Are there any crime dramas (movie or TV) since 1990 that rival The Godfather or Goodfellas?

In the recent thread Are there literally people who think Goodfellas is as good as The Godfather I replied with this post.

I make no claim to having seen every Crime Drama since Goodfellas (1990) so I’d like to get opinions of what recent movie or show in that genre could be considered legitimate competition.


Aside from the HBO television series The Sorpanos, I can’t think of any movie or television show that has had as big an impact on movies or popular culture. Scarface maybe.

The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire are definite contenders.

Not directly mob related by certainly crime dramas - The Wire and Breaking Bad are both good value.

For some non-US crime try the Australian Underbelly series. I found season 2 the best (the Mr Asia syndicate in the 1970s) but season 1 is also good, Season three left me cold though. All based (somewhat liberally) on true stories.

Does The Wire count? It’s nominally a police procedural, but it spends almost as much time with the various criminal factions.

Not that it’s really a contender, but Road to Perdition (2002) is showing up in the look-ahead on one of the premium channels this week and next. A decent movie.

It damn sure counts for me! Whether it can be legitimately compared is another issue. I’d say the focus on the criminal element is comparable, but the simultaneous focus on the other factions makes it feel like another genre – at least to me.

It’s not an American film, but A Prophet is one of the best movies of the past decade, in addition to being a very well-made crime genre film. Another crime film you might want to check out is Gomorrah. It doesn’t rival The Godfather or Goodfellas or A Prophet, but it’s a good film nonetheless.

Goodfellas is probably the best of the genre.

Blow was a very good film.

I liked Gomorrah, an Italian film about organized crime in Naples.

John Boorman’s The General, is an interesting film I watched recently about gangsters in Dublin.

I don’t think any of them quite measure up to Goodfellas though.

The TV show Homicide: Life on the Street was superior crime-related storytelling - based on a book by David Simon, who went on to create The Wire.

Pulp Fiction?

LA Confidential (1997)

I would check out the first two Infernal Affairs movies (The third just…doesn’t exist). They’re incredible.

And Reservoir Dogs.

It has its flaws, and plenty of people don’t like it, but Gangs of New York is, IMHO, one of the best crime movies ever made, and one of Scorcese’s top three or four films. Daniel Day Lewis’s performance alone makes it a classic.

A couple of British films to consider, even if they don’t challenge the two title films convincingly:

Sexy Beast (2000)

Croupier (1998)

There are some other “for fun” British efforts that are definitely to be watched.

While we’re at it, let’s not ignore The Departed (2006)

I enjoyed Casino (1995).

Miller’s Crossing is a great movie

Both of them just slip under the wire (1990) but I prefer Miller’s Crossing and Twin Peaks.

Obviously both are more abstract, less literal, than the films mentioned in the OP, but that suits my tastes. And Twin Peaks fizzled out after half a season…