‘I am going to make him an offer, he won’t refuse’
With this iconic monologue, Director Francis Ford Coppola and Writer Mario Puzo made an offer to the world. The offer generations after them couldn’t refuse. ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Legendary’ are two sides of a single coin, unannexable and complimentary. Regarded as ‘The Greatest Film Ever Made’ by movie buffs around the globe. Legendary performances, famed monologues, extraordinary Marlon Brando made those 170 minutes into Life-Changing Spectacle. Great Movies have unflinching and stern attributes which percolates with them. Same goes with one of ‘The ‘Greatest’, Coppola’s masterpiece has monologues that differentiate Men from the crowd. Don Vito Corleone played by Marlon Brando can be called a True Gentleman. Al Pacino, Diana Keaton and Robert Duvall brilliantly played their decorated characters.
Now, the cinematic world(I mean world, literally) has fathom its fair share of inspiration. Hollywood has already made multitude of Crime-Dramas considered worldwide classic. Not to mention their critical and commercial acclaim. But wait up, what’s the fun in revisiting on the same page. Why not, prelude new entries! So here it is, ranking some excellent Crime and Mob Dramas made around the globe.
7) A Bittersweet Life(2005)
This eccentric South Korean Crime-Drama made the list. ‘A Bittersweet Life’ is the story of an enforcer, who works as a manager for ruthless and pitiless boss. The boss runs a crime group, who orders him to spy on his young mistress. The enforcer follows her but finds himself distinctively attracted towards her innocence and beauty. However, he finds the woman with her lover and ambushed them. Boss ordered to kill both of them under these circumstances, but he resists. He later bears the consequences and later takes revenge against his boss. The most wavering part of the film is it’s ending that leaves you baffled.
Directed by Kim Jee-woon, the film received powerful feedback from the audience and critics alike. Though, it’s popularity is still at its early age, but it has all-round potential to turn into a cult-classic. Critics welcomed the story-line and citing it’s violence complimentary to the flick. ‘A Bittersweet Life’ was regarded by many critics as ‘The Best Film of 2005, you may not have heard of’. The performances put forward by the actors were sublime and received appraisal.
Similar to South Korea, Japan is also a leading producer of Crime-thriller. Undoubtedly, they have deeply rooted to the genre. In Japan, the mob or gangs are called ‘Yakuza’, therefore, the genre is ultimately known as Yakuza-films. Here is a acclaimed example of Yakuza movie in Japan, Sonatine. It depicts the life of a crime-enforcer who has grown weary of his criminal life. After a sudden attack on him, makes him to withdraw to a calm sea-side area. There he and his men pass their time till things calmed down. However, his enemies don’t intend to let him slip easily.
Director Takashi Katano, known as ‘Best Katano’, directed, written and featured in this violent venture. The blood-shed and locations are regarded both beautiful and gratifying. Critic Roger Ebert provided the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, citing ‘Sonatine’ as an example for crime-thriller in Japan. Katano’s masterpiece sealed his reputation as an ‘auteur’ among the filmmakers.
5) The New World/Sinsegye(2013)
Believe me or don’t. South Korea(sorry if you ask my opinion on North Korea), in the present day, has apprehended this genre deeply. ‘New World’ is one of their Masterpiece, directed by Park Hoon-jung. A criminal saga, described through the eyes of an Undercover agent. He has been undercover for 8 years under the largest syndicate of South Korea. Series of dreadful events and he becomes a complete criminal, withdrawing his federal responsiblity. Significantly, his friendship with the possible Chairman of the mob remains, even after his cover is blown.
First of the planned trilogy, ‘New World’ is referred as ‘The Godfather of South Korea’. The film garnered huge critical and commercial acclaim. Such is it’s popularity that Sony Productions have secured the right to produce the sequel.
4) City of God(2002)
Fernando Meirelles Directed this coming-of-age Crime-thriller, that follows 3 boys who are friends. They grow up in a city of Rio De Janeiro, were organised crime spreads rapidly. Under hostile situations, three of them follow their own different path. Two of them end up with same fate, they become leaders of two rival gangs and confront each other. However, the other kid avoids crime and sheds the idea of being a gang-member. He follows his dream of becoming a photographer, that he accomplished.
