10 Criminally Underrated Gangster Movies, According To Reddit

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Fans of gangster movies might have the impression that there aren’t any major offerings in the genre in 2022, but that’s only because a couple of releases have flown under the radar. Among the best ones are the Allan Ungar biopic, Bandit, which explains how the gangster managed to rob 59 banks in a row, and How I Fell In Love With A Gangster, which covers the life of one of Poland’s most notorious criminals.


Like the two movies, there are a couple of other gangster flicks that are appreciated by critics as well as the few fans that watched them but aren’t widely known to the public. Luckily, Redditors have pointed them out. And with all of them being available on streaming services, modern-day fans can get to see what they missed.

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Gotti (1996)

Stream On HBO Max

When speaking of Gotti, Redditor Ghettobx admits they were “so happy to come across that movie.” In it, mobster John Gotti becomes a celebrity Don after rising through the ranks of the Gambino crime family.

The HBO TV movie is often overshadowed by the one starring John Travolta, which got way more press, yet it was panned by critics. The former is the superior movie and the difference all lies in the performances. While Travolta got a Razzie nomination for “Worst Actor,” Armand Assante received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor In a Miniseries or TV Movie” (via Emmys). Gotti also shines because it isn’t just a standard shoot-em-up flick. Instead, much emphasis is placed on Gotti’s legal troubles and his Capone-like thirst for superstardom, which went against the traditional Cosa Nostra need for privacy.

Sonatine (1993)

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

A couple of Yakuza members decide to hide at a beach house when a mob peace-keeping mission in a different territory goes wrong. JoePesci2246 calls it a “somewhat realistic gangster film.”

The majority of gangster movies suffer from the trope of the seasoned criminals being in control for most of the movie but here, things go south very quickly. No one always operates from a position of strength, which explains why the Redditor thinks of the movie as more realistic. For most of the runtime, the Yakuza drifters are vulnerable, and it’s constantly hinted that more doom is still coming. And that feels like how things are more likely to play out in real-life.

Eastern Promises (2007)

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

Redditor shalala1234 says “If you’re going gangster, Eastern Promises does not disappoint.” In it, a midwife finds herself in trouble after delivering the baby of a teenage girl who happens to be part of a prostitution ring run by the Russian mafia.

There are many unusual things about the movie and one of them is the lack of guns. But that doesn’t mean there’s no violence for gangster movie fans to chew on. Eastern Promises has one of the most iconic movie fight scenes where Chechen assassins attempt a hit at a bathhouse using linoleum knives. Away from the brutality, sex trafficking is dissected, analyzed, and condemned in a satisfactory manner. The plot unfolds in an engaging manner, which is to be expected from a movie whose script was written by Peaky Blinders creator, Steve Knight.

The Drop (2014)

Stream On Disney+

A barman gets caught up in an investigation after the mob-owned bar he works at gets robbed. In a thread about underrated gangster movies, Jerryswolf names The Drop and simply refers to it as a “great movie.”

James Gandolfini might have played one of the greatest TV characters of all time, Tony Soprano, but his last ever project isn’t known by many. That’s a shame because he shines here in familiar territory, and so does Tom Hardy, who has taken on gangster roles before. The two play to each other’s strengths in The Drop, with Gandolfini channeling his usual authoritativeness and Hardy thriving on conversations. Though box office numbers only stopped at $18 million, the movie has positive critic and audience reviews (via Box Office Mojo).

Get Carter (1971)

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

In the British film, a London gangster embarks on a revenge mission after his brother gets killed. Redditor wile_e_canuck thinks “not many movies have the guts to have the main character do the stuff he did.”

A major reason Get Carter is buried in the heap is that it was panned by critics, at first. However, it has come to be viewed as one of the best British gangster movies thanks to stamps of approval from Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino (via Financial Times). As for the “guts” the Redditor is pointing out, it’s all about the amorality of the main character (played by a young Michael Caine). At the time, the brutality and lack of remorse felt a bit too much but all that has come to be seen as normal in modern times.

The General (1998)

Stream On Pluto TV

After conducting various heists Dublin, crime boss Martin Cahill attracts the attention of the IRA and IVF. HacksawJimDGN thinks the movie is perfect for those who “want something away from the usual Hollywood stuff.”

Fans who simply wish to see movies about intriguing real-life happenings are guaranteed to have a blast while watching the general since it stays true to history. And as the Redditor explains, it’s a very British tale, hence most Hollywood tropes don’t appear. And just as the gangsters are formidable, so are the law enforcement officers, with one of them played by John Voight. The casting decision definitely didn’t help boost the movie at the time of its release, but audiences will definitely appreciate its awesomeness now.

State Of Grace (1990)

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

An undercover officer tries to get to a New York City crime boss, but his mission becomes complicated by romantic feelings. About it, BobbyMonetti writes: “Really good movie. Great cast in it too.”

Star names such as Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, and Robin Wright should make any movie popular, but State Of Grace remains unknown because of poor timing. It barely stood a chance after being released in the same year as two of the greatest gangster movies by two of the greatest directors (Goodfellas and The Godfather: Part III). That it was set in the same location as the former didn’t help either. But in terms of storyline and performances, it measures up to the two.

Mean Streets (1973)

Stream On Amazon Prime Video

After getting borrowing money from a dangerous loan shark, a young gangster tries to find ways to free himself. About Mean Streets, DRT034 admits that they “might even prefer it over GoodFellas.”

Mean Streets is possibly the least-talked about of Martin Scorsese’s top movies and part of the reason why is that most of the cast members (including DeNiro and Keitel) weren’t significant stars by then. Nonetheless, the movie has everything one would want in a Scorsese gangster flick. From young and misguided characters to vicious mob bosses, the underworld life is glorified and condemned in equal measure.

Un Prophete (2009)

Stream On Vudu

A young inmate struggles to adapt to life in prison, but things change for him when he is taken under a Corsican mob boss’ wing. ParisTourist3 says they were “left speechless, yet extremely fulfilled.”

In many gangster movies, prison signifies a failure on the part of the criminals. It is hell while the outside world is paradise. However, in the world of Un Prophete, there is no better place for a hardworking criminal than prison. For the protagonist, life becomes even better than it was on the outside, and all that is the product of great character development. It’s what fans will highly appreciate in a movie that initially appears dull.

The Thief (1981)

Stream On Kanopy

A cat burglar hopes to conduct one last heist before settling for family life with his girlfriend, but things don’t go as he planned. Redditor marco1989 calls it their “favorite James Caan movie.”

A collaboration between Michael Mann and James Caan was always going to yield great results. As is the case with most of the director’s movies, there is everlasting tension, leaving audiences unsure of what the fate of the burglar will be. Touching subplots are sprinkled into the criminal activities too, giving audiences many reasons not to turn off.

NEXT: The 10 Worst Gangster Movies Ever Made According To Rotten Tomatoes



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Denis Ava
Denis Avahttps://allbusinessreviews.org/
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling,finance,etc.

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