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15 Best Gangster Movies of the Last 5 Years

March 18, 202414 Mins Read

Gangster movies are about as old as Hollywood itself, and quite a few of them are held up as award-winning, must-see classics. But there are plenty that have flown under the radar, particularly over the last few years, from action-packed movies about gangs and drug lords to character-driven dramas, even some biopics about famous criminals and thrillers full of plot twists.

Especially with the rise of options from various streaming services, more and more new and inventive gangster movies are becoming available for people to watch. Whether they stick to the tried and true conventions that made the genre so enthralling in the first place, or reinvent itself by taking a new spin on a classic premise, there is no shortage of outstanding gangster movies constantly being released in the modern era.

15 ‘Fast Charlie’ (2023)

Directed by Phillip Noyce

Image via Vertical

Fast Charlie follows the story of Charlie Swift (Pierce Brosnan), a hired gun who finds himself on a new life mission when his close friend, an aging mob boss, is taken down by a rival crew. Now, with nothing but vengeance on his mind, Charlie will stop at nothing to avenge his close friend and destroy the crew that took him out, even if it means losing his own life in the process. The mission will have him going across the country and going well above his pay grade, going up the ranks and taking down each member of the crew.

Fast Charlie combines gangster films with the classic action revenge storyline most commonly seen from the likes of Liam Neeson, making for an effective blending of the two genres. Brosnan does an effective job in the leading role, commanding screen presence and providing a slurry of notable kills and action sequences. The film is also notable for being the final on-screen performance of the late legendary James Caan.

Rent on Amazon

14 ‘The King of Algiers’ (2023)

Directed by Elias Belkeddar

A still from The King of Algiers featuring two men leaning on a balcony with a gorgeous ocean view

The King of Algiers follows the story of the notorious old-fashioned bandit “Omar the Strawberry,” as he is forced to flee to Algeria and makes a living out of numerous small and petty crimes. Accompanied by his partner in crime, Roger, they have been ruling the French criminal underworld for seemingly decades, but are now forced to come to terms with their new life in Algeria together. While their previous life had been filled with violence and degeneracy, they are beginning to take pivotal steps towards a genuinely respectable lifestyle.

Few gangster films can effectively lean into the inherent comedy present in the genre, something that The King of Algiers is able to massively succeed in through its signature style of comedy. The comedic duo of Omar and Roger is highly engaging to watch on screen, as they continue to get into various hijinks and awkward situations in their strange new lives. The film acts less like a standard gangster film, but instead, a hilarious comedy where gangster movie characters are forced into peaceful and uneventful lives, yet hate every second of it.

The King of Algiers is currently not available to stream, rent, or purchase.

13 ‘Pamfir’ (2022)

Directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk

A still from the film Pamfir featuring a man sitting on a bench surrounded by diorama woodland creatures

Pamfir is a Ukrainian film that follows reformed ex-smuggler Pamfir, who has returned to his home village on the Ukrainian border after having been working abroad for several years. He has a newfound determination to earn an honest living and set a good example for his teenage son, yet his plans go up in flames when his son sets fire to the local church in a ploy to keep him home forever. Now, Pamfir is forced to take on one last dangerous smuggling job for a powerful crime syndicate.

Pamfir is much more dramatic and self-contained when it comes to gangster films, focusing more on the inner turmoil and struggles of a man attempting to do better for the sake of those around him. Combined with its Ukrainian vision and setting, it makes for a one-of-a-kind gangster movie experience that only continues to create a powerful and ever-relevant story with its characters and themes.

Buy on Bluraymania

12 ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ (2021)

Directed by Alan Taylor

The Many Saints of Newark - 2021
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Acting as a prequel movie to the legendary gangster television series, The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark follows a young Anthony Soprano growing up during a highly tumultuous era in Newark, N.J. history. His becoming a man perfectly aligns with a variety of rival gangsters starting to rise up and challenge the DiMeo crime family. Thankfully, he has his uncle, Dickie Moltisanti, by his side, whom he greatly looks up to and shapes him during this time toward the path of becoming the iconic Tony Soprano.

While it would be difficult for an individual film to live up to the insurmountable legacy of The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark acts as a satisfying origin story and love letter for die-hard fans. It’s especially enthralling to watch Michael Gandolfini portray a young version of the character that his late father brought to life so many years ago. While the film may not necessarily hold a lot of water for people who haven’t seen The Sopranos, it’s certainly a must-watch for fans of the series.

