Goodfellas is a classic gangster movie that was influential and entertaining. While 32 years have passed since its release, people still continue to watch and cherish the movie. If you loved watching Goodfellas, we have compiled for you a list of similar movies like Goodfellas, which are a must-watch if you admire crime/action/thriller movies. So gear up for some gangsta vibes by adding these movies to your watchlist!
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Movies like Goodfellas Everyone Must Watch
With a completely gripping plot, some outstanding action sequences, and the flawless acting of the characters, this movie became one of its kind in the action/crime genre. Below are the top 12 movies like Goodfellas, which revolve around crime and the underworld.
Who doesn’t love a thrilling movie? Add these movies to your watchlist, and you can thank us later!
The Godfather Trilogy (1972- 1990)
If you haven’t watched the Godfather Trilogy yet, you are missing out on amazing and deeply admired Hollywood movies ever! Francis Ford Coppola directed the trilogy, with stars including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert De Niro, etc. The story is based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel.
It is one of the greatest crime trilogy ever, which goes through generations of a family and a series of ups and downs. The story revolves around an Italian American mafia family- the Corleones and their gangster life in America. If you are looking for crime, politics, and suspense, you must watch the Godfather trilogy at least once in your life.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
The movie Once Upon a Time in America is about two friends who lead a few Jewish ghetto youth to become prominent gangsters in New York. The movie has emotions like love, lust, loss, betrayal, and greed and portrays the rise of gangsters and mobsters in America.
This movie is amongst one the best works of Sergio Leone and stars actors such as James Wood, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Elizabeth McGovern, amongst others. While the movie is not about a real-life story, it highlights the rise of a group of gangsters from their childhood to their death, just like any real-life gangster story.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Donnie Brasco is an outstanding yet unpopular crime drama, with two phenomenal actors in the lead role- Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. It was a huge box office success and it received an Academy Award nomination too.
The movie is about a real-life story of an undercover FBI agent who became a part of a crime family in New York to solve pending criminal cases against the family members. Its screenplay was much appreciated, and the acting of the cast was outstanding. You must watch this film to get a dose of entertainment with drama, crime, and thrilling suspense.
American Gangster (2007)
Ridley Scott directed and brought to the big screen this amazing biographical crime film American Gangster. With famous stars such as Denzel Washington, Josh Brolin, Russel Crowe, etc., the movie turned out to be a huge success and was nominated for and entitled to multiple awards.
The film follows the real-life story of a criminal and a gangster from North Carolina in America- Frank Lucas. He began his journey to become a gangster by smuggling heroin into the US through the planes that were returning from the Vietnam War.
The Untouchables (1987)
The Untouchables was a movie based on a book. With movie stars such as Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, and many more, the movie was a critical and commercial success of a completely different scale at that time.
The movie story is set during the Prohibition era. A federal agent- Eliot Ness, forms a small handpicked team to stop one of the most famous gangsters of that time- Al Capone. The fans, audience, and critics highly admired this movie, and it received nominations for four Academy Awards. Sean Connery won the role of Best Supporting Actor for this movie at the Academy Awards.
Scarface is another outstanding crime/gangster movie with Al Pacino in the lead role. Brian De Palma directed this movie, and Oliver Stone wrote its screenplay. The movie highlights the journey of Tony Montana, who was a Cuban refugee who arrived in Miami in 1980.
He had absolutely nothing when he arrived, but gradually, he turned out to become a powerful drug lord and a noted gangster. The story of the movie depicts his journey, his fights, and his friends and enemies.
The movie Casino narrates the story of a mob that was involved in the development of Las Vegas as a money laundering and other financial crimes hub. Pileggi wrote the book Casino, and after experiencing huge success with the book, he decided to team up with Scorsese to create a movie out of the story.
Most of the movie’s dialogue is taken directly from the book. Also, there is more narration in the film than in the actual dialogue! The movie is a violent drama with elements of humour in it. Sharon Stone even received an Oscar nomination for her role in the film.
The Irishman (2019)
This movie is one of the latest masterpieces in the genre of crime/thriller. It stars some of the best and the most experienced stars of all time, especially in the respective genre, including Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Scorsese, etc.
The movie took inspiration from the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” written by Charles Brandt. The three-and-a-half-hour film does not fail to impress you with the storyline and the screenplay. In the movie, the old stars had to undergo heavy makeup along with the use of the latest technology to portray their younger selves.
The Departed (2006)
The Departed is a movie brimming with twists and turns and is another classic movie in which Marting Scorsese acted. It tells the story of cops and criminals and a lot of double-crosses.
