Home » The Dark Underworld: 10 Gangster Movies And Series

The Dark Underworld: 10 Gangster Movies And Series

by Brinda Goel
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With their realistic depictions of the criminal underground, gangster films and television shows have long captured audiences’ attention. These captivating stories explore the lives of the mafia, their complex web of ties, and the perilous roads they travel. Gangster stories provide a window into a world of power, betrayal, and moral uncertainty thanks to their charismatic anti-heroes and mesmerizing locales. In this investigation, we examine the appeal of gangster films and TV shows and how they manage to captivate audiences all around the world. 

1. Nobody (2021)

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The action-packed thriller “Nobody” (2020) centers on the seemingly routine existence of Hutch Mansell, played by Bob Odenkirk. Hutch, however, unleashes a deadly skill set after a house invasion stirs up long-buried impulses, exposing a background as a highly-skilled government agent. Hutch’s shift from a quiet family man to a fearsome force is highlighted as he pursues a road of vengeance against cunning foes. The Ilya Naishuller-directed film “Nobody” features heart-pounding action, shocking turns, and an exhilarating performance by Odenkirk. The movie shows that sometimes the most modest people have the worst secrets thanks to its nonstop action scenes and compelling plot.

2. Gangster Squad (2013)

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Ruben Fleischer’s dramatic criminal drama “Gangster Squad” is set in 1949 Los Angeles. Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Ryan Gosling are among the ensemble cast of the film Gangster Squad, which follows an elite unit of LAPD officers who are desperate to bring down vicious crime boss Mickey Cohen (played by Penn). The movie provides an exciting depiction of a cat-and-mouse game between the Squad and Cohen’s criminal enterprise, driven by dramatic action, suspense, and period realism. The film “Gangster Squad” transports audiences on an exciting journey through the ominous and perilous realm of organized crime with magnificent cinematography and intriguing acting.

3. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

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The epic crime thriller “Once Upon a Time in America,” directed by Sergio Leone in 1984, explores the lives of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York City over the course of several decades. The movie, which stars Robert De Niro and James Woods, follows the characters from their formative years in the 1920s through their latter years in the 1960s, weaving a complex tapestry of friendship, betrayal, and redemption. “Once Upon a Time in America” ranks as a classic of cinema, creating a lasting impression on viewers and establishing its place among the finest gangster films ever made. This is due to its sweeping cinematography, tragic storytelling, and strong acting.

4. The French Connection (1971)

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William Friedkin directed the classic crime thriller “The French Connection,” which was released in 1971. Two New York City detectives, played by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, are the focus of the movie as they tenaciously hunt down a prominent French drug lord. The movie, which is praised for its realistic and ground-breaking vehicle chase scene through the streets of New York, is known for its dramatic and realistic representation of police operations. “The French Connection” is regarded as a classic in the criminal genre and won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Gene Hackman, for its raw performances, compelling plot, and accurate portrayal of law enforcement.

5. American Gangster (2007)

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The 2007 release of Ridley Scott’s suspenseful criminal drama “American Gangster” was well received. Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts, the investigator out to bring down the drug king played by Denzel Washington in the movie, which is based on a true tale. The film, which is set in the 1970s, tells the story of how Lucas became powerful while smuggling heroin out of Vietnam and creating a massive criminal empire. A frantic game of cat and mouse ensues as Roberts, the officer who is unrelenting and honest, leads the investigation into Lucas’s enterprise. “American Gangster” is a timeless crime masterpiece thanks to its outstanding performances, captivating story, and scary portrayal of the criminal underworld.

6. Ozark

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The suspenseful crime drama series Ozark, starring Jason Bateman as financial planner Marty Byrde, follows his tumultuous journey. Marty moves his family to the Ozarks in order to launder money and keep his loved ones safe after his connections with a Mexican drug cartel reach south of the border. The program explores Marty’s ethically gray choices as he maneuvers the dangerous world of organized crime while attempting to keep his family’s façade of normalcy intact. “Ozark” has won praise from critics and viewers alike for its dense plot, intriguing characters, and passionate performances, which keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout each thrilling season. 

7. Lilyhammer

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Following the story of Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a former New York gangster turned FBI informant, who is portrayed by Steven Van Zandt, “Lilyhammer” is an engrossing Norwegian-American television series. Frank decides to enroll in the Witness Protection Programme after testifying against his former friends, demanding an odd new identity in the picturesque Norwegian town of Lillehammer. As Frank adjusts to his new life amidst the charming Norwegian surroundings, the story deftly mixes themes of crime, comedy, and cultural clash. “Lilyhammer” presents an engaging tale that hooks viewers from the first episode on with the ideal balance of drama and humor.

8. Hache

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“Hache” is a fascinating Spanish crime drama series that chronicles Helena’s adventure as she gets caught up in the risky world of drug trafficking in 1960s Barcelona. Helena is a strong and determined lady. Helena wants retribution from those who have mistreated her after experiencing a string of sad occurrences, which sends her down a perilous path of strength, treachery, and survival. As the plot develops, “Hache” deftly ties together thrilling plotlines, complicated characters, and an enthralling historical backdrop to completely immerse viewers in the world of organized crime. “Hache” is a riveting series that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its engaging plot and excellent acting.

9. Dogs Of War

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The intriguing television series “Dogs of War” explores the brave world of military and service dogs and their handlers. These exceptional canine warriors are followed in each episode as they go out on missions, displaying their unshakable loyalty, cunning, and bravery. These four-legged soldiers are essential in saving lives and securing nations, participating in everything from search and rescue missions to bomb detection. In addition to showcasing these dogs’ amazing skills, the series also emphasizes the unbreakable link that exists between them and their handlers. A touching and exciting ode to the extraordinary contributions of military canines and their crucial function in keeping our planet secure, “Dogs of War” is a must-see.

10. Gomorrah

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The best-selling novel by Roberto Saviano served as the inspiration for the riveting Italian criminal drama series “Gomorrah.” The show provides an unvarnished look into the intricate dynamics of organized crime and its effects on society. It is set in the seedy underbelly of Naples. “Gomorrah” goes deeply into the lives of its protagonists, revealing their hardships, ambitions, and moral dilemmas. It does this through its raw and realistic portrayal of the Camorra, one of Italy’s most potent and dangerous criminal organizations. The series has won praise from critics for its gripping narrative, stirring performances, and vivid portrayal of the deadly world of crime and its far-reaching effects.

Wrapping Up 

It becomes clear that these stories provide a distinctive window into the less desirable sides of people as we reach to the end of our voyage through the fascinating world of gangster films and television shows. These tales are captivating because they examine issues of power, loyalty, and the moral difficulties of life in the criminal underground. 

Gangster films and television shows keep us on the edge of our seats while posing the question of where the borders between good and evil should be drawn, whether it be in the ascent of an ambitious mob boss or the demise of a once powerful empire. Ultimately, these gripping stories of ambition, greed, and loyalty continue to have a lasting impression on film and television and influence how we perceive the complex world of organized crime.

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