The opening scene of the movie, where the rooster is chased, regarded as one of the best in World Cinema. The performances provided were critically commendable. The story-line depicts the horrific situation of children’s future in Crime influnced Brazil. ‘City of God’ is also considered as ‘one of the most disturbing movies ever-made’. The success spawned a sequel series and movie known as ‘City of Men’. The film was nominated under four categories at 75th Academy Award. Including “Best Cinematography”, “Best Editing”, “Best Adapted Screenplay” and for “Best Direction”. ‘City of God’ is undoubtedly deserves to be on the list.
3) The Departed(2006)
Every Director wants to make one classic in their career, well, Martin Scorsese has one in every decade. In 70’s ‘The Taxi Driver’, in 80’s he had ‘Raging Bull’ and 90’s he capped ‘Goodfellas’. The Departed goes down as his classic in the beginning Decade of 21st Century. The original ‘Infernal Affairs’, is hailed as one of the best movie in World Cinema. With excellent cast of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon and Martin Sheen. Scorsese owned the crime-thriller, just as he does to every project he helms.
The Movie follows Francis “Frank” Costello(Nicholson), who implants Colin Sullivan(Matt Damon) within State Police as a rat. On the other hand, Oliver Queenen(Martin Sheen) drops Billy Costigan(Di Caprio) as an informant within Costello’s gang. A cat-mouse chase starts between Sullivan and Billy to reveal each other’s cover. Semi-Arc Shots and Dollying are at the peak of perfection. At 79th Academy Award, Martin Scorsese won his first ‘Best Director’ Oscar(Academy was 26 years late), with ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ and ‘Best Editing’. ‘The Departed’ is pronounced as one of the Best Crime-Thriller of this Century.
2) A Prophet(2009)
A Prophet is French Prison Crime-Drama film, revolving around a young unsophisticated Arab named Tahar Rahim as Malik El Djebena. Malik is locked in a French Prison for assaulting on a Police Officer. He plans to live a peaceful prison-life until he gets involved with Corsican gangs to assassinate a muslim prisoner. Later, the muslim group turns against him. But defying the odds, he slowly gains power in the prison by implicating with Muslim prisoners. Eventually, he becomes the crime-head of the French Prison controlling the murders and drug-trafficking in it. He imbibes both Corsican as well as Muslim culture that wins the confidence of fellow-prisoners.
Jacques Audiard Directed this epic Crime-Drama, where he empowers a relatively less-significant images of French-Arabs in the movie. In 2009 Cannes Film Festival, ‘A Prophet’ won the Grand Jury Prize. The film opened with numerous critical acclaim and moderate commercial succes. It was nominated for Academy’s “Best Foreign Film” category. Tahar Rahim’s performance in the film is often compared to that of Al Pacino and Marlon Brando in ‘The Godfather’.
Another Martin Scorsese classical Crime-thriller. When it comes to Crime and Religion, no one grips it better the Legend himself. Scorsese’s streak of making a classic every decade, continues with ‘Wolf of the Wall Street'(2013). When it comes to list of ‘The Best’ or ‘The ‘Greatest’, one Scorsese movie is mandatory for the list. Following the custom, ‘Goodfellas’ is crime-drama based on the book ‘Wiseguy’, narrates the life of Henry Hill(Joe Loota) and his associates Jimmy Conway(Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito(Joe Pesci). Tommy is once ridiculed by a gangster of a famous crime-family. They apprehend and kill him in rage, and things go sour eventually. In the meanwhile, Henry is troubled by the cops by raids and ambush on his family. Later, he gives up and shares the information of his gang with The FBI. Exceptional performance from all the three members of the cast, ‘Goodfellas’ marks De Niro’s fifth out of seven collaborations with Martin Scorsese.
Goodfellas went to become ‘The Best Picture of 1990’ by several critics and fans. Ebert and Siskel considered it better than ‘The Godfather’, when it stands on the grounds of organised crime. Joe Pesci received an Academy for “Best Actor Supporting Role”, and Scorsese was again snubbed of his Director’s Oscar.