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Gangster movies are as American as apple pie. These movies serve as history, entertainment and commentary. While some may be seen as glamorizing crime, others provide a raw depiction and deterrent to it. With a combination of violence, betrayal, power and family, it is no wonder gangster movies are so popular. Here are our Top 5 Gangster Movies of all time.

5. Scarface

Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay and Brian De Palma directed this movie that reflected the violent chaos that cocaine brought to Miami in the late 70s and early 80s. Al Pacino gave an epic performance as Cuban immigrant turned drug lord, Tony Montana.

4. Casino

“Casino” was written by Nicholas Pileggi and directed by Martin Scorcese. It is based on the real life story of Sam Rosenthal, but the protagonist’s name was changed to Sam Rothstein. Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone give excellent performances and Robbie Robertson did an excellent job providing the music for the movie.

3. The Godfather

Directed Francis Ford Coppola and written by Coppola and Mario Puzo, “The Godfather” is an epic tale of the fictitious Corleone mafia crime family and their struggles. Marlon Brando gives the performance of a lifetime and Al Pacino is incredible in his break out role.

2. Goodfellas

Nicholas Pillegi wrote and Martin Scorcese directed this real life story of mafia affiliate, Henry Hill. With its raw depiction of criminal life, “Goodfellas” takes away whatever romance and glamour that other movies have attributed to mob life.

1. The Godfather II

Again written by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, “Godfather II” expands on the original by both going forward and backward, covering the origins of the original Godfather, Vito Corleone. The epic tale shows how crime took down Cuba and features great performances by Pacino and DeNiro as well as Lee Srassberg who played the Meyer Lansky based character, Hyman Roth.

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