20 series about gangsters and mafia

Crime cinema is a special area of ​​cinema that will never be left without plots and characters. Crime is, of course, bad. But here’s the paradox, a movie about criminals is very good! How else to explain the universal love for series about gangsters of various sizes and the ubiquitous mafia? Below you will find a selection of the best representatives of the genre, who have earned the most positive reviews and ratings from viewers around the world.

Gangs of London (2020)

One of the best series of 2020 tells about the mafia of modern London, its long corruption tentacles and the war for power between crime families. It all starts with a contract killing of a major crime boss. The son and heir of the murdered authority seeks revenge , while his own position is threatened. The already fragile balance of power and influence of mafia groups is broken, and bloody chaos begins.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Gangs of London

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Ray Pantaki, Joe Cole, Lucian Msamati …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


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

If you love series about the Italian mafia in America, then this new American documentary will allow you to look at your favorite topic from a different angle. The series shows the detailed history of the war declared by the FBI against the largest mafia groups in New York in the 70s. The work of a group of undercover agents has borne fruit and put an end to the golden age of “family” power. The series tells about the fall of both the famous Cosa Nostra and other criminal ethnic clans.

Original title:
Fear City: New York vs the Mafia

Genre:
Documentary, crime

Actors:
Jim Kossler, Johnny Alite, Michael Frances…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1


The Godfather of Harlem (2019)

After an 11-year prison sentence , Bumpy Jones, the former head of an African-American criminal group, returns to New York. Once he and his gangsters kept the whole of Harlem under their control, but during this time the balance of power has changed, and now the Italian Genovese family is in charge here. The former king is going to return power, but for this he needs allies, and Bumpy turns to an old acquaintance – an Islamic activist and leader of a radical movement for the rights of “blacks”.

Original title:
Godfather of Harlem

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Forest Whitaker, Lucy Fry, Nigel Thatch…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.0

Age Limits :
16+


ZeroZeroZero (2019 – 2020)

Don Minu, the head of a powerful Italian family from Calabria, makes a major order to the Mexican drug cartel of the Leira brothers. An impressive shipment of high-quality cocaine should be transported from Mexico to Italy without any problems. The “wrong” people will find out about such a tasty morsel, and the journey of a multi-million dollar party will be difficult and bloody. The story, which spans several countries and continents, has entered the top mafia series due to its scope and plot full of unexpected twists.

Original title:
ZeroZeroZero

Genre:
Crime, drama, thriller

Actors:
Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan, Giuseppe De Domenico …

Country:
Italy, Mexico

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
18+


McMafia (2018 – 2019)

Who, if not the British, should shoot TV shows about the Russian mafia? The oligarch Godman, who emigrated to the UK from Russia, is also a major crime boss and lives in London with his wife and adult son Alex. The respectable gangster’s business is booming, but there’s no escaping the past. Godman has problems with former compatriots, in which Alex, who has always tried to stay away from his father’s dark affairs, is involuntarily drawn into.

Original title:
McMafia

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
James Norton, Merab Ninidze, Kirill Pirogov…

Country:
Great Britain, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Moroccan mafia (2018 – 2021)

Childhood friends Pensil, Romano and Pop are children of Arab immigrants who grew up on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Raised by the street, they made their own way in life and became major drug dealers. Now their goal is to seize control of all the cocaine traffic in the capital, but the disruption of a major and important deal turns former friends into mortal enemies. The thirst for power and money pushes them to start a cruel and bloody war on the streets of the city.

Original title:
Mocro Maffia

Genre:
Crime

Actors:
Mandela Wee Wee, Ahmed Akkabi, Nasrdin Dhar …

Country:
Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 8.2

Age Limits :
16+


Rizzuto (2017 – 2018)

There is an opinion that the best foreign series about the mafia are certainly produced in the USA or Italy. This stereotype is refuted by a series originally from Canada, based on real events and facts from the life of the largest mafia in the history of the country. Vito Rizzuto is the undisputed authority of the Montreal underworld. He sets the rules for all gangs and keeps order. But there are those who do not like this balance of power, and Rizutto is behind bars.

Original title:
Bad Blood

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Kim Coates, Luis Ferreira, Sharon Taylor…

Country:
Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.5


Birth of the Mafia: New York (2015)

The series tells about the formation of the Sicilian mafia in the United States on the example of the history of a real person – Salvatore Lucania, known as Charles “Lucky” Luciano. His family emigrated from Sicily to America in 1907, when Salvatore was only 7 years old. By the age of 14, he had his own gang of underage gangsters, which would grow over the years and begin to engage in serious racketeering. And the release of the “dry law” will open up such opportunities for him that soon “Lucky” will become the boss of his own criminal empire.

Original title:
The Making of the Mob

Genre:
Crime, history, drama, documentary

Actors:
Ian Bell, Craig Thomas Rivela, Rich Graff…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Gomorrah (2014 – 2019)

The action of the Italian series takes place in modern Naples. Don Pietro – the head of the Savastano clan, the largest Neapolitan drug lord, begins to lose ground and lose his influence. An unspoken war is already beginning in the city – everyone is striving to snatch market share and territory. Ciro Di Marzio, nicknamed the “Immortal” – the right hand of Don Pietro and the chief “decider” of the clan must stop encroachments on the rights and authority of the family.

Original title:
Gomorra: La serie

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Salvatore Esposito, Marco D’Amor, Christiane Dell’Anna…

Country:
Italy, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Gangster City (2013)

One of the best series based on real events tells about the gangsters of Los Angeles in the forties. In the center of the plot is the war between the police of the City of Angels and organized crime that has swept the city. The conflict is shown as a direct confrontation between West Coast crime boss Mickey Cohen and police department chief William Parker. Everything is complicated by the fact that in addition to gangsters, Parker also has to deal with total corruption in the ranks of the servants of the law.