The Many Saints of Newark

Release Date
September 22, 2021


11 ‘The Equalizer 3’ (2023)

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) breaking a man's fingers in The Equalizer 3
Image via Sony Pictures

The third film in the crime thriller trilogy, The Equalizer 3 sees Denzel Washington‘s Robert McCall enjoying relaxation at his new home in Southern Italy, seemingly now removed from all the action and danger. However, he soon enough can’t help but involve himself in the world of crime once again when he discovers that his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. It becomes up to him to act as the protector of his new friends by taking down the mafia the only way he knows how.

The Equalizer trilogy has always done an effective job at balancing crime with high-stakes action effectively and thrillingly, with The Equalizer 3 being another sufficient chapter in the series. Washington has a dominating screen presence as always, able to captivate and command the attention of the audience in a way that very few actors can do. The film acts as a satisfying finale to the Equalizer series and the character of Robert McCall as a whole, leaving in a glorious and violent fashion.

10 ‘The Gentlemen’ (2019)

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Charlie Hunnam as Raymond and Colin Farrell  as Coach looking down a car trunk in 'The Gentlemen'
Image via STX films

The Gentlemen follows the story of American expat Micket Pearson (played by Matthew McConaughey) who has built himself a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. However, when word spreads that he has plans to cash out of the business forever, it causes a snowball effect of plots, schemes, bribes, and blackmail in an attempt to steal his massive domain right out from under his nose.

Guy Ritchie has always been defined by his signature style and voice as a director, which shines through perfectly in this more comedically inclined gangster action film. Nearly every character in the film has a moment to shine with their own intersecting and diverging stories, all coming to a head in a satisfying and effective way. The Gentlemen is easily the funniest gangster movie in recent memory, but it’s also one of its most effective when it comes to the core features and conventions of what gangster movies work so well.

The Gentlemen

Release Date
December 3, 2019

Guy Ritchie


9 ‘The Traitor’ (2019)

Directed by Marco Bellocchio


Set in the early 1980s, the Italian film The Traitor is the story of the first mafia informant in Sicily in the midst of a war between two bosses over the heroin trade. It was directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio.

The film is, in part, a story of family and revenge, with the sort of violent sequences one can expect in a film centered around the Mafia but with a different perspective. The Traitor taps into the aspects that have made Italian gangster stories so enthralling and engaging over the years and combines it with a notion of realism at its center to make it that much more engaging. It premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

Watch on Starz

8 ‘The Tax Collector’ (2020)

Directed by David Ayer

Shia LaBeouf In The Tax Collector

The Tax Collector follows the story of David Cuevas (played by Bobby Soto), a family man who works as a gangland tax collector for a number of high-ranking Los Angeles gang members. He travels across the city with his partner, Creeper (played by Shia LaBeouf), in order to make sure that people either pay their debts or reap the consequences. However, a threat from his past returns to Los Angeles and proves to put everything that David has worked towards at risk.

David Ayer has always been a polarizing and distinct voice as both a director and a writer, with everything that makes him a standout cinematic voice coming through in full force in The Tax Collector. What makes The Tax Collector especially noteworthy and memorable however are the distinct and powerful performances that come from Soto and LaBeouf, who elevate the film during its greatest and most tense moments.

The Tax Collector

Release Date
August 7, 2020


7 ‘The Highwaymen’ (2019)

Directed by John Lee Hancock

Still of characters looking at a dead body in The Highwaymen

Movie audiences are familiar with the famous gangster story of Bonnie and Clyde, but in The Highwaymen, viewers see it from another perspective – that of the Texas Rangers called out of retirement to track down the couple after they escape from jail. The film, released on Netflix, boasts a cast including Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, and Kathy Bates.

The film received mixed reviews, but critics praised the acting of the cast. Indeed, The Highwaymen is a fun watch, particularly because of Harrelson’s performance and chemistry with Costner. Bates, as always, is also a delight to watch. When you have so many legends not commonly associated with the gangster genre brought together in an interesting and engaging way, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement and drama of it all.

The Highwaymen

Release Date
March 15, 2019

John Lee Hancock


6 ‘Capone’ (2020)

Directed by Josh Trank

capone tom hardy 20200

Capone tells the story of legendary real-life mobster Al Capone, but portrays the often forgotten and less than glamorous part of his life to create one of the most unique and inventive gangster films in recent memory. The film follows the last years of Capone’s life, after spending 10 years in prison and slowly but surely dying due to syphilis-caused dementia, showing a harrowing look at a legend’s final hours being haunted by his past.

