With and without cranberries: 14 foreign films about the Russian mafia

It is always interesting to see how foreigners see your compatriots from the outside. Will the tattooed gopniks drink vodka and do dirty deeds in earflaps on the screen again until some lone hero teaches them a lesson? Of course, they will, because the strategic reserves of cranberries abroad are inexhaustible. For you, we have compiled a selection of popular films about the Russian mafia among new movies and old action movies – stock up on popcorn with caviar, call the bear and watch nazdorovye!

Nobody (2021)

The plot of the new foreign film about the mafia is Hutch Mansell, an unremarkable auditor who lives in the suburbs. One night, two thieves break into the man’s house. The clerk, not wanting to get involved in the brawl himself, calls the cops . However, the loss of a bracelet with a cat, belonging to the youngest daughter, still infuriates the head of the family. Hutch sets out to find the escaped robbers, and along the way protects the girl from a rowdy group on the bus, which leads to an enchanting confrontation between Mansell and local Russian mafiosi.

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

Original title:  
Nobody

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:  
Bob Odenkirk, Alexei Serebryakov, Connie Nielsen …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
18+


McMafia (TV series, 2018 – 2020)

The foreign series about the Russian mafia and crime is one of the most interesting projects in recent years in terms of the cast, where the roles of our compatriots were played by Russian stars. Alex Goodma lives in London. He is smart, educated and honest. The young man studied at Harvard and plans to create his own business in the future . However, there is one “but”. His uncle and father are Russian mafiosi who emigrated to Britain to hide from other bandits. Soon the past of Alex’s family makes itself felt, and the hero is involved in a criminal showdown.

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+


Three nines (2015)

Members of the mafia clan, half of whom are corrupt cops, are planning to pull off a tricky business. It is necessary to activate the police code “999”, which means that one of the servants of the law has been killed. All patrolmen will rush to the crime scene, and the bandits will calmly rob a bank in another part of the city. However, a seasoned investigator is already rushing along their trail – this is where a cool action game with chases and gunfights will begin.

Original title:
Triple 9

Genre:
Crime, drama, thriller

Actors:
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
18+


The Great Equalizer (2014)

The list of the best films about the Russian mafia will continue with an action film shot in America and telling how a retired marine went on the warpath with motley criminals. Robert McCall has long since retired. Now he is a simple elderly American who works as a salesman. However, the brutal treatment of Russian bandits with his friend – a young prostitute – forces Robert to take up arms again. The veteran arranges a real triumph of justice, mowing to the right and left of all representatives of local crime that came to hand.

Original title:  
The Equalizer

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:  
Denzel Washington, Marton Chokash, Chloe Grace Moretz …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:  
16+


John Wick (2014)

The protagonist of the foreign film is the mysterious John Wick, who lives in silence and solitude. Local criminal elements know him as one of the most dangerous assassins. The hero has been retired for a long time and preferred the company of his beloved dog , donated by his dead wife, to the society of bandits. One night, intruders break into his house, kill the unfortunate dog and steal the car. It looks like John will have to remember the old days, pick up a gun and take revenge on the offenders.

Original title:  
John Wick

Genre:  
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:  
Keanu Reeves, Mikael Nykvist, Alfie Allen…

Country:  
China, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


Anger (2014)

Our top foreign crime thriller about the Russian mafia and all-consuming bloody revenge will continue . The former mafia decided to quit dirty business and devote his life to his family. Now Paul is in the construction business and is raising his daughter. Suddenly, his beloved daughter is kidnapped and then found dead. Having found out that the girl was shot with a Soviet pistol, the hero realizes that the Russian mafia is involved here. He gathers a team of old comrades and goes to kill the villains.

Original title:
Tokarev

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Nicolas Cage, Rachel Nichols, Max Ryan…

Country:
USA, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.3, IMDb – 5.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Vice for Export (2007)

The action-packed film tells the story of a young midwife, Anna. One day, a very young girl comes to her department, who dies during childbirth. In her things, the medical staff finds a diary, indicating that the unfortunate woman was a sex slave. Starting her own investigation , Anna goes to the bandits from Russia, who settled in London. And among them is the mysterious Nikolai, and for some reason the guy is trying to help the heroine.

