10 Best Gang Movies

Friday, November 19 by BWalter

How can you determine the 10 best gang movies? There have been so many good gang movies made, how does the movie buff choose? What makes a good gang movie? Is it the grittier the content, the better the flick? Maybe it's the amount of violence that determines how good a gang movie is. Even still, it could be something as simple as the overall popularity of the film that makes it a good gang movie. Maybe it’s a careful balance of all these elements. 

  1. "Blood In Blood Out" (1993). This flick easily makes the list of the top ten gang movies ever. Where other gang movies fail to add that human element, this one excels. It follows three family members in 1970’s East LA. They start a gang known as the Vatos Locos. The movie focuses on how drugs and violence destroy the bonds of family as one kid spends his life in and out of prison. The other becomes a crippled drug addict, and one ends up becoming a cop.
  2. "Hoodlum" (1997). This is probably more of a gangster movie than a gang movie. It’s about the life and times of the 1930’s Harlem black gangster Bumpy Johnson. The conflict centers around the numbers racket of the time period. Laurence Fishburne plays Bumpy Johnson. Tim Roth plays Johnson’s adversary, Dutch Shultz. Awesome gang movie.
  3. "The Wanderers" (1979). The level of violence and gritty visuals don’t quite match up with the movies in 2010, but “The Wanderers” does a good job in exploring why gangs form in the first place. For protection from other gangs. It’s definitely worth a viewing.
  4. "Gangs of New York" (2002). Everyone knows about this flick. It has lots of fights. It has lots of violence. And, it has lots of gratuitous boobage. This flick is about the origins of gang activity in New York, but you’ll care more about the boob shots.
  5. "The Road Warrior" (1981). The second installment in the “Mad Max” series focuses on the world in a post apocalyptic state. What do people do when they don’t have money, food, and other resources? The form a gang and terrorize other poor folks, of course. The movie may be dated, but it has some kick ass fight scenes.
  6. "Boyz n the Hood" (1991). You know this movie rocks. Come on, in what other movie can you catch Ice Cube sporting the curl and black White Sox hat? Though slightly over acted, this movie did open the country’s eyes to gang activity in the Los Angeles area.
  7. "Menace II Society" (1993). This movie is just as gritty in 2010 as it was when it was first released. The amount of visceral violence is crazy. It’s easily the best, and most realistic depiction of gang life in Los Angeles. It’s a classic. You need to see this movie.
  8. "American Me" (1992). This movie is all about the rise to power of the Mexican Mafia. Fictionalized of course. If you like violence and sex scenes, you need to check this film out. Extremely well made, with great performances throughout. It shows gang life in and outside of prison. It’s a very good flick.
  9. "Romeo + Juliet" (1996). Wait, wait, hold on a second. This aint no sappy love story. The 1996 remake of the Shakespearian masterpiece is about two rival business empires that go to war. It just so happens that Romeo falls for Juliet. There’s more violence than love making. Check it out.
  10. "The Warriors" (1979). This is not only the best of the best gang movies, it is the father of the genre. You have to see this movie. An accurate description is almost impossible to give without ruining the story. Rent it, and you’ll want to buy it. Simple as that. This is the greatest gang movie ever made. All gang movies that have followed have borrowed elements from this ground breaking flick.   
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