Top 5 Mafia Movies: DONNIE BRASCO, CASINO and More

Mill Creek Entertainment released a theatrical version of Donnie Brasco on Blu-ray. In honor of the release I’ve compiled a list of my top five mafia movies. Keep reading to check out my list of the top 5 mafia movies.

Grit, violence and drama are some of the elements that make a great mafia movie. There are so many great movies in this genre thanks to directors like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma.

What makes mafia movies stand out from other drama’s is the fact that many of them are based on actual events. If not taken from specific events, they are usually a hodge podge of real events, which adds to the authenticity of the films.

The following list is in no particular order because I couldn’t make a decision on the spots for each film.

Donnie Brasco

This film deserved a spot on this list because of it’s solid performances by Johnny Depp and Al Pacino. The new release is lackluster in terms of special features, but it the Posing as jewel broker Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone is granted entrance into the violent mob family of aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero . When his personal and professional lives collide, Pistone jeopardizes his marriage, his job, his life and, ultimately, the gangster mentor he has come to respect and admire.

Listen to my review below:

Godfather II

Coppola was blessed with great source material from Mario Puzo. Of course The Godfather is amazing, but Godfather II is one of the few examples of a sequel being better than the original. Empire Strikes Back and most recently Captain America 2 are two other examples.


Scorsese is consistently able to get powerful performances from his actors. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are fantastic, but Sharon Stone turns in her best on screen performance.


I consider this to be one of Scorsese’s best films (that doesn’t star Leonardo DiCaprio). Ray Liotta broke out with his portrayal of real-life mobster turned informant Henry Hill. One of the most amazing shots in film is the long take that follows Henry and his date through the back entrance of a nightclub to their seat at the very front of the stage.

Carlito’s Way

Al Pacino and Sean Penn are fantastic in this film. I also like Luis Guzman and Jon Leguizamo, who turned in two great performances. It’s unfortunate that Carlitos’ Way 2 was even made, but at least we have the original from De Palma.

Honorable Mention:

Once Upon a Time in America
The Untouchables
Gangs of New York
The Departed

The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Geek with a voracious appetite for movies, technology, social media and digital marketing.

Previous post


Next post

Secret Ending of THE LAST OF US Revealed