Original title:  
Eastern Promises

Genre:  
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:  
Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel …

Country:  
UK, Canada, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:  
18+


Masters of the Night (2007)

Foreign feature films about the Russian mafia in the United States will take us to New York in the 80s. Bobby Green comes from a family of hereditary police officers, but the man himself chose a different path. He is the manager of a nightclub where gangsters distribute drugs and find a safe haven. One day, a capture team conducts an operation there to detain a large drug dealer, after which the drug mafia bosses are preparing to strike back. But what about Bobby? After all, his brother and father serve in the police and they are also in danger. So the man finds himself between two fires in the war of the drug mafia and the servants of the law.

Original title:
We Own the Night

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:
Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Lord of War (2005)

The parents of the Orlov brothers, older Yuri and younger Vitaly, moved from Ukraine to America and opened a small family business. However, their children were not at all eager to follow in the footsteps of their relatives. Thinking about how to earn extra money, Yuri comes to the conclusion that the most profitable thing is to trade in weapons. Indeed, in a world full of aggression, a gun will never be superfluous. With the support of his brother, the novice gangster quickly masters the illegal market. But the better he is doing, the closer Interpol gets to him.

Original title:  
Lord of War

Genre:  
Action, drama, crime

Actors:  
Nicolas Cage, Bridget Moynehan, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke…

Country:  
France, Germany, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:  
16+


The Boondock Saints (1999)

According to the plot of the foreign film, the McManus brothers have to kill members of the Russian mafia in self-defense. After the incident, they receive a message from God, where the guys are given a clear instruction to kill criminals, thus eradicating evil on Earth. So the Irish brothers fall into a whirlpool of violence, leaving behind mountains of mafia corpses. And even the agent Paul Smecker, who hunts them, would gladly join the desperate mission of our dubious heroes.

Original title:  
The Boondock Saints

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:  
Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus…

Country:  
USA, Canada

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:  
18+


One chance for two (1998)

20-year-old Alice learns that her mother had a torrid affair with two men. As a result, a sweet blond girl was born, but who the father is is unknown. And Alice herself will have to find out. Familiar plot? Yes. That’s just our heroine spent time in prison and generally trades in stealing rare cars. Yes, and applicants for paternity are not distinguished by meekness – both dads have experience in handling weapons and explosives.

Original title:
1 chance sur 2

Genre:
Action, drama, comedy

Actors:
Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Vanessa Paradis…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Wandering Bullet (1996)

One enterprising mafia boss conceived to team up with the Chinese, Russian and Italian mafia in order to establish dominance in the underworld and manage huge financial flows. It remains only to transfer the “common fund” to an offshore bank. At this time, an FBI agent and a specialist from the drug enforcement department are trying to stop the criminals. A powerful mess is brewing – after all, the one who first achieves the confiscation of funds will be able to use them for the needs of his office.

Original title:
Hollow Point

Genre:
Action, thriller, comedy

Actors:
Thomas Ian Griffith, Tia Carrere, John Lithgow …

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Maximum Risk (1996)

The American single-episode film introduces the viewer to the honest and correct cop Alan. Recently, a French law officer was dumbfounded when he saw that the dead bandit found was his exact copy. From his mother, he learns that it was his twin brother, left in the hospital and adopted by a Russian family. The man goes to New York to get information on the spot about the murdered brother Mikhail. The more secrets Alan reveals, the less chance he has of surviving, but he is ready to go all the way.

Original title:
Maximum Risk

Genre:
Action, detective, thriller

Actors:
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge, Jean-South Anglade …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Little Odessa (1994)

Foreign film in the genre of crime drama tells the story of a family that emigrated to the United States. Despite the upbringing of a respectable father, the eldest son became a bandit. And now he received an order – to kill a man in the area where his relatives live. Arriving at the place, the hero finds himself drawn into a maelstrom of random events. And the unplanned murder of the son of a local mafia element leads to a tragedy that affects the entire family.

Original title:
Little Odessa

Genre:
Drama, crime

Actors:
Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


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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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