It is quite similar to the movie Donnie Brasco, where an agent goes undercover to become a part of the mob. The movie was not wholly based on a true story but was inspired by the life and events of Boston crime boss White Bulger. Also, the storyline of the movie was quite inspired by the movie “Internal Affairs,” which was a Hong Kong film.
The movie was nominated for five Oscars, out of which it received four.
Nameless Gangster (2012)
The movie Nameless Gangster is a story of a white-collar criminal and a ruthlessly violent gangster who come in a partnership to accelerate their drug dealing business in South Korea. The lead role in the movie was played by Choi Min Sik and Ha Jung Woo.
The film became a super hit in South Korea, earning more than $32 million. The storyline of the movie was pure fiction, but the director took ideas from the life of his father, who was a customs official. It highlighted the corruption and the drug problem of the country and the world.
Gangs of New York (2000)
This movie is an American historical gangster drama that Martin Scorsese directed. The movie had some famous actors, including Leonardo Di Caprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Liam Neeson, etc.
Leonardo acts as an Irish immigrant who has just been released from jail. He goes out to seek revenge on the person who killed his father- who is an Irish warlord. The movie is filled with drama and suspense. The story was inspired by the book of the same name.
It was nominated for a number of Academy Awards.Daniel Day-Lewis even won an Academy Award for Best Actor in Leading Role for the movie.
King of New York (1990)
With Christopher Walken in the lead role, this 1990 neo-noir gangster film is a stunning crime/drama movie. The plot of the movie revolves around a drug kingpin in New York who is rebuilding his criminal empire after coming out from prison. It was inspired by New York City’s condition in the late 1900s and the extensive rule of gangsters and mobsters.
This movie highlights the transition of gangsters from organized crime to white-collar crimes. Abel Ferrara, the director of the movie, was highly plauded for the screenplay and success of the movie.
TV Series like Goodfellas
If you like watching crime and thriller series full of suspense, below are a few TV series like Goodfellas that you will surely love.
Narcos is amongst the greatest TV shows of all time. It has three seasons, out of which the first two seasons were based on the life of the famous drug lord Pablo Escobar. The third season was based on “Cali Cartel,” which was a famous drug cartel operating in Mexico and USA.
If you liked the movie Goodfellas, you would surely fall in love with this series. The role played by Wagner Moura, Pedro Pascal, and Steve Murphy stole the show. The movie involves a lot of drama and action and revolves around the story of Mexican gangsters and cops trying to catch them.
This gritty gangster drama series has also won many awards and has been nominated for a plethora of awards.
Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Breaking Bad is not a gangster movie like Goodfellas but does involve drug dealing and organized crime. The series has five seasons, which were equally loved by the fans. The show aired on TV from January 2008 to September 2013 and has a total of 62 episodes.
The series is based in Mexico, where a high-school chemistry teacher comes to know that he has lung cancer and only a little time to live. To protect and safeguard the future of his family, he starts producing and distributing drugs. The show highlights the underworld, police, crime, and gripping suspense.
With Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, and other star casts, the show turned out to be a great success acclaimed by the critics and the audience.
Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)
Peaky Blinders is a British drama series with six seasons already released. If you are looking for a period crime drama series, you must watch Peaky Blinders. Steven Knight created this series based on the story of a youth gang with the same name.
The plot revolves around a crime gang in Birmingham, which evolved after the First World War. The cast of Peaky Blinders includes some great actors such as Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory, Sophie Rundle, etc. It is one of the latest and most acclaimed TV series based on organized crime and gangsters.
Boardwalk Empire (2009-2014)
Boardwalk Empire is another period crime drama TV series that has exciting stories and turn of events. Originally, HBO broadcasted it, and Terence Winter created it. The series is about the condition of New Jersey in the Prohibition era of the 1920s.
Nelson Johnson’s book- Boardwalk Empire gave this movie its story, which is about a historical criminal, Enoch L Johnson. It received 57 Emmy Award nominations and won 20 out of them. It also won multiple other awards, such as Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards, etc.
If you desire to indulge in a true gangster story based on America’s history, you must watch this TV series.
The Wire (2002-2008)
The Wire is another TV series that HBO broadcasted. Each season, it highlights the relationship of Baltimore City’s people with the law from a little different perspective.
The season has a total of 60 episodes in 5 seasons. It addresses some major criminal issues such as illegal drug trade, port system, bureaucracy, etc. Critics applauded The Wire for its portrayal of urban life and its depiction of society, and politics. Although it did not win any television awards, the audience has made it one of the most remarkable TV series of all time.
There are a plethora of recent as well as old films which you can stream on multiple OTT platforms. If you love watching real-life stories, you can also watch documentaries on famous drug lords and mafia kingpins. So satiate your hunger for outstanding crime/drama/thriller plots with the movies and TV series mentioned above, and you can thank us later!