Top Picks: Mafia Movies to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Godfather

It's hard to believe The Godfather franchise will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year on March 15. Often considered the gold standard of Mafia films, The Godfather follows the Italian-American Corleone family as they navigate personal family dynamics, brutal crime scenes, and the struggle between old-world and modern customs. This family crime saga has a little bit of everything for most fans.

In honor of The Godfather's 50th anniversary, check out my picks for additional popular movies featuring the mafia.

Movies Inspired by True Events

In order to infiltrate the Mafia, FBI agent Joe Pistone must go undercover and transform himself into the wannabe mobster Donnie Brasco. As he goes deeper and deeper into the Mafia lifestyle, the lines between his true identity and the mob identity are blurred until a conflict arises – who will he be loyal to: the FBI or his friends in the Mob?

Starring John Travolta, Gotti chronicles the life of the infamous crime boss of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti, over the course of 30 years.

GoodFellas follows the life story of Henry Hill as he grows up in Brooklyn first idolizing the neighborhood mobsters, then doing small jobs for them until he rises in the ranks to become one of the mafia boss's most trusted lieutenants. When Hill's side business dealings attract the interest of the FBI, he becomes an FBI informant to protect himself and his family from his mob connections.

TV Show and Movie Adaptations

Based on the infamous HBO TV show The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark follows a young Anthony Soprano before he became a mob boss.

Mafia Comedies

In Get Shorty, mafia loan shark Chili Palmer visits Los Angeles to collect a debt but then decides that a career change may be in order and tries his hand at working in the movie business. Unfortunately, the movie business has its fair share in criminal activity and Chili must still contend with various gangsters.

In The Family, a former mob boss and his family are relocated to a small French town after turning states evidence. However, turning over a new leaf is hard, and the family continues to resort to old habits when dealing with conflict much to the dismay of Agent Stansfield, who is charged with keeping them safe.

Organized Crime Non-Fiction

Looking to learn more about the mafia? Check out The Definitive Guide to the Mob to learn more about the fascinating history of mafia groups in the United States.

What are some of your favorite Mafia movies? Let us know in the comments.