The 10 best Mexican mafia movies are another way of saying gangster movies. After all, the mafia is nothing more than organized gangsters. These films cover the gamut of bad guy Mexicans. Mexican gangsters are seen from any number of perspectives. Some films look at guys inside gangs. Others follow what happens when law-abiding citizens encounter criminals. Whatever the case, the Mexican mafia has become a part of life, both inside Mexico and across and near the American-Mexican border.

  1. “American Me” This Mexican mafia movie was directed by its star, Edward James Olmos. It's all about taking stock, as a Mexican mafia guy completes his prison time and sees life differently after finding a woman to love.

  2.  “Revenge” Kevin Costner and Anthony Quinn star in this Mexican mafia movie. In it, a retired navy flyer runs into trouble while vacation in Mexico. That trouble arrives in the form of a Mexican crime kingpin.

  3.  “Blood In, Blood Out” This  film Mexican mafia movie was first called "Bound By Honor. It's built upon real events. The real life of Jimmy Santiago Baca is profiled. 

  4.  “One Eight Seven” This 1997 Mexican mafia movie is set in a Los Angele high school. Its stars include John Heard and Samuel L. Jackson. In case you're wondering, the film title is penal code for murder.

  5.  “Colors” -- This Mexican mafia movie dates back to the '80s. It came out in 1988, in fact. It has an excellent cast, too, including Robert Duvall and Sean Penn. The mafia activity is centered in the tough part of Los Angles.

  6.  “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” Latin stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek are joined by Johnny Depp in this Mexican mafia movie. Its cast of characters include a crazy government man, a hit man and a Mexican general gone bad.

  7.  “Desperado” This is a 1995 Mexican mafia movie. It pits a gun-toting lawman against a drug runner. The cast includes both Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas.

  8.  “Mi FamiliaThis Mexican mafia movie begin with an immigrant family, and it follows the family as it must navigate the hard road of crime and punishment. Edward James Olmos heads an all star cast, which also includes Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Smits.

  9.  “El Mariachi” The prequel to "Desperado" is "El Mariachi". Robert Rodriguez directed this one. The plot concerns a mariachi player, mistaken for a killer. He's forced to hide from the Mexican mafia to save his very life.

  10. “Mexican Gangster” This relatively recent (2008) Mexican mafia movie follows a gangster who attempts to leave the organized crime lifestyle. It's a lot easier said than done. The cast includes Damian Chapa and Tom Druihet.