The most interesting films about the mafia that will not let you get bored

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The mafia has long been a fascinating subject in popular culture, particularly film. And there’s no denying that this specific genre never fails to captivate a wide range of audiences.

So suit yourself and enjoy these enthralling movies and their intricate plots, charismatic characters, and brutal violence.

Classic Mafia Films

Classic films have set the standard for this genre – or any genre at all. No discussion about mafia films would be complete without mentioning some of these good old – yet still captivating – ones.

The Godfather (1972)

This film depicts the story of the Corleone family. It brings you their day-to-day life as part of the New York City mafia.

The Godfather is popularly known for its iconic scenes and memorable quotes. And, of course, its superb stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

Goodfellas (1990)

Yet another classic mafia, directed by Martin Scorsese, has become a cult classic among fans of the genre.

Goodfellas showcases fast-paced storytelling, sharp dialogue, and visceral violence. It’s a film created based on the true story of a former mobster turned informant, Henry Hill.

The Departed (2006)

This film is a modern take on the classic mafia film

The Departed revolves around the story of two undercover cops. One is working for the mafia and the other for the police, and both are trying to uncover each other’s identities.

Modern Mafia Films

In recent years, several notable mafia films have pushed the genre in new directions. 

And if you’re looking for a modern and reliable way to stream these modern mafia films, we highly recommend using Private Internet Access VPN for all devices.

Gomorrah (2008)

Gomorrah’s documentary-style approach and unflinching look at the violence and corruption of the Camorra make this film stand out. 

This Italian film is based on the book by Roberto Saviano. Director Matteo Garrone sure has succeeded in creating a gritty and realistic portrayal of the Camorra, a powerful mafia organization in Naples

Animal Kingdom (2010)

Animal Kingdom relays the story of a young man who, after his mother’s death, is drawn into his family’s secret – a criminal underworld. 

This award-winning film, directed by David Michôd starring Ben Mendelsohn, explores the power dynamics within a criminal family. Its use of tension and suspense makes it a standout film in the genre. 

Non-English language mafia films

While the mafia genre is often associated with American films, a wide array of non-English mafia films also demonstrate the genre’s diversity and international scope, providing a unique perspective on the criminal underworld.

La Haine (1995)

This film may not strictly be a mafia film but its exploration of poverty, police brutality, and youth culture has made it a landmark of French cinema.

La Haine is a story of how three young men who were living peacefully in the suburbs of Paris got involved in a violent altercation with the police.

City of God (2002)

City of God adapted the story from the 1997 novel by Paulo Lins – a chronicle of two friends. They both grew up in a violent favela and later got involved in drug trafficking. 

This Brazilian film’s use of non-professional actors and its visceral depiction of poverty and violence have made it a modern classic. 

A Prophet (2009)

This French film was directed by Jacques Audiard. And like his other masterpieces, expect deeply shadowed compositions and fluid camera movement

A Prophet explores the rise of a young Arab man in a French prison and his eventual involvement with the Corsican mafia. The film’s gritty realism and examination of race and identity have earned it critical acclaim. 

Mafia-themed documentaries

Mafia-themed documentaries often provide a more factual account of events, providing valuable educational resources for anyone interested in the history of the mafia.

The Godfathers of Havana (2010)

The Godfathers of Havana retells the rise and fall of the Cuban-American mafia in Miami

This documentary unfolds how the mafia gained control of the city’s drug trade and gambling and how the organization ultimately fell apart in the face of government crackdowns

Inside the American Mob (2013)

Inside the American Mob is a six-part documentary series. It’s a narrative of how the American Mafia surfaced – from its roots in Sicily to its modern-day influence. 

This series gives a sneak peek at the organization’s history, providing a deeper understanding of the key players involved. 

Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia (2020)

Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia is all about the Five Families of New York City. It gives a deeper insight into the criminal underworld and law enforcement during the 1970s and 80s.

This documentary even shows snippets of interviews with former FBI agents and prosecutors who were involved in this mafia war.


There’s no denying that the mafia genre has captivated audiences for decades – from the gritty realism of The Godfather to the stylized violence of Goodfellas

Its universal themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the pursuit of power could surely never bore you.

So, recline that chair, grab a bag of popcorn, click on that play button, and brace yourself to be enthralled by these most interesting films about the mafia.

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