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

Zeldar beat me to naming Sexy Beast, but I have a few others I can list from my collection:

The Grifters (1990) *
Leon: The Professional (1994) ***
Heat (1995)
Pusher (1996) *
Trainspotting (1996) *
Cop Land (1997) *
Jackie Brown (1997) ***
The Limey (1999)
Heist (2001) **
Empire (2002)
A History Of Violence (2005)
Running Scared (2006) *
Inside Man (2006)
16 Blocks (2006)
Taken (2008)

I’m not sure what you mean by “rival”, but I suspect you mean “are also epic in scope”, and tho few movies approach that aspect of The Godfather, I’ve placed stars by the ones I’ve listed that I believe are not merely good films, but are great, even iconic, pieces of cinema.

Hey, we should start a poll or twelve… :smiley:

I was going to say, technically it came out in '90, but it came out after Goodfellas (three days after), so maybe it counts? It’s definitely a classic American crime drama.

I’ll follow you! :smiley:

I think The Shield is as awesome a crime drama as any other.

I would vote for Donnie Brasco.

Beat me to it. Best Pacino in years, that scene where he is wordlessly taking off all his jewellery gets me every time.

i prefer carlito’s way to donnie brasco. the only spoiler is what was pointed out in the script: pacino looks more italian than lat-am.

Heat is my all-time favorite crime drama, but that may have something to do with my state of mind when I saw it; I don’t know how well it’d hold up.

Nobody’s come in with “The Usual Suspects” yet??

That and “Miller’s Crossing” are two of my favs…

It’s one of the <50 DVD’s that we own. The Godfather 5-disc collection is another. I don’t have Goodfellas – yet. May never.

Having Pacino and De Niro together (again?) is a plus to the movie, but the supporting cast (especially Kevin Gage and Danny Trejo) is great and the basic story is not overloaded with effects and violence, although there’s plenty of that.

I find myself watching it again every six months or so, which is more than anything else we own with the possible exception of Body Heat – no connection because of the titles, I swear. :slight_smile:

Actually, can we please? The Departed is pretty much the only Scorsese film I’ve seen that I wouldn’t recommend. I thought it was very disappointing for all the great talent involved. Although ranking the Scorsese gangster films, or just Scorsese films in general, would be a fun idea for a thread.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention this one in my previous post, but I think Layer Cake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layer_Cake_(film), comes very, very, close to equaling Goodfellas. Before I saw Layer Cake, I never knew that Chief Miles O’Brien and Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt were such hardcore gangsters. Seriously though, Layer Cake is a fantastic movie, and I highly recommend it.

I agree. Why don’t you start one since I have already done two in the Godfather-Goodfellas vein in the past few days.

You could start with http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000217/filmorate and ask for improvements. Might be a lot of fun.

Justified is fantastic. Would that be a crime drama or a cop show?

The lead character is a Deputy Marshall and the crime family are a bunch of hillbillies, but still…

I’m leaning toward “cop show” but agree that it’s among the best efforts in the overall genre in years.

For my tastes, and that’s all it is, I have Goodfellas and The Godfather (along with The Sopranos) in the sub-genre where the criminal element is center stage, with little to no focus on the law enforcement element(s) or other agencies as represented in The Wire. It could be another fun exercise to identify the sub-genres of Crime Drama so that some of the excellent shows and movies mentioned here could be grouped effectively and not be competing with each other for overall excellence.

I liked that one too. Cool to see Pacino playing the Anti-Corleone. The pathetic Christmas scene was a good one too (the flaming coq-au-vin and the boomerang cash gift). I was surprised to learn that the person he was based onactually survived thanks to the FBI. The mob was going to kill him but didn’t, supposedly in appreciation for his refusal to cooperate with law enforcement, and he died of cancer after 11 years in prison.

Watched this last night (DVR’ed it earlier) and it’s not as special as I was remembering it. Not bad, just not special. I had fused some other Jude Law scenes (from the sniper movie he was in) with this one and that was a bit of a disappointment.

Seconded. The Usual Suspects blew me away when I saw it in the theater. I went to see it again the following night, dragging more friends along, offering to pay their ticket if they’d just come see this awesome movie.