the intense loyalty and brotherhood to the brutal violence and crime, movies about gangs have captivated audiences for decades. They often depict a gritty, underground world filled with complex characters, each with their own unique motivations and struggles. Whether you’re a fan of classic films like The Godfather or more recent hits like The Departed, there’s no denying the allure of gangster movies. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best movies about gangs and explore what makes them so compelling.
Here are 10 of the best mafia movies
- The Godfather (1972) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this classic American film follows the Corleone family as they navigate the world of organized crime.
- Goodfellas (1990) – directed by Martin Scorsese, this film is based on the true story of Henry Hill, a former mobster who turned informant for the FBI.
- City of God (2002) – directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, this Brazilian film tells the story of two friends growing up in a violent favela in Rio de Janeiro.
- Gomorrah (2008) – directed by Matteo Garrone, this Italian film is based on the book by Roberto Saviano and explores the inner workings of the Camorra, a mafia organization based in Naples.
- Scarface (1983) – directed by Brian De Palma, this American film stars Al Pacino as a Cuban immigrant who rises to power in the Miami drug trade.
- A Prophet (2009) – directed by Jacques Audiard, this French film follows a young man as he navigates prison life and rises to power within a Corsican crime syndicate.
- Infernal Affairs (2002) – directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, this Hong Kong film tells the story of an undercover cop and a triad member who are both tasked with infiltrating each other’s organizations.
- Once Upon a Time in America (1984) – directed by Sergio Leone, this epic American-Italian film spans several decades in the lives of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York City.
- The Departed (2006) – directed by Martin Scorsese, this American film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon as two men on opposite sides of the law in Boston.
- The Raid 2 (2014) – directed by Gareth Evans, this Indonesian film is an action-packed thriller that follows a rookie cop as he goes undercover to infiltrate a powerful criminal organization.
Top 10 Street Gang Movies
Here are the top 10 movie documentaries on gangsters and street gangs.
- Boyz n the Hood (1991) – This movie, directed by John Singleton, is a classic coming-of-age story set in South Central Los Angeles and follows the lives of three friends as they navigate gang violence and growing up in a rough neighborhood. This movie features the Crenshaw Mafia Bloods.
- Colors (1988) – Starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, this movie takes a closer look at the LAPD’s efforts to combat gang violence between the Bloods and Crips.
- Menace II Society (1993) – This movie, directed by the Hughes brothers, tells the story of a young man named Caine as he tries to escape the cycle of gang violence and poverty in South Central Los Angeles. This movie featured the gangs of Watts.
- South Central (1992) – This movie is based on a true story and follows the life of a former gang member as he tries to turn his life around and reunite with his son. This movie features the Hoover St Deuces, which can be depicted as the Crips.
- Training Day (2001) – Starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, this movie is about a corrupt LAPD narcotics officer who takes a rookie cop on a ride-along through the city’s gang-infested neighborhoods. This movie features hispanic gangs.
- Blood In, Blood Out (1993) – This movie follows the lives of three Chicano cousins growing up in East Los Angeles and their involvement with gang culture. this movie depicts the Mexican Mafia or Le Eme.
- American Me (1992) – Directed by Edward James Olmos, this movie is about the rise of the Mexican Mafia in the California prison system and the violent conflicts that ensue.
- Street Kings (2008) – Starring Keanu Reeves, this movie is about a veteran LAPD detective who becomes embroiled in a web of corruption and violence involving the city’s gangs.
- Gook (2017) – This movie, set during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, is about two Korean-American brothers who befriend an 11-year-old African-American girl as tensions rise between the city’s ethnic communities.
- Straight Outta Compton (2015) – This biopic tells the story of the rise of the hip-hop group N.W.A. and their experiences growing up in Compton, California, during the height of the Bloods and Crips gang wars.
Top Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Movies
Here are the top 10 outlaw motorcycle gang movies
- “Sons of Anarchy” (2008-2014) – Although not a movie, this TV series follows the lives of a fictional outlaw motorcycle club called SAMCRO and is often regarded as one of the best portrayals of the biker lifestyle.
- “Hell Ride” (2008) – This movie follows the story of a group of bikers on a quest for revenge against a rival gang.
- “Stone Cold” (1991) – In this action-packed movie, a cop infiltrates an outlaw motorcycle club to investigate a series of murders.
- “The Wild One” (1953) – Starring Marlon Brando, this classic movie is considered the first to depict the biker culture and follows the story of a motorcycle gang’s arrival in a small town.
- “Outlaw Bikers” (1966) – This documentary offers an inside look at the lives of real outlaw motorcycle clubs in California.
- “The Born Losers” (1967) – This movie follows the story of a group of bikers who terrorize a small town, and a Vietnam veteran who sets out to stop them.
