Mafia movies are another go-to movie type whenever you are in the mood for crime and action.
The combination of brotherhood, family, crimes, a sprinkle of comedy or romance, and the rush of conflict between two parties completes your ideal mafia movie. Here are the 19 best Italian Mafia movies for you to enjoy.
1. The Godfather (1972)
English, Italian, Latin 2h 55m IMDb
Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
This mob thriller, adapted from Mario Puzo’s novel entitled “The Godfather, centers on Don Vito Corleon’s influential Italian-American crime family. The Godfather is generally acknowledged as among the best movies of all time.
This film centers on Michael, Don Vito’s youngest son, as he joins the Mafia in hesitation. Unfortunately, he is drawn into its cycle of violence and betrayal when he does.
Michael attempts to keep things as regular as possible with his wife, but he becomes more involved. The Godfather sets the benchmark for gangster movies and is widely considered the best of its kind. Excellently executed and has a great storyline.
2. The Godfather Part II (1974)
English, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Sicilian 3h 22m IMDb
Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
This film is a riveting sequel to “The Godfather,” which compares and contrasts the lives of Don Vito Corleone and his son Michael. Michael is spared the worst life offers, while Vito gets initiated into the underworld.
This film is not simply an expansion of the original story by adding additional people and happenings; instead, it is a significantly more intricate and personal story than the one it is based on. When you think this series cannot get better, this sequel is sure to prove you wrong.
3. The Godfather Part III (1990)
Persian, English, Italian, German, Latin 2h 42m IMDb
Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia
The Godfather’s third movie tells the struggles of Michael as he grows older. He discovers that his position as a leader does not become less demanding as he ages.
As a result, Michael decides for his family to leave the Mafia. Still, the head of the criminal organization is reluctant to allow one of the most influential and affluent families to become legitimate.
Things start to get even more heated as his nephew, Vincent, makes things worse as he reveals his hunger for a portion of the empire and Mary, Michael’s daughter.
Relatively milder than its predecessor, this film still slaps. Nevertheless, this third film still depicts the family’s struggles and efforts to legitimate business and the attempt to relish life.
4. The Irishman (2019)
Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
This movie is set in the 1950s, with Frank Sheeran as the protagonist. Sheeran is a trucker and finds himself entangled with Russell Bufalino, a crime family member.
Sheeran begins working for Jimmy Hoffa, a strong Teamster with ties to organized crime, as he makes his way to the top of the ladder as a hitman.
This film is one of a kind considering the rare cast combination with roles that seem tailor-fitted for them. Even though the pace picks up at the finish, it’s still a great movie overall.
5. Goodfellas (1990)
English, Italian 2h 25m IMDb
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
The novel “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi served as the inspiration for Goodfellas. This movie depicts the narrative of a young man raised in the mafia who strives extremely hard to earn his way up the ranks.
He leads a life of wealth and pleasure, yet he is completely blind to the devastation and consequences of his actions. His drug addiction and his errors finally derail his ascent to the top.
Achieving the ideal cinematic experience, each image, each voice-over, and each score in the movie’s duration arrive at the precise moment, making it one of the best.
6. The Consequences of Love (2004)
Italian 1h 40m IMDb
Stars: Toni Servillo, Olivia Magnani, Adriano Giannini
This film is about Titta di Girolamo as he leads a regimented and monotonous life in a hotel in Switzerland, where he spends each day doing the same thing: sitting by the lake.
For years, he waited for something to happen. Nothing, in particular, just something. One day, he starts talking with Sophia, a barmaid at the hotel.
As their conversation flows, everything starts to shift. It deviates from the standard movie formula refreshingly. The movie is relatively silent, but the silence helps in the excellent execution. The film also incorporates a wide range of themes.
7. The Mafia Kills Only in Summer (2013)
Italian 1h 30m IMDb
Stars: Cristiana Capotondi, Pif, Alex Bisconti
This story is about a Sicilian journalist who had spent his childhood idolizing the Mafia. However, as he grew up, he gradually developed an understanding of the criminal and violent tendencies of the Mafia.
Despite the potentially gloomy subject, the film moves at such a leisurely pace that the overarching theme of love has been elegantly nurtured amid chaos.
This film also features and exudes a gentle laugh or giggle because of its humorous parts. Overall, this movie glimmers with the splendor of the seas that encircle Sicily.
8. Criminal Novel (2005)
Italian, English, French 2h 32m IMDb
Stars: Kim Rossi Stuart, Anna Mouglalis, Pierfrancesco Favino
This tells the story of Freddo, a young boy just out of parole for a youthful offender, as he reunites with his old pals Libano and Dandi. Together, they start on a crime spree getting them on the list of the most prominent criminals in Rome.
While the other two focus on sensual pursuits, Libano enjoys their newfound power and wants to expand their influence.
Their group has been committing elaborate crimes for decades, but now paranoia threatens to tear them apart. Criminal Novel is a good representation of the crime world, along with some great scenes and intimate moments building up the story.
9. Gomorrah (2008)
Neapolitan, Italian, Mandarin, French 2h 17m IMDb
Stars: Gianfelice Imparato, Salvatore Abbruzzese, Toni Servillo
This movie takes place in the squatter camps of Campania, Italy, where the Camorra mafia has amassed wealth from the sale of cocaine.
Unfortunately, this syndicate is also rampantly contributing to chemical waste and, of course, corruption. Ciro and Marco attempt to retaliate by stealing weapons from the Camorra’s arsenal.
