Revisiting the Crime Epic Classics: Movies Similar to The Godfather

Explore three timeless crime movies that capture the essence of The Godfather's legacy.

The Godfather (1972)

When The Godfather graced the silver screen over five decades ago, it left an indelible mark on the crime genre, winning the 1972 Oscar for Best Picture. Marlon Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone still resonates today, solidifying the film as a cultural touchstone that continues to influence modern cinema and television.

While many crime epics have attempted to replicate the power of The Godfather, few have succeeded. However, there are a select few films that capture the essence of this iconic masterpiece and are worth watching for any fan of the genre.

The Reader's Guide

Goodfellas (1990)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas is a gripping crime epic based on the true story of Henry Hill, a mobster whose rise through the ranks of organized crime is both thrilling and cautionary. Ray Liotta's portrayal of Hill, alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, showcases the dark allure and inevitable downfall of a life steeped in criminality.

As Henry and his associates bask in the spoils of their criminal empire, their hubris proves to be their undoing. Goodfellas serves as a stark reminder that in the world of crime, loyalty is fleeting, and betrayal is always lurking around the corner.

Watch Goodfellas on Hulu.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Robert De Niro returns in Sergio Leone's swan song, Once Upon a Time in America, a sprawling epic that traces the lives of a group of friends navigating the criminal underworld during the Prohibition era. De Niro's portrayal of David "Noodles" Aaronson is a masterclass in complexity and moral ambiguity, as he grapples with loyalty, betrayal, and the consequences of a life lived outside the law.

As Noodles and his comrades descend deeper into the criminal abyss, they discover that even in a world built on trust and honor, treachery can come from unexpected quarters. Once Upon a Time in America is a poignant exploration of friendship, ambition, and the price of power.

Watch Once Upon a Time in America on Paramount+.

American Gangster (2007)

Universal Pictures

Ridley Scott's American Gangster offers a fresh perspective on organized crime, focusing on the rise of Frank Lucas, played brilliantly by Denzel Washington, as he ascends to become the Godfather of Harlem. Lucas's audacious exploits in the drug trade set him apart from traditional mafia figures, leading to a showdown with Detective Richie Roberts, portrayed by Russell Crowe.

As Roberts delves into Lucas's criminal empire, he faces numerous obstacles, including corrupt cops and internal strife within the police force. American Gangster is a riveting tale of ambition, betrayal, and the thin line between law and lawlessness.

Watch American Gangster on Max.

Hamza Ilyas

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