Capone takes a highly experimental and unexplored approach to tackling a gangster story, and with all of its ups and downs, comes out the other end unlike any gangster movie ever made. Part of what is able to make the nightmarish experience work so well is Tom Hardy‘s lead performance in Capone, as he is able to capture the never-ending downward mental spiral with such gravitas and force.


Release Date
June 26, 2020

Josh Trank


Watch on Tubi

5 ‘Lansky’ (2021)

Directed by Eytan Rockaway

Harvey Keitel lansky image social
Image via Vertical

In the biopic Lansky,Harvey Keitel stars as Meyer Lanksy, AKA “The Mob’s Accountant” and the inspiration behind numerous mob characters over the years. In the midst of an FBI investigation, he decides to tell his life story to a financially struggling writer – under the condition that he does not publish anything until after Lansky dies.

The story is based on actual interviews with Lansky, and the film’s flashbacks show the kind of violence and brutality that are typical in mob movies. Lansky and its proceedings make for one of the most realism-focused and well-put-together gangster movies in recent memory, leaving the audience in awe of its craft and capabilities. Critics praised Keitel’s performance, and that alone makes Lansky worth the watch.

Watch on Amazon Prime

4 ‘Nobody’ (2021)

Directed by Ilya Naishuller


Nobody follows the story of Hutch Mansell (played by Bob Odenkirk), a middle-class suburban dad who seems to be nothing more than just another nobody going through the motions of life. However, after two thieves break into his home at night, his long-dormant and unknown rage is unleashed, propelling him on a brutal path of death and destruction that forces open the dark secrets that he has fought to keep uncovered for so long.

Nobody is much more action-oriented than the standard gangster film, but the proceedings are still highly satisfying to watch a normal unassuming guy take down an entire gangster underground by himself. Odenkirk works perfectly for the role and tone, as Nobody constantly balances the harsh and gritty realities of the dark underworld at play with the inherent comedy of the man at the center of it all being an unassuming normal guy.


Release Date
March 26, 2021

92 minutes

3 ‘The Outfit’ (2022)

Directed by Graham Moore

Image via Focus Features

Oscar-winner Mark Rylance stars as a tailor named Leonard in The Outfit, set in 1950s Chicago and inspired by real events. A network of mobsters uses Leonard’s store as a drop-off site, culminating in a night in which the store serves as a sort of battleground for warring gangs and Leonard is forced to use his skills in other ways.

The Outfit isn’t just a simple, straightforward gangster movie – it’s full of tension and plot twists that keep audiences guessing. The film’s effective combination of a standard gangster movie story with an engaging core mystery at its center makes for a highly engaging and unpredictable viewing experience. It’s also a visually stunning film, and the cast delivers great, compelling performances which have earned them award nominations.

Watch on Starz

2 ‘Wrath of Man’ (2021)

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Wrath of Man follows a mysterious new security guard for a Los Angeles cash truck company (played by Jason Statham), who after shortly being approved for work surprises his coworkers with terrifyingly accurate precision during a heist attempt. It calls into question exactly who he is and where he came from, yet his motives and desires soon become clear as he begins enacting his plan of revenge from the inside.

Despite sharing the same director and only coming out a few years after The Gentleman, Wrath of Man is a completely different gangster film both tonally and in terms of execution. Wrath of Man is much more brutal and unforgiving in nearly every aspect, from its harsh premise and hardened characters to its destructive and aggressive action sequences. The final result is a gangster film that isn’t afraid to hold its punches and brings the audience along to embark on its quest through the darkest shadows and back.

Wrath of Man

Release Date
April 22, 2021

Guy Ritchie


1 ‘The Irishman’ (2019)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci as Frank Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and Russell Buffalino in a poster for The Irishman
Image via Netflix

The Irishman was directed by Martin Scorsese and features a star-studded cast that includes Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Anna Paquin, among others, with the story of a hitman looking back at his time as a member of a crime family, including his involvement in the disappearance of Teamsters labor union president Jimmy Hoffa. It is based on the nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.

The Irishman is noteworthy for some technical reasons – in flashbacks, the movie’s stars are de-aged – but beyond that, it’s a compelling story of a life of crime. The film acted as a glorious return for some of the greatest and most talented names in the gangster movie genre, showing that they still had the chops to tell a highly engaging and powerful tale of crime and deception. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The Irishman

Release Date
November 27, 2019

Martin Scorsese

209 minutes

NEXT: Five Classic Pre-1950 Gangster Films You Should Check Out

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