With New York City being the backdrop some of the greatest crime stories ever told in cinema choosing these films as the 10 best New York Mafia movies wasn't easy. You will notice many familiar names and faces on this list, including director Martin Scorsese, and actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, and Joe Pesci. The authenticity that they, as well as all the collaborators brought to these movies helped make them look, sound, and feel like the best New York Mafia movies ever.
- "The Godfather" When it comes to New York Mafia movies, there has to be a don of the family of films, and the number spot goes to "The Godfather". This is the movie that made Al Pacino a star, Francis Ford Coppola an A-list director, and won Marlon Brando his second Academy Award for "Best Actor".
- "Goodfellas" Martin Scorsese is definitely the master of American crime stories, especially New York Mafia movies. This 1990 classic, based on the true story of ex-Mafioso Henry Hill, features the often-quoted Joe Pesci line "What do you mean, I'm funny?"
- "Once Upon A Time In America" Italian director Sergio Leone directed this epic New York mob movie, with a running time of 3 hours and 49 minutes. The all-star cast includes Robert De Niro, James Woods, Joe Pesci, Jennifer Connelly, and Danny Aiello.
- "The Godfather II" Francis Ford Coppola's directorial rein over the American cinema of the 1970's continued with this brilliant sequel to his original Godfather movie. This stunning epic was nominated for a whopping 11 Academy Awards, and won 6, including "Best Picture", "Best Director", and "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" for "Robert De Niro.
- "Raging Bull" Martin Scorsese approaches the New York Mafia this time from the perspective of a real life boxer, Jake La Motta, trying to avoid their control over his career. This stunning black and white picture became the 4th collaboration between the ultimate director/actor team of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
- "Mean Streets" Speaking of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, this New York Mafia movie became the pair's first initial project together. This gritty 1973 picture also stars Harvey Keitel as a mob member struggling between his criminal exploits and his relationship with God in the "Little Italy" section of Manhattan.
- "On The Waterfront" Marlon Brando may be known for his portrayal in "The Godfather", but before that, he was on the legal side of the law in this 1954 classic. Brando won his first Academy Award playing an ex-boxer who has since become a laborer struggling against mob corruption.
- "Donnie Brasco" This 1997 New York Mafia movie features the dynamite pairing of actors Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. The movie's dramatic tension centers around Depp as an FBI agent trying to secretly infiltrate the Mafia through building a relationship through Pacino's character.
- "Gotti : "The Rise and Fall of a Real-Life Mafia Don" This 1996 made-for-TV movie was originally broadcast on the HBO cable network, but can hold it's weight with any decent theatrical New York Mafia movie. Watching this well-acted crime film often feels like an extended episode of "The Sopranos" due to a fair amount of the cast of "Gotti" also being featured on that successful HBO series.
- "A Bronx Tale" This 1993 explosive crime drama became Robert De Niro's directorial debut. De Niro also plays a father fighting for the future of his son, who is turning towards a life of crime under the wing of mob boss Sonny LoSpecchio, played by the film's writer Chazz Palminteri.
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