Original title:
Mob City

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
John Bernthal, Edward Burns, Milo Ventimiglia …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions :
16+


City of Dreams (2012 – 2013)

The series will take you to the 50s, to the south of the East Coast of the United States. The Miramar Hotel is Miami Beach’s chicest establishment, and around it, one way or another, all the significant people of the coast and their affairs revolve. Manager Ike Evans is at the very epicenter of this cycle. He simultaneously has to resolve show business issues and solve problems with the local mafia, because at night Miramar turns from a fashionable establishment into a favorite place for gangsters, pimps, and drug dealers.

Original title:
Magic City

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olga Kurylenko, Steven Strait …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Lillehammer (2012 – 2014)

You rarely see series about the mafia and crime, filmed in the comedy genre. The American-Norwegian mini-series is just that rare case. New York gangster Tagliano, in retaliation for his betrayal, hands over his boss with giblets. According to the witness protection program and on the condition of Tagliano himself, he is sent to the Norwegian town of Lillehammer, which once hosted the Olympic Games long ago. And with his arrival, a new life begins for a quiet provincial town.

Original title:
Lilyhammer

Genre:
Drama, comedy, crime

Actors:
Steve Van Zandt, Trond Fausa Aurvaag, Steinar Sagen…

Country:
USA, Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Underground Empire (2010 – 2014)

The series is set in Atlantic City in the 1920s. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson is a real “pillar of society”, the city treasurer, philanthropist and respected person. But behind that façade lies an ambitious Irish mafia boss deeply mired in corruption. With the passage of Prohibition, Nucky realizes that this is a real chance to make millions and build his own criminal empire. It is worth noting that many real mafiosi of those years appear in the series, the most famous of which is Al Capone.

Original title:
Boardwalk Empire

Genre:
Drama, Crime

Actors:
Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly McDonald…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.5

Age Limits :
18+


Crime Australia (2008 – 2013)

Australian filmmakers are no worse than others at making cool series about the mafia. Moreover, they have enough of their own material for this. Based on real events, the mini-series is divided into three stories set in Melbourne at the turn of the twenty-first century. A high-profile police murder case, a war with the ubiquitous Italian mafia, a drug lord’s escape from the most secure prison in the country – each episode of the series is watched in one breath.

Original title:
Underbelly

Genre:
Action, drama, crime, detective, history

Actors:
Caroline Craig, Paul Tassone, Dieter Brummer…

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Crime novel (2008 – 2010)

Another Italian action series takes us back to the recent past. Rome of the seventies and eighties is a city of total corruption, terrorism and the prosperity of mafia structures. The Lebanese, a well-known crime boss, hatches plans to seize sole power over the entire criminal world of the capital. But in this Lebanese is hampered by conflicts within his own gang, the powerful Sicilian mafia and the police that have already taken his trail.

Original title:
Romanzo criminale – La serie

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Vinicio Marchioni, Alessandro Roya, Marco Bocci …

Country:
Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


The Donnelly Brothers (2007)

Four Irish brothers are at the head of a mafia group that controls part of the territory of one of the districts in modern New York. The guys come from a simple working environment, but cruel circumstances have made them hardened gangsters. All four are not alike, each has its own character and interests in life, but the interests of the family are above all for them. No matter what happens, they will stand as a mountain for each other.

Original title:
The Black Donnellys

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Jonathan Tucker, Tom Guiry, Olivia Wilde…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Don Corleone (2007)

The story of Toto Rino, the future famous mafia, begins with the accidental death of his father and brother. After the tragedy, young Toto becomes the head of the family and begins step by step to strive for the pinnacle of power and wealth. Gathering loyal people around him, he joins the large Corleone mafia group, which is waging a war for supremacy in the underworld. The series will show the whole bloody and unparalleled cruelty path that will lead Reno to the very top and make him the head of the entire Cosa Nostra.

Original title:
Corleone

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Claudio Gioe, Daniele Liotti, Salvatore Lazzaro…

Country:
Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


The Wire (2002 – 2008)

The Baltimore police are unsuccessfully fighting the drug mafia that flooded the streets. Drug dealers are armed with new technologies – easily accessible mobile communications, which cannot be traced. But the protagonist of the series, Detective James McNulty, does not give up. He convinces the authorities of the need to use the latest equipment to catch criminals. The Wire is included in the list of the best detective series of the beginning of the century and invariably occupies the top lines of all ratings.

Original title:
The Wire

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Wendell Pierce…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 9.3

Age restrictions:
18+


The Sopranos (1999 – 2007)

The cult crime drama, which tells about the life of a modern-day mafia boss, has not only had high ratings for more than twenty years, but almost always takes first place in them. The life of Tony Soprano is not easy, because in addition to the daily gangster worries, a lot of problems pile up on him. Own children grow up and get out of hand, the wife threatens with a divorce, and the mother daily “drips on the brains.” Maybe you still should not neglect the advice and turn to a professional psychiatrist?

Original title:
The Sopranos

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Go Falco …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.7, IMDb – 9.2

Age restrictions:
18+


The Last Don (dilogue, 1997 and 1998)

The aged Don Clericuzio is the head of the most powerful American mafia organization. After leaving Sicily many years ago, Clericuzio went a long and bloody path to power and wealth, destroying everyone who stood in his way. Now the old man thinks of only one thing – that his grandchildren find a calm, secure and law-abiding life. But events from Don Clericuzio’s deep past suddenly threaten his plans for the future.

Original title:
The Last Don

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Danny Aiello, Rory Cochrane, Kirstie Alley …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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