- “Hells Angels on Wheels” (1967) – Starring Jack Nicholson, this movie tells the story of a drifter who joins a motorcycle gang and becomes involved in their violent activities.
- “Angels from Hell” (1968) – In this movie, a biker seeks revenge against the motorcycle club that ousted him.
- “The Savage Seven” (1968) – This movie follows the story of a group of bikers who become involved in a violent feud with a local town.
- “The Glory Stompers” (1968) – Starring Dennis Hopper, this movie tells the story of a biker gang’s search for their leader’s kidnapped girlfriend, and the violent clashes that ensue.
Top 10 Japanese Yakuza Movies
Here are the top 10 movies on the yakuza:
- “Yakuza Apocalypse” (2015) – This movie is a unique take on the yakuza genre, blending elements of action, comedy, and horror.
- “The Yakuza” (1974) – Directed by Sydney Pollack, this movie follows a retired American soldier who returns to Japan to rescue the daughter of his old friend, who has been kidnapped by the yakuza.
- “Branded to Kill” (1967) – This cult classic movie follows the story of a hitman who becomes involved in a power struggle within the yakuza.
- “Sonatine” (1993) – Directed by Takeshi Kitano, this movie tells the story of a yakuza boss who travels with his men to Okinawa, where they become embroiled in a gang war.
- “Graveyard of Honor” (1975) – This movie follows the story of a young yakuza who rises through the ranks of his organization, only to face a violent downfall.
- “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” (1973) – This movie is a classic yakuza film that tells the story of a gang war between two rival factions.
- “Black Rain” (1989) – Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie follows two New York City cops who are sent to Japan to extradite a member of the yakuza who has committed a murder in the United States.
- “Outrage” (2010) – This movie, directed by Takeshi Kitano, follows the power struggles between several yakuza families.
- “Cops vs. Thugs” (1975) – This movie tells the story of a police detective who becomes involved in a violent conflict with a yakuza gang.
- “Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode” (1974) – This movie is the final installment in the “Battles Without Honor and Humanity” series and follows the yakuza battles that take place after the end of World War II.
Here are the top 10 movies showing the Mexican cartel:
- “Narcos: Mexico” (2018-2021) – Although not a movie, this Netflix series follows the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s and the subsequent drug wars that ensued.
- “Sicario” (2015) – This movie follows an FBI agent who is recruited by a government task force to take down a Mexican drug cartel.
- “Traffic” (2000) – This movie explores the effects of drug trafficking on different groups, including a Mexican drug cartel and the U.S. government’s efforts to combat it.
- “Cartel Land” (2015) – This documentary offers a close-up look at the Mexican drug cartel crisis and the vigilante groups that have arisen in response.
- “Miss Bala” (2019) – This movie tells the story of a young woman who becomes involved with a Mexican drug cartel after entering a beauty pageant.
- “Savages” (2012) – Directed by Oliver Stone, this movie follows two marijuana growers who become embroiled in a violent conflict with a Mexican drug cartel.
- “El Chapo” (2017-2018) – This series, also known as “El Chapo,” chronicles the rise and fall of the notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
- “The Infiltrator” (2016) – This movie is based on the true story of a U.S. customs agent who goes undercover to take down a Colombian drug cartel.
- “American Made” (2017) – Starring Tom Cruise, this movie tells the story of a pilot who becomes involved with the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s.
- “Miss Bala” (2011) – This original Mexican film follows the story of a young woman who becomes involved with a Tijuana drug cartel after winning a beauty pageant.
Here are ten movies that include MS-13:
- Sin Nombre (2009) – This movie depicts the story of a Honduran girl who falls in love with a Mexican gang member while traveling through Mexico to the United States.
- La Vida Loca (2008) – This documentary follows the lives of several MS-13 gang members in San Salvador, El Salvador.
- American Me (1992) – This movie portrays the life of a Chicano gang member who becomes the leader of the Mexican Mafia.
- El Salvadore (1986) – This movie is about a journalist who investigates the civil war in El Salvador and uncovers the involvement of MS-13.
- MS-13: America’s Deadliest Gang (2016) – This documentary provides an in-depth look at the history and activities of MS-13.
- MS-13: Inside America’s Most Violent Gang (2010) – This documentary explores the brutal world of MS-13 and its involvement in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and human smuggling.
- The Street Kings (2011) – This movie is about a Los Angeles police officer who tries to take down a group of MS-13 gang members.
- The Fight Within (2016) – This movie is about a Christian mixed martial artist who joins a gang to avenge his brother’s death, but later decides to leave the gang and turn to God.
- 1/2 New Year (2019) – This movie is about a group of friends who accidentally cross paths with MS-13 during their New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- MS-13: Rise of the Cartels (2019) – This documentary explores the global spread of MS-13 and its connection to the drug trade.