Some try to go into hiding, and others seek protection. However, every effort and attempt led to the realization that the Camorra is too vast and well-established to be escaped from.
Gamorra is a breath of fresh air in the genre of gangster epics. It doesn’t parrot stereotypical tropes but decries and raises awareness of them, never seeking to glorify them.
10. Donnie Brasco (1997)
English 2h 27m IMDb
Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen
This movie is about an FBI agent Joseph Pistone, posing as Donnie Brasco, to successfully penetrate one of New York’s most powerful Mafia families.
In his mission, he befriends mob hit men Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero to further his cover, but the two become genuine friends. As their friendship grows, Pistone is faced with the decision of whether or not to follow through with the assignment, knowing that the mission will ultimately result in the death of his newfound companion.
This film successfully relays Donnie’s struggle as he chooses between work and friendship. With a great script, the movie will surely evoke a wide range of emotions from viewers.
11. The Valachi Papers (1972)
English, Italian 2h 5m IMDb
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland
This film tells the story of Joseph Valachi, a member of the Mafia from Brooklyn, as he provides the authorities with a history of the organization. His story begins from its inception in 1929 until his arrest in 1961.
This film’s challenging, concise, and fascinating narration covers a lot of ground by switching between the past and focusing on the present. There’s no sugarcoating here, as the movie displays honesty in the story it depicts.
12. Mafioso (1962)
Italian, English, French, German 1h 45m IMDb
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell, Gabriella Conti
After gaining the favor of a Sicilian organized crime boss during his visit to Sicily, Antonio is tasked with tracking down a rival of the Sicilian organized crime family in New York. Mafioso boasts many features, including its direction and score.
The transition from lighthearted comedy to weighty drama is something that elevates this movie’s quality. The film’s strength lies in its authenticity, which shines through in its ability to make its audience empathize with the characters.
13. One Hundred Steps (2000)
Italian 1h 54m IMDb
Marco Tullio Giordana
Stars: Luigi Lo Cascio, Luigi Maria Burruano, Lucia Sardo
This film is about a political activist who comes from a family with connections with organized crime. He decides to go against the criminal underworld by speaking up against it.
Both the performances and the cinematography are powerful and memorable, which helps bring the narrative of the young and courageous guy to life.
This movie tells about young protesters of the 1970s. It portrays the real world, and unlike the typical films akin to this genre, the mafia is shown without any glorification.
14. From Corleone to Brooklyn (1979)
Italian 1h 35m IMDb
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Mario Merola, Van Johnson
This story is about Michele Barresi, an Italian gangster. After his primary opponent is murdered in the little town of Corleone, he flees to the more secure environment of Brooklyn.
The movie is story-driven, does not stray from its message, and unfolds at a faster rate, which adds to the narrative’s tension.
There are excellent scenes that will surely keep you watching for more of the story to unfold. Additionally, the film portrays the city’s splendor and ageless beauty.
15. Angela (2002)
Italian 1h 35m IMDb
Stars: Donatella Finocchiaro, Andrea Di Stefano, Mario Pupella
This story follows Angela, Saro’s mobster wife. She plays a crucial role in her partner’s criminal activities, such as drug trafficking.
Busy helping her husband smuggle contraband, her life dramatically changes after she encounters Masino, one of Saro’s men. They fall madly in love and start having an affair right away.
However, their relationship has unintended repercussions that steer the police and alarm Saro. The constant close-ups of the actors create a claustrophobic and unsettling viewing experience, adding spice to the viewing experience.
The film’s use of language and manners of speech are all remarkable. The dialects were also used impressively to match the location or setting. Angela stays grounded in reality, avoiding any fantastical or unrealistic elements.
16. La Scorta (1993)
Italian 1h 36m IMDb
Stars: Carlo Cecchi, Enrico Lo Verso, Claudio Amendola
This story is about a committed, close-knit crew of escorts who take on additional responsibilities protecting an upright judge assigned to look into corruption in Sicily. This movie does an excellent job of depicting their work culture and the stressful environment they are in.
The film effectively portrays constant suspense that keeps you hooked. The film’s realistic depiction of its setting, characters, and events helps to tell the story according to the timeline of the conflict in Sicily.
17. Giovanni Falcone (1993)
Stars: Michele Placido, Anna Bonaiuto, Massimo Bonetti
This film is based on the real-life events following Giovanni Falcone and his wife. The story focuses mainly on forming the first anti-mafia judges’ pool.
Giovanni Falcone discovers that the mob and politicians have been communicating with one another. This docudrama portrays Falcone’s efforts and attempts to expose a syndicate’s crimes and their link to politics and politicians.
The film emphasizes his dedication to his goal to the point of putting his life on the line. The movie is worth watching as it captures some raw scenes unraveling during this stir in Italy.
18. Black Souls (2014)
Italian 1h 49m IMDb
Stars: Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio
This film portrays a young man as he gets into a bar owned by a rival family and gets into trouble. This event has reignited a decades-old enmity between two Mafia families, closely followed by a series of feuds.
This one features some of the most impressive performances in light of the releases during its prime. The dialogue is believable, and the story gradually ramps up to a high level of suspense, making it a uniquely gripping film.
The film’s unprecedented ascent to power was polished well and expertly paced throughout. The movie is realistic and does not include pointless fillers and fluffs.
These 19 best Italian Mafia movies are great for your movie night, especially if you like crime genres. Although these films focus on mobs and how life works for people within the echo chamber, they still offer a wide variety of themes to explore.
Comedic? Romantic? Pick a movie and have a new perspective on how these concepts thrive in this context.